21 October 2016
If you want your clients to take you seriously, you better take care of your appearance, says a professional stylist.
If you want your clients to take you seriously, you better take care of your appearance, says a professional stylist.

How a personal stylist can boost your career prospects

If you are seeking a promotion or a contract, you might want to make sure that you take personal grooming seriously and always try to look your best. 

Because the truth is that outward appearance and looks do matter and, in some cases, even make or break your chances.

Qualifications and performance are of course important, but they might not carry the day if you come across as a shabby individual. 

Like it or not, we live in a superficial society. Our perception of other people and the image we hold of them is largely influenced by how those people look — and how they carry themselves.

A professional may know his field inside out but still feels insecure when meeting clients or when there is a need to give a presentation to a crowd. A designer may have great talent but is probably too low-key to impress his target clients. A painter may be perfectly relaxed in her studio but completely at a loss when she has to socialize during exhibitions.

This is where personal stylists and groomers like Christine Zhou come in.

Zhou’s job is to make sure her clients look right and are able to project a proper image that could help their business or career.

“Make a big statement, look bold visually, that can help you look more confident,” Zhou offers a tip to those who get shy or feel diffident when it comes to making a presentation to a group of people.

To find out what fits her clients, Zhou first holds a quiz session with them to collect all the details about their work, their lives and family status. She will also run a color analysis to study a client’s skin undertone, an important basis for recommending them what to wear.

Zhou will then propose a style that best matches the client’s characteristics and what he or she wants to achieve.

“It could be dramatic, classic, natural, comfortable or romantic,” she says.

In the business world, proper dressing is crucial because “if you can’t even take care of your look, your customers will doubt whether you are qualified to take care of their interests,” Zhou says, recalling comments made by some business owners she met.

Zhou’s suggestions are not entirely geared toward business purpose. A manager can also be a mother at the same time. In such case, comfortable material like cotton will be more suitable, and her clothes should be free of metallic stuff which may stand in the way when she hugs her kids.

Most of her clients are corporate executives, financial professionals, company secretaries or owners of small and medium businesses.

If it is deemed necessary, Zhou helps a client go through a complete makeover, including dressing style, eyeglasses, hair style and everything else.

She says that not all clients want drastic changes. Meanwhile, some who accept the need for grooming may not want to follow all the ideas 100 percent.

Zhou’s biggest satisfaction comes from seeing the impact of her work.

“When my clients tell me how much they like their new look, or when I hear my clients being praised by others after the transformation, I am most delighted,” she says.

“Every client is unique, that why it’s great fun.”

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EJ Insight writer

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