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  • We’ve all received an email that rubbed us the wrong way. This may not have been intentional, but it still happened.

    Email is an essential part of the modern workplace, but it can be a tough way to communicate. You’re not talking to someone face-to-face, which means they can’t read your body language or hear your tone. This can lead to a lot of misinterpretation.

    What you’re trying to say in an email isn’t always received in that way. Certain phrases that you use to mean one thing could mean a totally different thing to your recipient and, as a result, your message could be lost in translation.

    To avoid any misinterpretation, make sure you eliminate these phrases in your work emails…

    “Per My Last Email” 

    via GIPHY

    Do yourself a favor and erase this phrase from your email vocabulary.

    While you may use it to reference something in your last email, it comes off as SUPER passive-aggressive. You’re essentially saying, “Hey, I addressed this in my last email, and you should have looked at it before emailing me a second time.” That’s not leaving a good impression on anyone.

    There are MUCH better ways of getting your point across without coming off as passive-aggressive. For starters, you could simply state your point again, instead of saying “per my last email.” That way, you address the situation directly and your message doesn’t come off the wrong way.

    “Please Advise”

    via GIPHY

    Now, some people may not see this phrase as negative…but hear us out.

    Using this phrase (especially at the end of an email) can give your email the wrong tone. It could come off as a challenge rather than a request. It could also come off as passive-aggressive in the wrong context.

    For example, if you’re elaborating on an issue and put “please advise” at the end, you could come off as saying, “Here’s what I’m doing to try and fix the issue; however, I can tell you don’t agree with it, so tell me your opinion on what I should do.” That’s not a good tone to set with anyone.

    Grammarly offers some great alternatives to this phrase. See if you can use one of those in an email instead of “please advise.” However, if you must use it, be sure to set it up properly and set the right tone.

    “To Reiterate” 

    via GIPHY

    This phrase is simply unnecessary and can come off as a bit rude, especially if you put it in the first email to someone.

    Think about it. If you’re typing “to reiterate” in an email, it’s because you assume the recipient didn’t understand your message the first time. When you use this phrase, you’re basically saying, “I know you didn’t understand this, so here it is AGAIN.”

    This phrase can rub people the wrong way, especially if you use it in the first email to someone. Give them the chance to read your email before assuming they won’t get the point. If they have questions, they’ll send a follow-up email. THAT’S your chance to (nicely and professionally) explain your point again.

    “Prompt Reply”

    via GIPHY

    Look, we get it. You’re a busy person, and sometimes you need a fast reply.

    However, there are other ways to get a fast reply from someone without saying “prompt reply” in your email. How would you feel if you got an email from someone saying, “I look forward to your prompt reply”? You would feel like you’re on the spot, right? It also implies that your matter should take priority over your recipient’s other matters (and that’s not always the case).

    At the end of the day, this phrase can rub people the wrong way. If you need a fast reply from someone, try giving them a call or sending them a message on your company’s instant messaging system instead of emailing them. Chances are, they’ll get back to you faster since your message isn’t stacked in their inbox.

    “Just Checking In”

    via GIPHY

    LOTS of people use this phrase at work. People tend to think this is a lighthearted way to check in on things.

    However, using this phrase when following up at work can do more damage than you think. When you use it, you’re basically saying, “Hey, I noticed you haven’t done your part yet.” You’re checking in on them in a (seemingly) nonchalant way, but trust us, the recipient of your email will see through it. It could really rub them the wrong way, especially since you aren’t being direct about what you want in your email.

    There are plenty of other ways to follow up via email without using the phrase “just checking in,” so please, use one of them next time you’re looking for a status update.

    At the end of the day, it’s important you set the right tone in your work emails. Using the right words in the right context can save you from coming off the wrong way. Having a clear and direct message in emails is crucial for workplace communications, and by eliminating these phrases from your email arsenal, you’ll be a better communicator.

    Need more help with your career and professional etiquette?

    Become a member to learn how to UNLEASH your true potential to get what you want from work!

    This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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  • I love working with recent grads in their job search. After 12 years in school, they are experts at learning—which makes teaching them easier. They’re like sponges. They learn and do. They have no bad job search habits, so teaching them is fun because I get to see their reaction when they get positive results for the first time.

    The difficult part? Job search for college grads stinks right now.

    I already knew things were bad. I deal with it on a regular basis when helping new grads find jobs. In fact, I can read their minds. That’s because, after graduation, there are four things that make graduates really, really mad. My job is to help them get past the anger and get hired.

    If you know a recent college grad, please pass these 11 job search commandments on to them. If you are a recent college grad, take notes. These commandments are laws to live by in the next six months as you embark on your next big challenge: landing a job.

    1. I Will Not Compare Myself To My Friends

    Young professional at his first job out of college

    No two graduates are the same. Each has different skills, abilities, needs, and wants. Just because your friend gets a new job doesn’t mean he or she is better than you. Keep the blinders on and focus on your job search, not theirs.

