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Five years ago, you began your career as a 23 year old graduate.  Not quite as mature as you could be, but a hard worker and determined to forge your path.  Now, you’re planning a wedding with your fiancé, thinking long term – retirement, 401(k), etc. and what do you know – you were just promoted!  Now you need to change your image.  A. Harrison Barnes, career coach and president says he’s seen many young men and women go from always working for the weekend to a refined, polished and incredible executive in just a few short years.  Here’s what he suggests if you’re ready to go from a more grown up approach to your life as a whole:

• If you haven’t already begun to do so, now’s a great time to change your wardrobe.  Even if you’ve always dressed well for the office, complete with well pressed khakis and a casual tie, consider investing a few quality tailor made suits.  This tells the world you’re read to be taken seriously, says A. Harrison Barnes.
• Pay attention to the details.  A trip to the hair dresser more often will go a long way in your image.  For women, save the whimsical barrettes and fluorescent hair pulls for the weekend.  Choose a cleaner and more polished hairstyle.
• Lose your “party girl” image.  Abandon the “company prankster” image, too, says the founder.   Also, another trait that could be holding you back is always being the one who flirts with the new receptionists or the new clients.  Actually, that’s something you should never do anyway.
• Remember that your office is not: a place to catch up on your sleep, your makeup room, your catch-all for last week’s newspapers or your collection of Vogue magazine.
• Your office is, however, home to your career and your future.  Treat it as such.
• It’s time to retire those photos you have scattered on your desk, too.  These are the ones that show you with a mixed drink in one hand and a cold beer in the other, surrounded by other partyers during New Year’s Eve.  Instead, opt for the professional photos of you and your fiancé.
• This one might hurt, but it’s important: it’s time to update your Facebook and other social medial areas with a more grown up approach.  After all, it is your reputation and these are the times when there is no differentiation between your professional reputation and your personal reputation – they’re all intertwined, says Barnes.

These are just a few of the suggestions the founder makes.  If you’re not already doing so, now’s the time to start thinking about doing more than you’re asked and learning the importance of knowing what to expect in terms of changes coming up with your client’s work or even within your own company.  It’s these small nuances that will make a big difference in the boss’s eyes.  Stay focused, move forward and before long, your image will be one to be proud of.

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