“Act your Wage”

I saw this quote yesterday and it made me think.. having researched this on the web it suggests that we shouldn’t spend beyond our means, I read it differently.

I read it as having a similar meaning to the adage ‘if you want to be treated like a queen/king behave like one’

As part of the work I do with people who want to raise their profile and be ‘seen’ by their bosses, we often talk about how you present yourself in the workplace.

We should, in theory, be perfectly entitled to wear whatever we like. We should be able to style our hair in a way that suits our personality, we should be able to decorate ourselves with body art. Lots and lots of people can, and do, without it having a detrimental impact on their career. In some cases, such as in some of the more creative roles, it is almost expected.

All of that having been said, what can we take from ‘Act your wage’

Look at the people in your business that are successful, the people that command respect and present themselves as credible professionals.

What do they do? How do they behave? How do they present themselves?

In our chosen careers there are certain traits that are copied. You could call them stereotypes. When you think about an estate agent what image pops into your head? When you think about a city banker? When you think about a tattoo artist? When you think about a contact centre agent? When you think about a bar manager? When you think about a carer?

We don’t only think about the clothes they might wear and the way they might look, we also attribute certain body language preferences, facial expressions and mannerisms to these ‘types’.

The reality is this. If you want to be noticed, to be seen, to be considered for a more senior role, for a different position in a business, if you are being interviewed for a job… you have to think about how you present yourself, not just in the way that you dress and style your hair – but in the way you act and speak and stand and walk.

This does not necessitate buying designer suits and handbags and hand sewn leather shoes.. it does mean making the best of yourself within your means.

And if you’re not sure what that looks like, watch the people in your business, who attracts attention and why? Which of those attributes and behaviours can you adopt? How can you be the best version of yourself and stand out in the crowd?

Being great at your job is only half the battle – act the wage you want, not the wage you are!