    Jealousy is a useless emotion that derails a job search. Besides, your friend might be able to help you get a job. It’s in your best interest to be genuinely happy for them!

    2. I Will Not Take The Summer Off

    Young woman on phone conducts a job search in the summer after college

    Don’t delay your job search. Employers see it as acting entitled and lazy. Get in gear—right now! Trust me, you aren’t going to find a job in the next two weeks. And job search isn’t a full-time gig.

    Carve out time every day to work on your job search and you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy the summer. Before the temperature cools down, turn your job search success up! It’s about working smarter, not harder.

    3. I Will Not Spend Weeks Designing My Resume

    College student / young professional on laptop stresses about writing his resume

    Your resume isn’t going to get you the job. Networking is.

    Don’t waste time trying to make your resume perfect. At this stage in your career, there just isn’t that much you can put on it to impress employers. The “wow” factor will come from you being smart, articulate, and engaging—which doesn’t come through on paper. You have to meet people to make that happen.

    4. I Will Learn To Network…Fast!

    Group of interns / young professionals networking/meeting at work

    Networking is the most powerful way to get hired. Yet most recent grads assume because they’ve never worked they have no one to network with. Wrong!

    People love helping recent grads. Learn to “informational interview” and set up as many as you can. The sooner you learn to network, the sooner you get hired.

    5. I Will Not Expect Too Much Of My First Job

    Recent college grad on her first day at a new job

    Most recent college grads feel they’re overqualified for many of the entry-level jobs posted. However, most employers feel you’re not, and may even have unrealistic expectations for an entry-level position.

    The hard reality is you don’t have the work experience for anything but entry-level jobs. The sooner you take an entry-level job and work at it for six months, the sooner you can start applying to the more exciting jobs that are currently out of your reach.

    6. I Will Remember That EVERY Job Is Temporary

    Young professional thinks about the job search after college

    While the entry-level job you take will not be your dream job, that’s okay because you won’t be there very long. You’ll either excel in the job and get promoted or get experience and be able to apply for a better job.

    “Every job is temporary,” is one of our mantras at Work It DAILY, which is why you always have to improve and work on your career every day. Whether you’re looking for your first job or a new one, you need to keep that mindset. It will pay off, we promise.

    7. I Will Study Up On Workplace Professionalism As Much As I Can

    Recent college grad goes in for a job interview and shakes hands with the hiring manager

    The number one complaint corporate America has about recent grads is their perceived lack of professionalism. Read up on attire, attitude, verbal communication style, and so on. The more prepared you are, the better the first impression you’ll make.

    8. I Will Be Very Careful In My Written Communication Style

    Recent college grad applies for jobs online

    The number two complaint corporate America has about recent grads is their poor written communication skills. Spelling, grammar, and so on.

    Be very careful when writing cover letters, emails, and any other written communication related to your job search. One typo can get you disqualified!

    9. I Will Expect Rejection (A Lot Of It)

    Recent college grad gets a job rejection and is stressed about her job search

    You’ll apply to dozens of jobs and have as many as 10 interviews before getting an offer. There is a learning curve to getting hired, and it happens with practice.

    Expect to get passed over for jobs and learn to cope with the rejection. The sooner you can pick yourself up and get back to the job search, the sooner you’ll get another interview and eventually an offer.

    10. I Will Become A “Professional” User Of Social Media

    Group of college students on their phones looking at social media

    For the last four years, social media has been used for your enjoyment. Now, it’s time to use it for the job search.

    Clean up the Facebook page and Instagram account, get yourself set up on LinkedIn, and study how people are using Twitter and TikTok to meet hiring managers. Use social media to build an online presence that when searched by a recruiter (and trust us, they will look you up online), what they’ll find is a recent grad who’s clearly ready to enter the workforce.

    A strong social media presence can literally land you a job interview. Engage in best practices for social media to advance your career.

    11. I Will Not Brag About My New Job When I Finally Get It

    Young professional on phone and laptop finds out she got a job after college

    Getting your first job will be thrilling. I mean over-the-top incredible. That being said, refrain from posting the good news all over the internet and making it your first topic of conversation with friends. Why? Go back to commandment number one.

    Remember: you’ll be surrounded by people who haven’t gotten their first job and will be jealous. Be the bigger person and keep a low profile on the new gig. Of course, if asked, you can share the good news, but do your best to redirect the conversation after that.

    Show how humble you are. You just never know at some future date that person could remember your gracious attitude and be willing to help you get your next job because of it. The friends you make now will be the colleagues you network with in the future. Treat them kindly and it will pay off in the long run.

    Follow the commandments above and your job search will be less painful and more effective. And keep this list handy as a reminder you will make it through. You can do this!

    Need more help with your job search?

    Become a member to learn how to land a job and UNLEASH your true potential to get what you want from work!

