Mens Grooming Workshop for Hwa Chong Institution: 3 Tips To Become A Stylish Guy

I’m not a fashion police. So I’m not going to tell you what’s hot and what’s not. Neither am I going to tell you what’s in vogue. That’s the job of a fashion stylist. And as we all know, trends come and go. 
Rather, as an image consultant, I’m going to share with you how you can become a more stylish guy in terms of your dressing. 
And I’m sure you, like the JC2 students today who signed up for the mens grooming workshop from Hwa Chong Institution will leave class feeling invigorated and empowered to look their stylish best always.
Tip #1: Wear The Perfect Fit
Remember, what you wear must fit you. And they must fit you perfectly. 
For shirts, the shoulder line is the most important consideration. The shoulder seam should meet the corner of your shoulder bone. Next, your armhole should be comfortable when you lift your hands up. They should not be so tight that they threaten to cut into the underarm. But beware of excessive space as that means it is too baggy.
Moving downwards to your pants, always adopt the middle ground. Do not wear a pair that is skin tight nor baggy. The emphasis should be on comfort as you do not want to do injustice to your crown jewels. 
I always advise guys to go for a slim straight cut. 
If you wear the perfect fit, it looks as if the material was tailored especially for you. And there will be no doubt your confidence will be boosted multifold.

Tip #2: Pay Attention To Details
The devil is always in the details. Let me share four proven ways you can consider.

Play With Print or Accents
An accent of colour or small prints (think dotted or animal) adds creativity to a plain white shirt.

Similarly, a different colour for the collar and shirt cuffs is going to help you up the style quotient. 

Wear A Dress Watch
Firstly, choose a nice dress watch. There are many brands available in the market. You don’t have to buy an expensive one. But at least choose a classy-looking one. For the watch strap, choose between the steel bracelet and the leather strap. 
I personally like the chronograph as it is timeless and fits all occasions.

Wear A Leather Belt
Secondly, wear a nice leather belt that is simple in design. No PVCs or fake leathers. No skeleton skulls or huge brand insignias as well. 
Interestingly, the real purpose of wearing a belt is to act as an accessory. It’s not there to hold up your pants. 

Wear Quality Leather Shoes
Thirdly, enjoy deciding which shoe style suits your lifestyle best.
Shoes for guys have progressed over the years and we have lots of options to choose from nowadays.
I list for you the Oxford laced-ups, loafers, brogue, monkstrap and Chelsea boot.
If you do not already know, shoes are the foundation of every look. I call it the finishing touch.

Paying attention to what you wear on your feet will score you brownie points.

Tip #3: Invest In A Skincare Routine
Like it or not, your face is the most thing others see. You don’t talk to people by bending your head downwards. Neither do you hide behind a pile of books while talking.
Men have always been labelled as thick skin by our female counterparts. Derogatory as it sounds, there is actually a lot of hard science truth behind it.
A man’s skin is thicker than a woman’s (thanks to our testosterone hormones). In fact, it is about 20 times thicker. Besides being thicker, men’s skin is also oiler and warmer. 
Many guys think they can get away with washing their faces with soap. But they cannot be more wrong.
Thin or thick skin, your skin still needs nourishment. So if you haven’t started, it is time to consider adopting a simple three-step skincare routine now. 
Think cleanser, toner and moisturizer. 
If you are more hardworking, throw in an eye gel and serum too!
Trust me - your skin will thank you for it and help take the years off it.

Just like mine :)


3 Common Job Interview Mistakes: Interview Skills Workshop For Pasir Ris Crest Secondary

I made an interesting discovery in class today.

Many of the Secondary 5 graduating students from Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School were working part-time. While most were in service-related industries such as retail and F&B, there were others who were in data entry and IT. One was even a blogshop model!
This was indeed commendable because I too worked part-time when I was schooling back then.
I can immediately think of 5 benefits of working part-time while studying.

