break can induce a whole range of emotions. On the one hand it can feel
daunting and tap into our darkest self-doubts. On the other hand, we might feel
excited and reawakened at the prospect…possibly all of those things and more.
career, one to go travelling and two maternity leaves. I clearly remember the
mixed feelings of returning: disorientation, anxiety, pressure to make a good
impression, optimism, engagement and liberation – at least for a while – from
the daily demands of domesticity. As it turned out, my last return was on 9/11
and any fears I had on that occasion were soon eradicated by more important
importance of image after that, although, rightly or wrongly, we do judge each
other on appearances and make all kinds of assumptions: How professional is
she? How smart? How contemporary? How creative? How well organised?
over the years and listened to the hiring manager’s comments afterwards. Appearance
is often on the agenda…and it’s not always flattering.
unknown I try to focus on the aspects of the situation that I can control. In
terms of returning to work, one of these things is appearance.
competence. I want to be known primarily for the quality of the work that I do,
not how I look, although if I feel confident that my appearance will create an
authentic and favourable impression, that’s a bonus. Paying a little bit of
attention to understanding what makes us look our best frees up our time and
attention to focus on the content and quality of our work.
might still work for you, although even classic styles can look dated – the
fashion industry is very clever at getting us to keep buying more! Perhaps your
body shape has changed and the styles you once relied on no longer seem to
work. Colour has an amazing capacity to make us look radiant or drab. This
doesn’t mean you suddenly need to start wearing lots of strong, bright colours,
it’s just about understanding what depth, brightness and tone of colour works
best for you in the context of what would be appropriate for your potential working
transform the way we look, but I don’t enjoy spending huge amounts of time and
money on expensive, sometimes torturous, grooming procedures or lengthy
shopping trips! In my book, anything that can make life simpler, calmer and
lower-maintenance is to be welcomed.
Being able to edit a shop floor with a few quick glances, for example,
or quickly pick the right outfit for the occasion, saves precious time and
energy. Knowing what to look for helps
avoid expensive mistakes or those ‘fashion over style’ disasters that stare reproachfully
at you from your wardrobe.
your image can support your career aspirations can make all the difference in
helping you to feel confident and make a positive impression. Once you
understand what suits you and why, you can make confident choices and always
look your best.