    This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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  • Business etiquette refers to the set of rules and expectations that employees are encouraged to follow in the workplace. It is the standard of behavior a person must uphold in a professional setting. For young and seasoned professionals alike, knowing the correct business etiquette can be difficult, especially when every work environment is different. How can you improve your business etiquette and stand out for your professionalism in any workplace?

    We recently asked our leading executives for their best tips on how to improve business etiquette.

    Here are their responses…

    Michael Willis, Sports Business Operations Executive

    Business etiquette is a set of manners accepted or required in a business setting that promotes a mutually respectful atmosphere and improves communication, which helps an office to remain productive and cohesive.

    It’s often upheld by custom but should be enforced by the company’s HR department. HR should set the tone as to what is acceptable and what is not. A written policy should spell out what is good behavior in the office. Also, a mandatory, in-person, seminar-type meeting should focus on office business etiquette.

    Improving your business etiquette can have a positive impact on your career.

    Remember to use common courtesy and pleasantries such as:

    1. Use please and thank you.
    2. Addressing others such as Mr., Mrs., Miss, and Ms.
    3. Using a pleasant tone.
    4. Maintaining eye contact.
    5. Offering a firm and confident handshake.
    6. Watch your body language.
    7. Dress for success.
    8. Keep the conversation on track.

    Violators of business etiquette are considered offensive and should be dealt with swiftly. Depending on the severity of the infraction, a punishment or termination of employment will be determined.

    Unprofessional conduct could look like this:

    1. Being under the influence at work.
    2. Misusing company funds.
    3. Engaging in sexual harassment.
    4. Showing a lack of respect for superiors, peers, and subordinates.
    5. Using foul language.
    6. Publicly degrading the organization.
    7. Engaging in divisive gossip.
    8. Violating confidentiality.
    Michael Willis has 18+ years of experience working with accounting & sports organizations and has managed P&Ls of $10M – $125M+ with budgets of $3M-$50M+. He worked for the NFL for 22 1/2 years, mainly with the game officials working on the financial/accounting side of the business.

    Ana Smith, Leadership Development & Learning Strategist

    Professionals in a meeting exhibit good business etiquette

    In the fast-paced and interconnected global business landscape, executives play a pivotal role in shaping relationships, making critical decisions, and driving success. To thrive in this environment, it is essential that executives exhibit exemplary global business etiquette. Here are a few of the recommendations specifically tailored for executives which, in my experience, help ensure impactful leadership, successful international collaborations, and relationship building.

    1. Cultivate Cultural Intelligence: Executives operating at a global level must possess cultural intelligence to navigate diverse markets and work effectively with international teams. In order to achieve this, some of the key considerations are:

    • Invest in cross-cultural training: Enroll in programs that provide insights into different cultures, customs, and business practices.
    • Embrace diversity in your team: Foster an inclusive work environment that encourages diversity of thought and perspective.
    • Develop strong listening skills: Actively listen and seek to understand different cultural viewpoints, adapting your leadership approach accordingly.

    2. Communicate with Clarity and Sensitivity: Effective communication lies at the core of successful global business interactions. As an executive, you must prioritize clear and sensitive communication strategies. Consider the following:

    • Tailor your message: Adapt your communication style to suit the cultural background of your audience, employing appropriate language and tone.
    • Be mindful of non-verbal cues: Understand the impact of non-verbal communication, such as body language and gestures, which may vary across cultures.
    • Leverage technology effectively: Utilize communication tools that bridge geographical gaps and ensure smooth virtual interactions with global stakeholders.

    3. Lead by Example in Ethical Conduct: Executives must exemplify strong ethical conduct to build trust and credibility in global business relationships. Upholding high ethical standards ensures sustainable success. I share these practices for your consideration:

    • Promote a culture of integrity: Embed ethical values within the organizational framework and encourage ethical decision-making at all levels.
    • Respect local regulations and laws: Familiarize yourself with the legal and regulatory frameworks of the countries you operate in, adhering to them rigorously.
    • Prioritize transparency: Communicate openly, honestly, and transparently with stakeholders, fostering trust and long-term partnerships.

    4. Develop Global Networking and Relationship-Building Skills: Networking and relationship-building are crucial for executives to forge strong partnerships and seize international business opportunities. Here’s how you can enhance your networking skills:

    • Attend global industry events: Participate in conferences, seminars, and trade shows to connect with key influencers and decision-makers from around the world.
    • Cultivate personal connections: Build authentic relationships by demonstrating genuine interest in others’ work and seeking opportunities to collaborate and support one another.
    • Leverage digital platforms: Utilize social media and professional networking platforms to expand your global network, engage with thought leaders, and stay updated on industry trends.

    Ana Smith helps people & organizations achieve their full talent potential by developing and co-creating people strategies and customized solutions, and turning them into impactful outcomes and collaborative relationships, using coaching as the “red thread.”

