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Image Leadership Workshops: 300+
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Years of Experience: 10+

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The Power of Transformation: Reinventing Your Life

"Janette's international co-authored book"

LATEST POSTS FROM IC's STYLE STUDIO

The Rinse and Repeat Wardrobe For The Professional Woman

Recently, Lisa Wilkinson, co-host of the Today show was called "thrifty" by a Daily Mail Australian reporter for wearing the same blouse twice in 4 months and the same dress 3 days apart.

I'm shocked that someone actually thought this was newsworthy!

When Lisa's co-host, Karl Stefanovic wore the same blue suit on air, two days in a row. Then three. A month ticked by without a ripple. A full year had passed – and he was still wearing the same suit every morning and not one mention by reporters. 

Double standard?

What is shameful about wearing the same blouse multiple times? Isn't that exactly what we should be doing? No-one seems to care that Mark Zuckerberg wears the same t-shirt every single day.

Arianna Huffington celebrates repeats. 

She says that women should feel as comfortable as men repeating outfits. Although social media has only increased the pressure women feel to wear new outfits she suggests that we should harness the power to turn that pressure around and instead pay tribute to repeats and flaunt them, and I couldn't agree more!

Did you know that Australians are throwing away $140 million dollars worth of clothing every year which is going directly to landfill? Knowing this, how can we continue to buy one hit wonders?

I encourage every client to create a simplified versatile wardrobe filled with pieces that can be mixed and matched so that they can be worn time and time again.

Here's one example: A structured peplum top layered with blouses and knits and teamed with pants, jeans or a skirt.

If you are a professional woman who would like to learn how to create a versatile wardrobe that supports your personal brand, then come and join me May 20th at the decadent Sydney Westfield Style Suite.

Click here to register.

See you at the #1 Styling + Branding event for professional women.

Janette

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How Your Personal Brand Evolves During The Three Critical Career Pivot Points

I was recently reading an article published in Kellog School of Management. They suggest that there are three key decision points, or “pivot points,” during a women's career. During these pivot points, women need to make decisions around career choices, goals, and trade-offs.

One such decision women will need to make throughout their career is centred around their personal brand. Our personal brand is not a static web page. As we make the executive transition our brand will evolve taking into account our experiences, passions and interests. It’s no secret that people trust people over companies. So regardless of where your career may take you, your personal brand will be one of the most valuable assets throughout your professional journey.

Let's explore the three pivot points and the role your personal brand may play.

1. The Launch (starting your career well in your 20s and early 30s)

Having run many Campus to Corporate programs as part of our on-boarding process for graduates, generally speaking millennials don't place much emphasis on their personal brand. When I discuss it with them, they often reply with, "Why should it matter what I look like"? Good question, Why should it matter? Isn't it more important to focus on the output? This was my thought process too when I started my corporate career. I was so focused on doing a great job and delivering that I didn't really spend any time thinking about how I was projecting. Luckily for me, dressing the part always came naturally.

The reality is that we all get judged within seconds. Rightly or wrongly this is simply what happens.

As human beings, we have a natural propensity to want to be around people we can relate to, who make us feel comfortable or people who are like us. Leaders naturally chose to surround themselves with people who reminded them of themselves. They feel more comfortable when they're surrounded by people who think like them because it reinforces that their judgments and behaviours are right - This is referred to as Affinity bias.

Question: Can your manager envisage you being promoted to the next level?

Strategy: This is a good time to observe and reflect. Look at others who are one or two levels above you and study them. How do they present themselves, are they consistent, is their brand aligned with their values and how they communicate?

Identify your key values and think about how you can demonstrate those through your actions, image, and how you communicate. Take the brave step to find out what others are thinking. It will help you to investigate and eliminate, any gaps between who you think you are, and how others see you. Then you can start to match your brand with your career goals. Be mindful of your digital footprint and remember you need to look like a leader long before you are one!

2. The Mid-Career Marathon (sustaining focus in your mid-30s and 40s)

This was an exciting and equally challenging time for me during my corporate career. I had to learn how to manage teams, manage up, manage down and somehow get work done amongst all those MEETINGS!

At this point in my career, I recognised the value of having a personal brand. By this stage, I was travelling globally with clients and colleagues, managing team members and working with global business teams. I had to step up and deliver on my brand promise which was to make things happen, always follow through and do it with positivity and energy.

One day the general manager called me into his office and asked me what I thought of the way employees were dressing. I was shocked that he had paid attention to this. At that very moment, I realised that I had a Personal Brand and that it was being noticed.

