Today we live in a very image-conscious world. In today’s new world everyone, no matter what their career or personal situation, needs to be aware of how they present themselves. Today our images show up everywhere on social media and even in casual business situations like on our Uber accounts and on our Google profile. The reality today is that each of us has to maintain our own personal “brand” in order to stay successful and competitive in the world.
Branding and Image
While in years past we generally would only consider careers like fashion or performance to be areas in which professionals had to maintain a polished public image, today everyone has to stay aware of how they look, dress and speak. Today even professions like medicine and the law require those who practice to maintain a good-looking image, even down to the use of a stylish physician lab coat in clinics and hospitals. Yes, today, doctors can choose from a range of fashionable lab coats to wear at work, which is a big change from the drab looks of yesteryear.
Legal professionals today are expected to dress well too, sometimes going beyond the studied dark suit looks of yesterday and allowing for a few more accessories to be worn in court. Doctors and lawyers now have corporate websites to help potential patients and clients find out about their services. No doubt, much of this change in professional image consciousness is being driven by the changes we are seeing via social media and the ease in which images can be sent.
None of this is to say that this new emphasis on image is a negative thing, it’s just a different approach than was used in the past. People do want to have a personal, positive feeling about the people they will be working with, and in that way the new approach to “branding” (which is just a shorthand way for people to get to know who someone is) is actually positive. No doubt, the more things change, the more they (in some way) stay the same!