    Kathryn Marshburn, Artist & Label Partnerships

    Professionals with good business etiquette attend a Zoom meeting

    Improving and establishing your business etiquette can sometimes be tough to understand. Depending on what’s appropriate depends on the company’s culture. Additionally, meeting etiquette rules hold you to a high standard of behaving appropriately and in a way that is also matched by your team and your colleagues.

    Maintaining a high standard of professional etiquette in all settings and exuding respect is the essence of amazing leadership. I’ve been known for a very kind, caring, thoughtful style of management that includes a few details when it comes to business interactions. Today I’d like to focus on Zoom etiquette and email etiquette.

    Zoom Etiquette

    Like many colleagues during the early days of the pandemic, there were huge adjustments happening to life on Zoom. Now working fully remote with much time behind us, you can now see there are a few things that we learned that will help us establish exceptional executive etiquette:

    1. Keep your video on most of the time. It’s really nice to see everybody when you’re speaking as a team. That helps you to connect and it feels very collaborative. If other people are giving presentations or webinars, it’s definitely acceptable to turn off your camera, but otherwise try your very best to look nice and presentable and turn the camera on with the mic off.

    2. Be on time. Especially if you are the host, try to get there early as no one else can get started until the host is in place.

    3. When in doubt, mute. If you’d like to be a polite Zoomer, try to get used to the mute button. It’s easy to mute yourself when you attend the meeting as a guest. It’s just simply an amazing professional courtesy.

    4. Find the camera. Best practices of effective face-to-face communication still apply on Zoom. For example, eye contact. Even though it’s virtual, it’s still an effective way to create a feeling of connection. The camera can be located by looking for a small green light at the top of your laptop or your monitor. Remind yourself to look at the green light and not at the pictures on the screen.

    5. Prepare your setting. I am a fan of ring lights and proper lighting as it enhances your overall presentation. Most meetings are recorded and it’s a good idea to invest in great lighting.

    Email Etiquette

    It’s important for business or personal use to properly initiate a few simple tips to ensure effective and appropriate communication through email, as not all corporate cultures are the same.

    I’ve had the opportunity to work for many modern companies such as EA, Spotify, and others, which each address their business culture differently. From explaining the tone and code of music industry communication styles when dealing with labels, artist teams, or third-party platforms to the usage of certain colors of font and style for types of written text. I’ve seen style guides for internal usage and company training slides for creative responses to the use of emojis and conservative formal environments that require a basic professional written style.

    Here are a few tips for email professionalism:

    1. Company Style & Culture: With a little bit of digging, you should be able to locate your company’s style guide and/or inner office communication standards. They should outline the formality for which your corporation chooses to execute email communications. This can range from companies that prefer for you to use emojis in the text of the email, to casual use of speaking styles, to making sure that all communication is in one specific font with no variations. Some companies can demand a more strict formality to emails and more formal greetings/closings, etc. You can quickly see how important it is to understand your company’s culture and how they prefer to communicate. It’s always a good idea to look at previous emails or department emails to see the flow and style of language used for each team.

    2. Forwarding Emails: This should be handled with great care and caution. Asking the permission of the sender if you may forward the email is an amazing example of great business etiquette. Posting or forwarding private emails can be a copyright infringement, not to mention downright rude, so you do need to gain permission from the author first. When you are sending emails that may contain emotional content, be careful what is put in writing as sometimes picking up the phone or setting up a Zoom call is a much better option. A good rule of thumb, although somewhat formal, is to remember that emails can always end up in court. So while you’re typing them, keep in mind whatever you put in writing could end up in front of a judge. Think of your business email as though it was your business letterhead and you’ll never go wrong.

    3. Emotionally Charged Emails or Responses: Consider typing up your response and saving it as a draft and reviewing it the next day before you send it. It is never a good idea to appear emotional in emails, and while some soft openings such as “Hiya,” “Helloooo,” or “Hey” may be ok for casual cultures, it may not be ok for others. When responding to controversial emails, stay conservative and professional.

    And finally, type unto others as you would have them type unto you!

    Hope these tips are helpful and improve your professional etiquette!

    Kathryn Marshburn has spent 12+ years in the music and gaming industries guiding teams on identifying targeted goals with an agile approach resulting in driving revenue and reducing risk.

    Lisa Perry, Global Marketing Executive

    Professional woman with good business etiquette shakes hands with a business partner

    In today’s competitive business landscape, mastering proper business etiquette is essential for establishing strong professional relationships, fostering a positive corporate image, and achieving long-term success. Every interaction contributes to your professional presence, from effective communication to respectful conduct. Let’s look at some practical tips and strategies to enhance your business etiquette and ensure you leave a lasting impression in the corporate world.