These include:
Honing your time management skills – this is the best litmus test of one’s ability to multi-task
Helping you gain real world experience – there is a REAL world outside of the textbooks
Building a network of contacts – I always believe your network equals your net worth
Adding meat to your resume – compared to your peers who have zero work experience, you are one heads up against them
Earning some income – I see this as the reward in exchange of the time. It is a fair trade.
As with all other interview skills workshop, the students really loved the mock interview bits which I incorporated into the class. After all, what is an interview skills workshop without actual hands-on right?
In fact, some of the students were so enthusiastic that they wanted to do another round of it…but alas we couldn’t as we had other topics to cover such as resume writing.
Honestly, I feel at home each time I conduct an interview skills workshop. Partly because of my past experience as a HR manager for 3.5 years and partly because it forces me to think on my feet constantly, much of whether you will get hired depends on how you perform during your interview. 
What you say and how you say it are both equally important.
To ace your interview, there are 3 common job interview mistakes you need to avoid at all cost.

Mistake #1: You Are Too Focused On The Salary And Benefits
More haste, less speed. True indeed.
Do not be hasty when it comes to negotiating the salary and staff benefits. 
When I was a panel interviewer and came across such a candidate, the first impression that comes across is that the candidate is too presumptuous as he/she is taking for granted that we will offer him/her the job. 
What makes you so certain you are going to get the job? Do not forget there are other similarly qualified candidates vying for the same position.
What you should do is to wait for the HR director or manager to broach the subject. It will usually come towards the end if a job offer is made on the spot. Or if he asks “do you have any questions for us?”
And if you do trend on this touchy topic, always offer a salary range so that it sends a message that you are willing to be flexible and open to negotiation. 

Mistake #2: You Complain About Your Ex-Boss
If asked why you left your previous job, never ever bad mouth your ex-boss or employer.

Remember, what goes around comes around. Adopt a more reflective mood.

Steer clear of negative comments about that working experience, however horrible it may have been.

Instead of going on a tirade, learn how to impress the interviewers by showcasing what you are capable of contributing. Cleverly focus on the task at hand and that is to zero in on the positive aspects of the position you have applied for.

Say something along these lines if you wish to. I call it a two-parter.

Here’s Part 1.
“Working at my previous company made me realise I thrive better in an environment that is more fast-paced and challenging.”

“Working at my previous company made me realise I thrive better in an environment that offers more opportunities such as job rotations amongst the different departments.”

And here’s Part 2.
“I applied for this job because I am seeking to build a career and establish myself in the industry.”

Mistake #3: You Appear Too Enthusiastic

Always strike a balance between being authentic and eager to impress. It’s like trying to impress the girl during the first date instead of attracting her to want to know you better.

In this context, impressing is short-term whereas attracting is for the long haul.
There is a thin line between complacency and competency. So know when to toe the line.

At the end of the day, just relax and be yourself. You will reach this almost zen stage if you practise, practise and practise using the list of commonly asked questions I have handed out. There is no easy way out. Though the process may be painstaking, the end result is one you will savor with pride – as you land your dream job.


Career Preparation Workshop For Ngee Ann Polytechnic School of Engineering: Top 5 Corporate Survival Skills

Whether you are a first year or final year student, it is never too early to start planning for your career. In fact, the earlier you start, the better as you will have more preparation time.
When one mentions career planning or career preparation, we instantly think of segments like career profiling, resume writing, interview skills and networking skills. If you mentioned any of these, you are definitely on the right track.
Invited to share with the final year engineering students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic in today’s special segment is one that encompasses all aspects of career preparation.
It will indeed be too lengthy to regurgitate everything in this blog post. That’s why I’ll only share an interesting segment that I spoke about – I call it the top 5 corporate survival skills everyone must possess before entering the workforce.

Skill #1: Have Good Communication Skills
Regardless of the industry you are in, if you fail to communicate your ideas succinctly, clearly and effectively, chances are you will be misunderstood, or even sidelined.

Getting your ideas across to your bosses, team, subordinates and even suppliers is crucial as verbal communication has always formed the backbone of human interaction.

Here’s a quick tip you can adopt to up your communication skills – always only mention three keypoints you wish to highlight.

Interesting as it seems, the minds of most human beings are wired to process and retain knowledge of three inputs. Anything more and the attention span is lost.

