3 Pillars of Executive Presence

The 3 pillars of Executive Presence: Appearance, Communication and Gravitas.

If you identify as a woman of color in Corporate America, executive presence is monumental when trying to move up the ladder. As women of color you need to work twice as hard as your peers – period. Its not fair but that is the reality. Over the course of my career I came across many individuals who voiced their concerns about not having the platform to grow within their space. The common denominator in those situations was executive presence or the lack thereof. 

As a young professional looking to excel in your career I urge you to develop a network of mentors and sponsors. Its critical to have people in your corner who are honest and upfront. Surround yourself with those who not only understand your vision but support you as well. Being good at what you do isn’t enough. Having people to vouch for you ultimately will elevate your career. It will open doors – but to get there you need to demonstrate executive presence. Below are tips on how to develop EP.

Appearance: “Dress for the job you want not the one you have.” This quote is very cliche. But its true – dress tastefully it matters. First impressions are everything. Always maintain a clean and tidy appearance. 

Communication: In a corporate environment its important to voice your ideas. Know your audience before walking into a meeting or conference call. Be short and concise while being respectful of peoples time. 

Gravitas: Carry yourself in manner that elicits respect and trust in others. It may take long to develop this trait as it comes with experience. Place yourself in situations that make you feel uncomfortable such as presenting in front of a senior audience.

What I’m wearing:

Currently obsessed with everything snake skin, its truly my favorite trend this season. I was able to find this cute top from Zara which can be worn many different ways. I chose to style the top with black jeans and Stuart Weitzman sandals. Also pictured is a wood watch from JORD Watches which is very versatile and goes with any outfit. JORD creates and sells unique, luxury wood watches. Enter your name and email in the link below for a chance to win $100 to shop at Jord Watches. Trust me you will be obsessed…

Enter the giveaway below! Hurry the contest ends on November 18th.

https://www.woodwatches.com/g/ookaykaren

Wooden Wrist Watch
//www.jordwatches.com/widget-article/

Sincerely,

Ookaykaren

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You can’t avoid a Brand its yours by default or design.. 

People will always remember you by what you represent – I learned that early. We all know what a brand is, but do we really take time to invest in our own? Often times people think that branding is only for those that own a business. However, your brand is what ultimately sets you apart from your peers.


My brand has evolved throughout the years but a couple of things have remained constant: professional developement, wellness   and family values. Below are a few tips on branding:

Branding tips 

Be visible.. don’t just show up, make your presence be known.  

Readiness.. have your elevator speech ready. (60 seconds to say who you are, what you can do and what you’re hoping to do next)

Add value.. what are you working on and how does that add value to your organization/business.

Network.. make your brand known through building strategic relationships. Your network should know your skills, strength and career interest.

Develop and manage your image.. what messages are you sending? Are they messages that will send you in the right direction?

Self promotion..bring yourself to the representation of others without misrepresentation, hype or false promise.


Outfit details:

Top: Zara

Jeans: Zara

Boots: Christian Louboutin

Weekend Warrior

As a working professional in corporate America, I try to get as much things done as possible on the weekends. I like to wake up early organize, run errands and squeeze in a yoga class. In my opinion it’s imperative to have interest and hobbies outside of work. Find your passion, serve others by volunteering in the community or become a mentor. A lot of people quit their full time job to follow their “dreams” because of lack of fulfillment or happiness. And thats totally fine (and brave).

Essentially no job or career will bring you pure hapiness. At some point you may experience stress. But, its your responsibility to DECIDE to be happy. Create a work – life balance that fits you best.

Outfit details:
Jacket: H&M

Pants: Zara

Shoes: Steve Madden

Purse: Saint Laurent

Body Suit: H&M