    Cultivate Active Listening Skills: One of the fundamental aspects of business etiquette is active listening. Practice attentive listening by maintaining eye contact, nodding to show engagement, and refraining from interrupting others. Truly hearing and understanding others’ perspectives fosters effective communication, promotes collaborative problem-solving, and demonstrates respect. You can build stronger relationships and foster a positive work environment by giving your undivided attention to colleagues, clients, and business partners.

    Respect Personal and Cultural Differences: In today’s diverse workplaces, it is crucial to be mindful of personal and cultural differences. Treat everyone respectfully and sensitively, regardless of background, beliefs, or values. Avoid making assumptions or judgments based on stereotypes. Familiarize yourself with cultural norms and practices, especially when conducting business internationally. By embracing diversity and practicing inclusivity, you create an environment that values and respects everyone’s contributions, fostering creativity and collaboration.

    Master Effective Communication: Clear and concise communication is vital for success in any professional setting. Pay attention to your verbal and written communication skills, ensuring your messages are articulate, professional, and easily understood. Tailor your communication style to suit the audience and the medium used: face-to-face conversations, email, or presentations. Practice professional email etiquette by using proper salutations, maintaining a polite tone, and proofreading for grammar and spelling errors. Effective communication helps avoid misunderstandings, builds credibility, and strengthens professional relationships.

    Practice Professionalism in Appearance and Behavior: Your appearance and behavior play a significant role in projecting professionalism. Dress appropriately for your industry and work environment, reflecting the desired level of formality. Maintain proper hygiene and grooming standards, ensuring a clean and polished appearance. Be punctual for meetings and appointments, and respect others’ time by honoring deadlines. Maintain a positive attitude, remain calm under pressure, and handle conflicts gracefully and professionally. By consistently embodying professionalism, you inspire confidence in others and enhance your reputation.

    Show Appreciation and Gratitude: Expressing gratitude and appreciation is a hallmark of excellent business etiquette. Acknowledge and recognize the contributions of colleagues, subordinates, and business partners. Offer sincere compliments, send thank-you notes, or express gratitude in person for their efforts and achievements. Celebrate milestones and successes as a team, fostering a positive and motivated work environment. Demonstrating gratitude strengthens professional relationships and fosters a culture of appreciation.

    Improving business etiquette is a continuous journey that can significantly enhance your professional presence and contribute to your success.

    Lisa Perry helps companies build leadership brands, driving loyal customers & delivering profitability. She does this through a process that builds brands consumers love. Her goal is to help companies develop, monetize, and grow their brands.

    What are your best tips for improving business etiquette? Join the conversation inside Work It Daily’s Executive Program.

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  • Everyone has a professional presence. The question is, do you have a good one? As a professional, your reputation is as important as your skills and experience. Your professional presence is your reputation, what people think when you walk into a room. Developing good professional presence is essential for success. No matter what industry you’re in, good professional presence can open the door to new opportunities and pave the way for raises and promotions.

    We recently asked our successful executives what defines good professional presence.

    Here are their responses…

    Michael Willis, Sports Business Operations Executive

    The three main ingredients in any executive presence are:

    1. Confidence
    2. Clarity
    3. Credibility

    Confidence – The most shining part of executive presence is gravitas—how you act. It means that you show up as inspiring, trustworthy, and capable.

    From the start, you must show that you have substance and authority in your talents, knowledge, and skills.

    Leaders with gravitas show grace under fire. They are great at handling adversity with a cool head, letting others know that any crisis can be taken.

    Clarity – People with poise have a way of talking that transparently engages people.

    Executives who have complete command over the goals that need to be reached can communicate and break down elements of the tasks into step-by-step instructions.

    Leaders who can communicate effectively develop a personal brand for delivering information.

    Credibility – Is the quality of being trusted and believable. In working in the sports business, credibility is paramount.

    If fans lose confidence that the games are unfair and non-equitable, the NFL loses the core part of the business—the game.

    Michael Willis has 18+ years of experience working with accounting & sports organizations and has managed P&Ls of $10M – $125M+ with budgets of $3M-$50M+. He worked for the NFL for 22 1/2 years, mainly with the game officials working on the financial/accounting side of the business.

    Maria Grandone, Director In Higher Education

    Professional woman/executive/leader with good professional presence sits at her desk

    Good professional presence requires good personal skills that can help you succeed in your career as well as your personal life.

    • Be present – living a life of purpose one must be intentional, passionate, and connected and show that you care.
    • Be open to learning – lifelong learners are eager to learn to advance their skills, try new things, and even learn from their mistakes. Failing forward develops your character—failing 100 times and getting up 200 times is key.
    • Positive attitude – helps facilitate a good work environment and can inspire others to feel the same. This can-do attitude helps others positively contribute to innovation and find solution-oriented opportunities.

    I believe you give 100+ percent. Show up, engage, collaborate, and connect with the team. In higher education, it is critical to model the way and inspire a vision that allows for success.

