In the project-based world of consultant work, the best marketing is employers’ word-of-mouth.
Many consultants expect their work to speak for itself, and yet, there is something to be said for also projecting and maintaining a professional demeanor. Truth be told, the difference between really good work and great work is very thin, and often what clients walk away with is the experience they had working with a consultant.
With that in mind, here are a few ways you make a professional impression on those you work for and work with.
Make sure that you keep up on all documentation and keep you documents in order. Staying organized will not only help you project a professional image, but it will also support your productivity.
You should also be organized in the way that you think. When planning, start with your goal in mind and work backwards. Try to anticipate what you need to be successful in your pursuit and make the necessary preparations.
Being considerate starts with self-awareness; know who you are and where you fit into the world around you. In essence, you should own both your weaknesses and strengths. If you do that, you can make a professional impression by leveraging your strengths, while compensating for your weaknesses.
You should also care about how your words and actions impact others. Nobody will consider you a professional if you are offensive or inconsiderate.
A goal-oriented approach starts with being enthusiastic and confident. There’s no way you’re going to motivate others to achieve shared goals, much less yourself, if you aren’t brimming with enthusiasm. If you find it difficult to be confident about achieving your goals, don’t let it affect your effort and the way you present yourself.
Of course, you must also follow through on your enthusiasm and confidence. If you say something can be done – do it with hard work. Be persistent with yourself and with others about maintain a solid work ethic. Be sure to pay attention to all the small details.
Achieving goals often involves taking some kind of risk. Whether it’s volunteering an idea or trying out a different way of doing things, don’t be afraid to take calculated risks if the rewards are worth it.
Be Real – Within Reason
Professionalism and authenticity go together. Think of it this way: Even the most off-the-wall acting performance is based in some kind of truth.
When you walk into a new job situation, don’t get intimidated by unfamiliar surroundings and try to something you’re not. People often have a way of finding out when others are being phony.
While its’ important to be yourself, that doesn’t mean you should give people the raw, unvarnished you. Avoid controversy and oversharing as people can find them insensitive, and therefore unprofessional.
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