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  • Writer's pictureKathy Sazama

Are you being overlooked?

In my career I have had the opportunity to work with professionals from various backgrounds. I have observed how their image could either gain them success or be over looked.  I recall a women that I worked with whom I will call Jane.  When Jane came to see me she was quite upset with the status of her career.  She had worked for this company for 7 years.  A hard worker and desired to climb the corporate ladder within the company.  Unfortunately promotions and pay raises were not happening for her.  She thought if she pursued further education it would position her to be qualified for some of the higher level job openings. Years of work and investing in higher degrees weren’t accomplishing what she hoped for.  Jane also complained at how frustrated she was at home as well.  Her spouse paid no attention to her and the children basically took her for granted. 

Jane’s self-esteem was low.  Over the past few years she paid no attention to her appearance and gained about 20 ponds, wore clothes that were”comfortable” and ill fitting. She paid no attention to her self.

It became clear to me that her professional imprint was in serious need of attention.  Even though Jane was a hard worker she did not look like a leader.  I suspect those who would consider her for higher level positions would rule her out based on how she came across. Was she a good candidate to represent the company?

We addressed her A, B, C, D of her professional imprint.  Carefful consideration to her business attire and paying attention to her personal care.  She worked on her attitude and behavior.  It is important that how you present on the outside is congruent with the inside.  It took time to achieve the changes she needed. 

Jane’s story ended very positive.  She decided to leave the company she had given 7 years to. She interviewed for a position with a competitior that offered her a salary that was almost double her previous income.  Her home life improved greatly as well. I believe that her success is the result of her efforts to imrove her image.

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