    Maria Grandone is dedicated to student access and success, particularly of underrepresented students in higher education. She loves to wake up early to meditate, go for an early morning run, and meet people from all walks of life.

    Kathleen Duffy, Founder, CEO, And President Of Duffy Group

    Professional/leader with good professional presence talks during a work meeting

    A professional presence is your image, your mission, your passion, your values, and your vision. It’s not a logo, a resume, or a profile on LinkedIn or other social media channels. It’s the story of how you solve problems and improve morale or service vs. your credentials—degree or job title.

    Developing a strong professional presence can help showcase who you are—your skills, expertise, and passion. It provides a platform for you to establish credibility, helps you inspire and succeed, and establishes you as a thought leader in your field.

    There are a few key tenets to keep in mind:

    • Be authentic, representing exactly who you are.
    • Be compelling, so people will want to take notice.
    • Be consistent across all channels of communication.
    • Be transparent—no secrets.
    • And be visible. After all, what good is a strong professional presence if nobody can find you?

    Kathleen Duffy is the founder, CEO, and president of Duffy Group. The company’s vision is to elevate recruitment research as an alternative to contingent and retained search. Since its founding, Duffy Group has been a remote workplace and a culture of work/life harmony.

    Sharon Grace, Executive Recruiter

    Professional/leader listens to a coworker during a work meeting

    As a seasoned executive recruiter, I have advised many hiring executives and candidates on their image. Professional presence includes feeling and looking your best, embracing a positive mindset, communicating effectively, and being likable. It would help if you gave people reasons to want to meet with you and build a relationship. I suggest six tips when improving one’s professional presence.

    1. Take care of yourself. The benefits of practicing good health and wellness are endless. Being mindful of good health keeps our stress levels low and our energy, focus, and positivity high. When you feel good, you look good.
    2. Be present, engaged, and actively listening. Showing up and being intentional is not always easy. Having the right mindset will help you perform better. Be an active listener with a curious attitude to learning.
    3. Be prepared. An action plan with the desired outcome is a time investment well spent.
    4. Communicate thoughtfully, clearly, and effectively. Clear is kind, and being direct, upfront, and honest is essential. Practice being engaged with those you speak with, and do not meet for the sake of meeting; make it a valuable experience.
    5. Speak in the way you want to be heard. Think before speaking and be in the right mindset. Know your audience.
    6. Look good and take an interest in your appearance. Dressing appropriately is always in style, and never forget to know who your audience is.

    Sharon Grace is a veteran search executive who helps hiring leaders hire great people because of her proven track record as a strategic partner and advisor to recruit, identify and assess talent.

    Kathryn Marshburn, Music Program Manager

    Professionals/executives/businesspeople with good professional presence shake hands

    Professional presence in the music industry is different than other industries. As a female executive in the music industry, earning respect is essential and requires putting in the time with teams that are highly sought after and in demand.

    Professional presence starts with social media checks and ends with teams liking you.

    Many times, just showing up is crucial because the teams, artists, and bands that connect with you personally provide roadmaps to other connections. That said, a few basics that are important include:

    1. Always have exceptional phone manners when receiving invites and say less and listen more.
    2. Show up in appropriate fashion for the moment. (Studios, events, and carpet opportunities require completely different looks.)
    3. Humble, humble, humble would be the word for the night. Be grateful that you are in attendance and thank the host.
    4. Be professional. Do not take pictures or videos when not invited. Keep all time spent as a professional in an invited space.
    5. Do not overindulge in any substance.

    If I love a project or something I want to do, I don’t do it for money. I do it because I love it. If the budget isn’t there, I’ll make it work for me and throughout my career. I think that’s been a consistent theme. I hear all day long that peers will turn down jobs because the money is not right. Some people will throw away opportunities because of the pay. That’s just not how I do business as so many opportunities happen from just being in the room.

    To be invited into successful circles, your presence is important no matter what industry you are in, and making sure that you are providing an attractive, positive image is always on trend.

    Kathryn Marshburn has spent 12+ years in the music and gaming industries guiding teams on identifying targeted goals with an agile approach resulting in driving revenue and reducing risk.

    Ana Smith, Talent Architect & Global Learning Strategist

    Young professionals talk during a work meeting

    ​According to multiple surveys, over 60% of organizations that hire coaches say executive presence is one of the two top purposes for their coaching. Companies see this skill’s value and want their leaders to lead with a strong presence!

    So, if it is so critical, what is it? It is defined in different ways for sure, depending on who you ask, yet the definition that I typically go to combines:

    • Character
    • Personality
    • Credibility

    And these probably include a wide variety of possible combinations which generate a successful “executive presence.” The result is a leader who can command the attention of a room and immediately draw you into their vision and who is set apart from others, allowing you to establish a reputation of respect and knowledge.

    Companies and leaders may already know that executive presence is important, but it isn’t a skill that comes naturally for a lot of people.