By this stage of your career, you've refined your communication skills, you have experience, and your level of confidence in your abilities is high.

Question: Have you mapped out your career plan? Is your personal brand built on purpose? Mapping out your career plan will further clarify your personal brand and you'll be able to consistently communicate it both verbally and visually.

Strategy: This is the investment phase. This is where quality over quantity investment pieces rings true. Seek out the services of a Personal Brand specialist / Image Consultant who can give you non-biased feedback on your visual and digital presence. This phase of your career will be hectic so having a wardrobe that is organised and aligned to your leadership image means no more decision fatigue or the possibility of missing opportunities for a promotion.

3. The Executive Transition (taking up the senior-leadership mantle in your late 40s, 50s, and beyond)

Advancement from the operational to the strategic level represents one of the most critical and challenging professional transitions a leader can make. Clearly, your personal brand has worked for you thus far. Most of my clients who are at this stage in their career are looking for unique eye-catching pieces that truly sets them apart. By this point, they have proven themselves, are confident and not afraid to be different.

Question: Have you found a great seamstress/designer? They can create unique pieces that you can't find in a retail store. Fit, fabrication, and quality reign supreme.

Strategy: This is the refinement stage. An Image Consultant can collaborate with you and the seamstress to design unique pieces for you that are in harmony with your colouring, shape, dressing style and personal brand. These pieces will help you command the stage, have your message heard and above all, showcase your brilliance.

If you'd like to learn more about our personal services, click here and book a time to speak with me.

Styling Your Success

Janette


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How To Prepare Your Brand As A Speaker

Do you have "Speaker" listed as part of your job description? 

Officially probably not but the truth is we are all speakers. 

Like most professional women you will be required to step up and speak whether it be on a stage, in a meeting room, at an event, on a podium, in a lecture theatre or pitching to key stakeholders.

There are usually two immediate decisions you need to make when invited to give a talk or present to a group: What am I going to talk about? And what am I going to wear?

For some of you the thought of "What am I going to wear?" can put you in a state of confusion and stress. I've worked with speakers where we have methodically planned out their outfits weeks ahead of schedule but I've also worked with speakers who call me in at the last minute for guidance (virtually the day before, YIKES!!!).

So to help you prepare for those all important speaking opportunities, here are my top five practical tips to help you navigate this great opportunity.

1. Align your personal style to your audience.

Each speaking engagement may require you to alter your personal style depending on your audience and objectives. Select three adjectives that give you a framework of how you want to be perceived. Whilst it's important that you consistently deliver on your personal brand, there will be times that you need to make slight adjustments so that you have impact and influence with your audience. There is a great concept called "Yin/Yang" that I teach my clients who are speakers and those who need to wield influence. Click here for more information.

2. Select your stage outfit.

Ultimately have this action completed one week prior to the event / session. This will allow you ample time to try on your outfit and rehearse. This will also help you visualise yourself in the moment and what you will look and feel like.

Avoid too many stripes, checks, small patterns and bright colours. Block solid colours usually work best. The fit of your clothing is also important. Ensure there are no pulls going across your hips or chest particularly if you will be moving about the stage.

Ensure you know what the background colour is. For example, some TED talks are held in a room with a black background so its best not to wear black otherwise you'll look like you have a disembodied head.

Here are good examples.


Don't forget to consider your accessories. Avoid dangling jewellery that could interfere with microphones. 

3. Make up

Wear powder. Sweating and shiny says to the world that you are nervous and untrustworthy.

4. Don't neglect your shoes

Test and break in your shoes. There would be nothing worse than trying to move around a stage or meeting room in pain. All women reading this post will know exactly what I mean. Don't forget that your shoes could be at eye level with the audience if you are speaking from a stage so make sure the heels and toe are in good repair.

5. Do you have a powerful final statement?

What message do you want to leave the audience with? Remember this is an incredible opportunity to let people know your "WHY" and what you stand for as a person. For me, my message is to help professional women close the leadership gap. Don't waste this moment!

In essence, think of every speaking engagement as an opportunity to create a TED-like talk. It's an opportunity to share your unique message and for your personal and professional brand to gain visibility and authority. Many professional women want to have more visibility and this is a great way to achieve it.

If you are a speaker or your corporate role requires you to do a lot of speaking and you'd like help in crafting your signature style, click here and book a time for us to chat.

Styling Your Success

Janette

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