More and more industrial automation companies are exchanging the classic business professional attire for a more casual and lenient dress code. Gone are the required suits and ties, and in their place, are t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers. With this shift happening so widely across the engineering industry, knowing how to upgrade and maintain your professional image in a casual work environment could have a huge impact on your career path.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
An important step in upgrading your professional image is to start thinking of yourself as a brand. Your online profiles should reinforce your brand, as well as broaden your opportunities for advancement. When it comes to personal social media platforms, keep them as clean as you’d expect a jobseeker would. If, for some reason, you want to post risky content, then make sure your profile is set to private, and never let coworkers follow you. LinkedIn is a great way to bolster your relationships with colleagues and create new connections. Even if you’re planning on staying at your company for the foreseeable future, updating your profile regularly will allow your coworkers to see your achievements and skills.
Keeping it a “Professional” Casual
The shift from business professional to casual does not mean you should show up to work every day in a ragged t-shirt. No matter how casual your office is, it’s a good idea to invest in high-quality attire that can be worn exclusively at work. Not only will that ensure your clothes remain clean and stain free, but it will also help you separate the office from home. When it comes to grooming, a casual office allows for a much more diversity in your routine. While it’s perfectly fine to grow a beard, make sure you keep it neat with proper products.
Focus on Your Body Language
Slouching over at your desk can give your coworkers and managers subconscious signals that you’re bored or unchallenged at work. Body language that does not convey a manner of professionalism, even in a casual environment, can make you seem less knowledgeable and passionate. Improving your posture, eye contact, and handshake are just a few ways to send out positive indicators that you are confident and sharp. For a full list of ways to improve your body language, click here.
Ask for Constructive Criticism
Before you start working on improving your professional image, it helps to seek out constructive criticism from both your peers and advisers. It’s easy to fall into small, negative habits that have an impact on how you’re perceived at work. Having a trusted coworker or manager point out bad habits will not only help draw attention to them but can also aid in holding you accountable for breaking them.