    It takes some time to develop and refine.

    So, the most important question is, how can you develop it yourself?

    1. Be self-aware and spend time with other executives you admire. By studying yourself and others, you can train yourself through hard work and discipline.
    2. Inspire your direct reports through clarity and intentional communication, taking the initiative and being a role model for them by keeping a journal, etc. Writing down your goals, plans, and priorities can also help you better understand your emotions and encourage regular self-reflection!
    3. Build relationships, which helps you to connect with others and build trust. By building strong relationships with colleagues, clients (internal and external), and other key stakeholders, you can establish yourself as a leader who is approachable and respected.
    4. Create AND share a clear, compelling vision. One of the most inspiring forms of executive presence is to inspire and share a compelling vision for others to see and follow.
    5. Build trust across different stakeholder groups (i.e., direct reports, peers, next level up, etc.) by keeping your work, and taking the necessary time to build and earn trust.

    Building executive presence is probably one of the most complicated things to do in leadership development, therefore don’t forget to get a coach, a mentor, and several peers who will be willing to support your development as you will support theirs!

    Ana Smith helps people & organizations achieve their full talent potential by developing and co-creating people strategies and customized solutions, and turning them into impactful outcomes and collaborative relationships, using coaching as the “red thread.”

    Marshall Martin, Director Of Operations

    Businesspeople with good professional presence shake hands and talk during a work meeting

    Developing a good professional presence is crucial for success in any industry. It is not just about having the right skills and knowledge, but also about presenting oneself in a positive and effective manner. Good professional presence is defined by a combination of qualities, such as:

    • Passion is the driving force behind a person or organization’s work and is essential in creating a positive impact. It exudes optimism and a can-do attitude.
    • Integrity is fundamental in demonstrating honesty, ethical behavior, and trustworthiness. It is essential for building trust and credibility with colleagues and clients alike.
    • Generosity involves giving back to others and contributing to the community. Whether through sharing knowledge or supporting others with our time, talents, and treasure, generosity fosters strong and healthy relationships.
    • Gratitude is recognizing and expressing appreciation for others’ contributions. It contributes to creating a positive work culture.
    • Authenticity is being true to oneself and one’s values, maintaining a sense of transparency and honesty in all interactions.

    Overall, good professional presence requires intentional effort and self-awareness. By embodying these qualities, individuals can establish themselves as respected and trusted leaders, achieving success and making a positive impact on those around them.

    Marshall Martin is a former executive with start-up/entrepreneurial and large multi-national organizations with 20+ years of experience in the delivery of sales, finance, and operations management. His mission is to be a servant leader that connects, creates, and builds innovative ideas and solutions.

    Percy Leon, Digital Media Content Executive

    Man with good professional presence at work

    ​In today’s competitive business world, having a good professional presence is essential for success. Here are some key characteristics that I feel contribute to a strong professional presence:

    • Confidence: A good professional presence is characterized by confidence. This means having the self-assurance to speak up, take risks, and make decisions. When you exude confidence, others will be more likely to trust and respect you.
    • Communication skills: Communication is an essential part of building a strong professional presence. This includes not only speaking clearly and articulately but also being a good listener and able to communicate effectively in writing.
    • Professionalism: Professionalism is another key characteristic of a good professional presence. This means being reliable, respectful, and trustworthy in your interactions with others. It also means dressing appropriately for the situation and being punctual.
    • Emotional intelligence: Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and those of others. This is essential for building strong relationships with colleagues and clients.
    • Competence: Finally, a good professional presence is characterized by competence. This means having the skills and knowledge necessary to do your job well and being willing to learn and adapt as needed.

    A good professional presence is a combination of confidence, communication skills, professionalism, emotional intelligence, and competence.

    By focusing on developing these characteristics, you can build a strong professional presence that will help you in your career.

    Percy Leon is a digital media content producer specializing in educational technology and entertainment. He is interested in web3, metaverse, and the use of virtual reality for storytelling.

    Lisa Perry, Global Marketing Executive

    Executive/woman with good professional presence at work

    I didn’t know much about professional presence until about 2 ½ years ago when I met J.T. O’Donnell. I took her in-depth course on executive presence and learned that it’s about what people see when they come in contact with us. It’s our ability to project gravitas, confidence, competence, poise under pressure, decisiveness, speaking skills, assertiveness, and the ability to read an audience or situation, among other key characteristics. It enables us to build trust, establish credibility, and accelerate outcomes and results. What defines good executive presence is a personal journey and requires work. And that’s what I’ve been doing over the last several years. I did a deep dive into four areas:

    1. Understand My Strengths, Weaknesses, Talents, & Biases
    2. Explore How Peers, Colleagues, Subordinates, & Leaders Perceive Me
    3. Develop An Action Plan To Enhance Executive Presence
    4. Create A Measurement Plan

    This process was very enlightening, helping me understand where I was undervaluing myself based on feedback from those who have worked with me. As a result, over the last year, I’ve been able to turn around my executive presence based on the action plan I put together, helping me become a more effective leader, build stronger relationships with others, and achieve greater success at work.

