Read the article in-full above and my response to them below, before proceeding to read the rest of this…
Yes, I am in an uproar. This article by Ms. Paquette (who appears to be a “champion” for the female race) has happened to write a piece that in no way offers solutions, to what is not even necessarily a U.S. epidemic. Being a long-time writer myself, I understand that much of what gets written is based on external factors, such as PR pitches, payment for mention, need to make article quota, etc. However, it’s this sense of urgency, this selfish need to make sure the article gets in for the day, that it inadvertently contributes to the increased distrust, hostility, undue anger, stress, and emotional strain of the already (seemingly) fragile human race. While news writing has always had an “angle” to spark reader’s interest (and I’ve seen things created out of thin air to divert away from a sensitive story), it also used to have a sense of responsibility to properly educate.
SO… I’m going to pick up where my fellow writer fell off. I’m going to provide proper solutions that not only gain confidence internally, but instill it within the potential employer as well. Note that this leans towards females (including transgender), as it was pretty clear who this article focused on.
- KNOW YOUR SHIT, or at least appear to. The number one rule to exuding confidence is your ability to demonstrate/speak to how you are able to perform what is asked of the job; offering ways in which you can bring additional value they might have not necessarily recognized as a need; and promoting your level of professionalism, i.e. being kind/friendly but knowing boundaries of personal life vs. professional life. I’ve never seen someone not get a job because they had all three down to a tee but were five+ pounds overweight (insert eye roll). In fact, their internal beauty radiates outward.
- Cut out the defensive/sheepish language. I was given a hugely valuable piece of advice years ago: “Stop using words and phrases like ‘just’, ‘basically’, ‘umm’, and ‘I’m sorry’ (unless you really did do something).” Not only has it drastically improved my presentation skills and sales pitches, it’s also instilled a much greater sense of confidence in me, as customers and coworkers alike are responding in a much more positive manner. See some examples of what these words look like in phrases below:
- “I just wanted to see if…” or “I just thought…” instead, use “I wanted to see if…” or “I think that…”
- “So basically I’m calling because…” or “Basically this is about…” instead, use “I’m calling because…” or “This is about…”
- “Ummm… as you can see here…” or “I… ummm… wanted to speak with you today…” instead, use “As you can see here, on this chart…” or “I am here to speak with you on…”
- “I’m sorry if this eats into your day…” or “If this creates more work, I’m sorry…” instead, use “I recognize this will eat into your day however…” or “I recognize this may create more work however…”
- Feel good, look good. Seriously. I don’t care what race, shape, age, etc. If YOU feel good, YOU WILL look good! I used to volunteer my lunch hour to teach women (who were entering the workforce, after living in a halfway house for abused women and children), on the basics of professional appearance. I didn’t conform them to one sense of style, but more general tips of appropriate dress and body language, as well as personal grooming. Some of them are below:
- Dress to your body type. No one, of any shape and size, should be wearing tight-fitting clothing to work, period. Beautiful skirt (to the knee) and pant suits are made in all sizes, and in all fabrics, and in all price ranges. Paired with a print top, and it draws the eyes away from any features you would like to de-accentuate.
- Personal grooming. Wearing makeup or not is a personal choice for sure. Instead, my advice was on ensuring cleanliness, a good night’s rest, and plenty of water that morning (okay, and a coffee as well). What always got a laugh was, “Don’t roll out of bed and go to the interview! Treat it as though you were about to go on an exciting date.”
- Sit up straight and keep an open stance. I’ve seen people slouch down in interviews, like they are sitting through a class. Sitting up straight not only improves posture, it keeps you awake! In regards to an open stance, do not fold your arms over your chest, and do not interlock fingers if you need to put your hands together. Instead, you may place one hand on top of the other, or gently have one hand, on top of a slightly closed fist.
With all of this in mind, sometimes, we need to practice. Or, we might need a coach! Below I’ve listed some wonderful resources to contact, should you need help with style, or professional coaching!
- Lauren Rothman – Style Auteur – She’s the author of Style Bible, and a stylist to many of the who’s who in the U.S.
- Kelley Kirchberg – Divine Style – Famed for her fabulous charitable fashion shows, and know-how on making women feel beautiful, Kelly has increasingly gained traction with women everywhere!
- April Firoozabadi – MyDCStyle – April has a highly trained eye. She can take one look at you, and immediately know what colors, cuts, fabrics, and styles will look best on you.
- Emily Silva – Souls Adventures – I can’t think of a more wonderful person to have as a personal and professional coach, than Emily! She’s fearless, confident, and beautiful inside and out. A few years ago, she left her sales profession to become a full-time life and career coach, author, and adventurer; and has never had to look back! Her life and professional experiences, via the help of self-reflection and meditation, have led her to follow her heart of helping others. One session with her, and you’re left feeling more confident, in control, and with a much better sense of self! (Yes, she can do virtual sessions.)
For the sake of promoting internal beauty, I have not listed out more cosmetic contacts I have available. If you are interested in any cosmetic contacts, whether it be for personal headshot, makeup tutorials, hair styling, esthetic work, etc., please reach out to me, and I am happy to share my list!