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IMAGE CONSULTING
    Photo of Don Sutaria
November-December 2009
 


 
My dear friends, colleagues, clients and students:

Have you ever wondered if you made the right impression after a face-to face interview?

Did you ever tape a mock interview session and reviewed it with or without a professional friend or a career coach?

If you never went through this exercise, you are in for a big surprise when you do so!

This month we are focusing on Image Consulting.

Our book, Career and Life Counseling From the Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!), has received many excellent reviews. Richard Nelson Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute? says:
"Don Sutaria is one of the career counselors I most admire in the U.S. He talks about things other career counselors don't, like "your soul." Now he has written a book I like a lot, with brilliant short chapters you can digest day by day. I recommend it unreservedly to everyone."
This book has been nicknamed as Chicken Soup for Your Career! Take a peek inside this book at Amazon.com before you decide to buy it. It is also available as an e-book from iUniverse.

  Career and Life Counseling From the Heart book cover
Career Doctor Don Answers Your Questions appears as a regular feature in the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) - New Jersey Chapter newsletters. Visit www.ispe.org to read more.

Several of our articles will continue to appear on the website www.biz4NJ.com. The mission of this website is to help garden state business grow.

Money magazine interviewed CareerQuest to give an opinion on what we consider the three top books on job hunting and career counseling. In addition, we supplied a list of six top books which we consider valuable for mid-career doldrums. Look for this article in future issues. We will also alert you.

A gentle reminder—lest we forget! Do not slow down in your job search during the holiday months of November and December. Speed up! Note carefully that other job hunters may have temporarily dropped out of the race for these two months, which gives you a statistical advantage to bag your new job.

And for those of us who still have our jobs and may be evaluated for our work performance during the end of this year, I say, "Beat Your Performance Review to the Punch!" Submit a one-page summary of your accomplishments to your supervisor, at least four weeks prior to your formal performance review. You will be glad you did!

Many of you have asked us if we provide counseling over the telephone and through email, as well as face-to-face counseling. The answer is 'yes' to all questions. Pre-paying with credit cards is very easy. Visit the services page of our website to learn more. You can also view past issues of this newsletter on the archives page.

Several of my colleagues have indicated to me that they have lost the services of their virtual assistants because of economic conditions. If you would like to have some professional work done in a timely manner at a reasonable cost, I would like to recommend Kim Casault of Cruxwire Web. Her website is www.cruxwire.com, and she can be reached at 520-971-3009. Kim resides in Tucson, Arizona.

We want to wish you and your loved ones a very happy Thanksgiving.

Until we meet again through the magic of email, keep your feedback coming.

Peace! Love! Shalom!

Don Sutaria, MS, IE (Prof.)
Founder, President & Life-Work Coach
CareerQuest


 
  DO I NEED AN "IMAGE CONSULTANT"?  
 
You can judge a book by its cover.   True or False?

First impression is the only impression.   True or False?


Well, reader, what do you think?

Regardless of the maxims we have been taught, I would venture to say that we do try to judge a book by its cover and, unfortunately, the first impression is the only impression that is very long lasting. And you only get one chance to make the first impression!

    

I have a confession to make. I did not see an image consultant until I was almost 60 years old, though I thought about it for the previous 10 years! The two-hour session on image consulting was very revealing. I learned a lot.

Curious? I had to lessen some of my hand gestures during talks, less loudness and monotone in my voice, and make a special effort under certain circumstances to appear less aloof and standoffish. The mild sing-song accent is benign and even adds a little charm to my speech! It was suggested that I slow down during speeches and answering questions, create pauses, and appear deliberate and thoughtful. I should not cover too many points in a presentation, a maximum of four, because "less is more!" Occasionally, I should say, "I don't know but I will get back to you." Also, I should make an effort to not appear too serious in many circumstances at work.
Image consulting and subsequent enhancement should not be looked upon as a frivolous expense, but as a long-term investment in yourself, akin to any self-improvement program.
Image, broadly speaking, is the way other people see us. They are perceiving our voice, speech, clothing, style and etiquette. It deeply influences the way people react and respond to us, for better or for worse. It could mean acceding to our requests or hiring us for a better job. Wouldn't you like to increase your score in this area?

Angèle Desgagné, an image consultant in Toronto, Canada, has this to say: "We're all very visual as human beings. People react to us according to how put together we are. If someone is distracted by your presentation, they won't pay attention to your expertise."

Television shows like Extreme Makeover have given the field of image consulting a tremendous boost.

WHAT EXACTLY IS AN IMAGE CONSULTANT?

An image consultant is a knowledgeable person who understands and knows the latest trends in fashion, grooming, etiquette and manners, and is able to drill you in these areas. They provide custom-tailored advice just for you, not a one-size-fits-all application. A byproduct is increasing a client's verbal communication skills and confidence. Body language also plays an important part here.

The first most important area of contribution is fashion in clothes and grooming. Image consultants assist you in picking out a wardrobe best suited to your profession, body type and personality. In some cases, they will even go shopping with you. They guide you in methods of hiding body and skin imperfections, which may be subconsciously projecting a negative image. For example, use of contact lenses or appropriate eyeglass frames, a toupee for bald heads or an appropriate color hair dye, and if affordable and necessary, plastic surgery or a facelift.

Etiquette and manners are sometimes not taught and absorbed well in the American culture when compared with other cultures. Some executives sometimes do not know the proper use of cutlery. A fork is not a stabbing instrument! So, trivial as it may sound, image consultants have to teach people how to use the right cutlery for the right dishes at formal dinners, how to behave at formal and informal company functions, limits of alcohol use, divulging personal information, making effective presentations, how to break bad news, how to meet the press, how to talk confidently, when to remain silent, and effective use of body language.

Keep in mind that you don't have to be an executive facing the public in order to receive image training. Even if you are in computer hardware and software interacting with clients, image enhancement is very important.

Image evaluation and image consulting is also very helpful when you are making a drastic and dramatic change from one profession to another. This is because the nuances of dressing may be different.

It is usually helpful to get your sessions on DVD or VHS so that you can review them at your convenience and learn things you may have missed.


Image consulting and subsequent enhancement should not be looked upon as a frivolous expense, but as a long-term investment in yourself, akin to any self-improvement program.




Don Sutaria, also known a "Career Doctor Don", is Founder and President of CareerQuest. He has been quoted frequently in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, on radio and television and has taught at various colleges. He is the author of Career And Life Counseling From The Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!).


 
 
Don Sutaria, M.S., I.E. (Prof.)   
don@careerquestcentral.com     www.careerquestcentral.com     http://careerquestcentral.blogspot.com   
Phone: (908) 686-8400     Fax: (908) 686-8400 (on request)     Cell: (908) 377-9015   
CareerQuest     2165 Morris Avenue; Suite 15     Union, NJ 07083     Satellite Office in New York, NY