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Women in Business

While you may think everyone should be judged on the work they deliver, you’re only half right. You are absolutely judged on the quality of your work but you are also judged on the way you present yourself to the world. Samantha Cameron, wife of Prime Minister David Cameron is an excellent example of a CEO who presents an impeccable image.

Prior to her husband becoming Prime Minister, Cameron was credited with re-positioning the luxury leather good and stationery Smythson of Bond. Today, she serves as a consultant to the company while maintaining her fashionable and “camera ready” appearance. Polished and elegant, Cameron is a perfect example of accomplishment and style.

So let’s consider the qualities that make someone stand out, be memorable, and leave no doubt that you are indeed fabulous – not only because you’re tops at what you do but because you’re also tops at the way you can persuade and mobilise people with your confidence.

#1.  Get enough sleep.Sleep is essential for looking and feeling your best. Unless you’re the type who can function on five hours of sleep, I strongly recommend a reasonable bedtime of 10pm during at least part of the week to keep your energy and spirits at its highest level.

#2.  Shop your wardrobe the night before work.I always have an idea in my head of what I’m planning to wear the night before so I’m not frazzled in the morning. While “shopping,” I’m also experimenting with my accessories since they can tweak an outfit in a rather inexpensive way. For example, Accessorize offers inexpensive strands of wood beads that would look sensational with a white shirt and a tailored trouser suit.

#3.  Clean out your handbag at least once a week.Remove the change from the bottom of the bag, the train tickets, the scribbled notes of things to do and then repack the bag with all the essentials including Listerine breath strips (aside: Listerine did not pay me to write that; I truly think those breath strips are indispensable); pen and small notebook for “eureka” moments that have to be written down; a fresh handkerchief or a small package of tissues; lip moisturiser (can be used on cuticles as well) and a small box of plastic toothpicks to be used in the ladies’ room before a meeting to insure there’s no lettuce or sesame seeds between your teeth.

#4.  Speaking of food…never eat pasta with tomato sauce or a salad with balsamic dressing when you’re dining with the boss. You will thank me for this advice.

#5.  Is multi-tasking making you hyper despite the fact you’re brilliant at it?  The iPhone offers an app called Schedule Planner.  It’s free and frees you from worrying that you’re double-booking a meeting or a conference call.

#6.  Keep a small travel bag in your office containing a folded and crisp white shirt, travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, deodorant, makeup and an extra pair of stockings. Should you unexpectedly be asked to hop onto the Chunnel for an early morning meeting in Paris, you will be ready and confident that you are at your best, last minute scheduling notwithstanding.

#7. And since we’re talking about self-marketing…describe yourself in one adjective.Whether it’s tenacity, focus, indomitable, fearless, bold, charming and/or collegial, make sure you own the quality that makes you a standout.

For professional women, the stakes are high as we all want the opportunities and the challenges that we rightfully deserve. But let’s not kid ourselves: In addition to being a super-performer, we also have to create an aura or emit charisma to ensure we’re unstoppable.

Ellen Lubin-Sherman is the author of The Essentials of Fabulous: Because “Whatever” Doesn’t Work Here Anymore:http://essentialsoffabulous.com/

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