    Lisa Perry helps companies build leadership brands, driving loyal customers & delivering profitability. She does this through a process that builds brands consumers love. Her goal is to help companies develop, monetize, and grow their brands.

    John Hoffman, Creative Producer

    Professionals/employees with good professional presence attend a work meeting

    An excellent professional presence is essential for anyone, especially those starting a career path.

    It begins with credibility, being present, paying attention, and inspiring confidence in your colleagues.

    To build credibility, focus on four simple aspects:

    1. Competence – the ability to do something successfully.
    2. Communication – transfer information succinctly.
    3. Integrity – do what you say, say what you do.
    4. Preparedness – be ready.

    Always be willing to learn and improve by asking questions, stepping out of your comfort zone, and being open to feedback. Stay positive, avoid negative language, and have fun. Taking yourself too seriously can be detrimental to your professional presence, so remember to keep it simple and enjoy the journey.

    In closing, pay attention to the positive and ask yourself if your actions are helping or harming the task. Then, do these things and develop a professional presence to set you up for success.

    John Hoffman has 15+ years of leadership experience creating and producing video content, branded entertainment, PR stunts, and experiential and live events. At his core, he’s a storyteller who has mastered the creative map and can scale logistical mountains.

    What do you think defines good professional presence? Join the conversation inside Work It Daily’s Executive Program.

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  • You’re ready to make a change in your career and have secured a new job (hopefully!). Now, it’s time to quit your current job.

    First things first: Unless we’re talking about an extreme circumstance, you should never walk into your boss’ office and say “I quit!” That’s unprofessional and could have severe professional consequences in the future.

    It’s important to maintain your personal brand as a hardworking professional. The way you end this career chapter is part of that brand.

    Here’s how to be professional when you quit your job:

    Give A Proper Notice

    Since we’re talking about being professional, we should probably say “resign” instead of “quit.” If you do things right, you won’t leave the company high and dry. Instead, you’ll give your team proper notice so they can plan accordingly.

    A proper notice of resignation is typically two weeks. Sometimes people are in a position to give a longer notice and sometimes people give a shorter notice, depending on the company policy and what you’ve negotiated for as part of your new job.

    If you’re in a position where you have to give a shorter notice, such as one week, make sure to clearly explain the situation to your boss, apologize for the inconvenience, and ask if there’s anything extra you can do in your last week to help ease their transition.

    Be Polite And Grateful

    Young professional giving resignation to boss during a meeting

    Resignations should always be done in person. That said, you’ll want to have a paper trail to cover your bases if anything happens, so be sure to email your boss your resignation letter immediately following your conversation.

    Once you’re face-to-face with your boss, explain that you felt the time was right to make a change and you came across a new opportunity that you ultimately thought would be a better fit. Be humble and thank your boss for the opportunity to work with the company and wish your boss and company well.

    In many ways, your conversation with your boss will mirror your resignation letter: short and to the point.

    If you have concerns or complaints about the company, avoid airing them out during your resignation. Unless there’s a terrible reason for your leaving that could put others in harm’s way, don’t bring up your drama.

    If your boss asks for feedback, keep it constructive, short, and to the point. If you can offer some minor feedback that may improve the company, then give it a try, but there’s no need to dissect every issue the company may have.

    Finish The Job Strong

    Coworkers talk while they work on a project

    As legendary New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick would say, “Do your job!”

    Just because you’re leaving the company doesn’t mean you should slack off. Continue to work hard and be fully engaged with the job until the very end.

    It’s important to leave the job on a positive note because you want to have some professional references for future job searches.

    In addition, former bosses and colleagues are great people to have in your professional network. You never know when a past professional connection could help you score a new job in the future.

    Be Sure To Say Goodbye

    Woman packs up her desk before leaving her job

    The last day on the job is a good time to sew up future professional references and discuss ways to keep in touch with former co-workers. Some jobs require exit interviews. But if that’s not the case with your job, make an effort to visit your boss one last time.

    It’s a good idea to again express gratitude for the opportunity to work at the company.

    Leave on good terms with as many people as possible.

    Positivity and professionalism are the keys to leaving any job. Jobs are temporary but the legacy you leave behind as an employee remains.

    Whenever possible, you want to enter and leave each opportunity on a positive note because each experience tells a story about yourself as a professional.

    With career changes happening more frequently now, it’s more important than ever to have a strong background of positive experiences with former employers. Follow the tips above to properly quit your job and leave on a good note.

    Need more help with your career & job search?

    We’d love it if you signed up for Work It Daily’s Event Subscription! Get your career questions answered in our next live event!

    This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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