A New Perspective on Professional Styling, Fashion & Corporate Careers  

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” Anais Nin

Image Source Instagram @graffiterati

This quote rang very true for me this week. After many lockdowns in Victoria, I finally managed to progress with a booking to see Professional Styling expert Samantha La Porte from Style Union StyleUnion.com.au   some time back. While I was reluctant to move forward with it, given like many I am in recovery mode, my initial commitment to the stylist and a desire to support small businesses kicked in.  I found the courage to invest some energy and time in pursuing an uncomfortable area for me being fashion.

How profound an experience it was to have someone who is an expert in their field, feed back to me what my image says about my professional image. To challenge me on how I dress and why, and to provide other fashion perspectives that may be more relevant for me where I am at in my career right now.  So many aspects of our lives are driven by habit, some conscious some unconscious. For me fashion has been one of those. While I like to look neat and professional, I have a somewhat utilitarian view to clothing. Since being a small child, I have had a love of boots and clothing with pockets!  

On the career front I have been privileged to have worked successfully for many years as a coach helping my clients develop their personal brand from an employment perspective, capturing their career stories, their unique value proposition, their career purpose, and goals. My work with clients is often at an intellectual and emotional level.  Not so much on a physical image level.

It was a powerful experience to be on the other end as a client going through effectively an image and emotional coaching experience.  To learn so much about how I approach my clothing choices based on largely unconscious influences and behaviours from my past.  While some have served me well, others not so greatly.

The value of having someone who is an expert in their field, provide an honest and insightful perspective of how they see me visually and the messages this sends to them about my personal brand was confronting. It was uncomfortable however also hugely useful, to help me move out of my comfort zone and challenge some of my thoughts about my image and brand.

I will admit I felt very vulnerable through the experience, and it also seemed somewhat decadent to be spending money on such a service. However, I could also see what a worthwhile time and financial investment I was making in myself and my career.  As someone more analytical and less visual I had glossed over this aspect of personal branding to my own detriment for too long! Not since my twenties have I dedicated such time to the pursuit of fashion and image.   I now have a style summary and know what to look for when I do go shopping, which will ultimately save me time and money. I have cleared out the clothes and shoes no longer serving me, or my brand (with the help of my stylist doing a wardrobe consult) and I do overall feel clearer and more positive about my personal brand going into 2022.

Having had the professional styling experience with Samantha, I do honestly feel better about myself and my visual image. There is a renewed positivity towards clothing, and I am looking forward to taking on the advice and applying it more frequently to my clothing choices and checking in more frequently with how others see and experience my brand on a visual level, not just a technical and emotional level.

Should you wish to explore engaging a Professional Stylist you can find Samantha’s details below. Samantha La Porte , Founder | Style Union Email: samantha@styleunion.com.au Instagram: style.union

So, you want to be a leader? Find out how to transition successfully into a leadership role!

02A15HS9When my coaching clients come to me and say that they want to be a leader. I automatically start to explore the driver for this desire. What actually do they mean by ‘leader’? Is it power to make decision for others, or have authority over others? Is it a title (noun) or a change agent (an adjective) they seek? Or is it just a trend – to be successful you must be a leader?

In the exploration with my clients on this topic I also did some research on the term ‘leader’, ‘executive’ and ‘manager’, producing interesting results. There is no simple descriptor for each of these titles. Therein lies the challenge, or possibly the reason for the confusion. Whilst we speak of leaders do we mean their title/responsibility or do we mean the act of leading (adjective).

Leadership is often misunderstood as being the same as management. Leaders in an organisation need to be able to set strategy for their team/organisation. These roles are there to motivate others and create the organisational culture. Whereas Managers have functional responsibility such as completing a technical task or managing a budget. They may have a team reporting to them who follow instructions set by the manager, who follows the organisational culture.

An Executive role is usually another term for a leadership role or a management role. Executives can be in several roles in an organisation and every organisation tends to have their own language on the hierarchy. Using names like Director, Associates, Senior… etc.

No wonder, the constant demand for new leaders is not satisfied as we are unclear on what we want these ‘leaders’ to do.

If you are seeking a leadership role I suggest that you qualify what you want to achieve as the leader/manager/executive and make sure it agrees with the hiring organisation’s definition before embarking on the role. That way you will be defining your role consistent with the expectations of the organisation.

For those looking to transition into a leadership or executive role, Diversitas offer a comprehensive worksheet to help you define your personal style and create your strategy.

Transitioning to a Leadership_Exercise

Author:
Sue Daniels is a Director of a Career Consulting business and has extensive experience of designing innovative career development programs in the university sector at Melbourne Business School and for the London Business School.  Sue has served seven years on a not for profit board and has a background in international investment management.