Skill #2: Build Strong Relationships
No man is an island. Regardless of how strong you are, you still need a team. Think Captain America and the Avengers. Captain America himself cannot possibly save the world from another apocalypse. But together with the rest of the Avengers, he can. Do not take people for granted.

Instead, spend time nurturing your relationships with your colleagues and contacts. When a strong relationship is established, you can always count on them for help you out in times of need. Just like Captain America. He knows he can count on the Avengers when he needs them. 

Skill #3: Be Reliable
Much as you expect to count on others helping out, you too must prove to be a valuable asset to your organization and team.
The question is – are you reliable? Can you solve issues and challenges?
In most organisations, challenges come in the forms of a manpower crunch, budget reduction or meeting a tight deadline. Ask yourself – can you rise against each challenge and tackle them successfully? 

Skill #4: Have Strong Negotiation Skills
In today’s world, you must think win-win. Adopting a “I win you lose” mentality is just not going to cut it. That’s why you need to have strong negotiation skills.
Negotiation is a skill that can be mastered over time. Of course you need to know what your bargaining chips are and how much are you willing to give in order to receive?

Skill #5: Possess Leadership Skills
The importance of being a leader cannot be over-emphasised. Regardless of the position you are holding, we are all leaders in our very own ways.
Can you motivate and lead a team? Will you return victorious from battle or have your army slain down to the last man?
In all honesty, leadership is a skill that boils down to connecting with people and communicating with them. 
Staff want leaders who develop emotional and sincere connections with them and are clear in their channels of communication.
Yes, it may sound tough surviving in the corporate world but everyone has to start somewhere.

For graduating students, the learning curve may be steeper but once equipped with these 5 top corporate survival skills, the journey ahead will be a much smoother one.
Wishing all of you the best in your future endeavours =)


10 Rules Of Dressing For Sales Success

As I shared before, dressing is both an art and a science. Well, there are certain rules to follow, especially with regard to colours, shapes and styles. Thereafter, it’s really about expressing your personality and individuality through your daily choice of attire.
Image consultancy is an exciting field because of the impact that we, image consultants, have on our private coaching clients and participants who attend our grooming workshops.

Today, I welcomed an audience comprising professionals from sales, insurance, property, oil and gas and secretarial services.

Regardless of the industry you may be in, the chief motivation is to make a sale. Selling is a process that all of us engage in many times in our lives...yet we take it for granted. We are doing this daily - selling our products, services, ideas, concepts and in the process of it all, ourselves.

The point I want to highlight is that anyone in business, can "sell" yourself far more successfully than you can ever have imagined. 

Do not lose a sale because your appearance conveys silent messages that you are not likeable, not trustworthy, not honest and not even sincere.

Welcome to my 10 rules of dressing for sales success.
Rule #1: If you have a choice, dress affluently.

It need not be branded. But your clothes must look expensive, well-coordinated and most importantly, fit you to a T.

Rule #2: Always be clean.

It is not necessary to be obsessively neat without a single crease line. But it is imperative to be clean.

Rule #3: Always be over-dressed, rather than under-dressed.

This is especially so if you are uncertain of the event. It is better to err on the safe side.

Rule #4: Always dress as well as the people to whom you are attempting to sell to.

Remember, people form their first impression of you within seconds after meeting. If you are selling an expensive item but your clothes look like you got them from the karung guni man, you can immediately kiss the sale goodbye.

Rule #5: Wear clean shoes that are in good condition and shined.

Shoes are often seen as the finishing touch. But it is a pity many only choose to pay attention to their clothes and neglect their shoes. A properly put together attire with a pair of dirty, soiled shoes is not going to score you brownie points. In fact, it’s going to be the start of your nightmare.

Rule #6: Do not wear too many accessories.

Remember, less is more. Always decide on only one statement piece.

Rule #7: Never put too much hair products.

There is no typhoon nor tornado in this part of Asia. Neither are you preparing for the next getai challenge. Go easy on your hair products and your hair follicles will thank you for it.

Rule #8: Always carry a respectful-looking bag.

Pairing a school-bag or cheap-looking haversack with executive wear cheapens your entire look. And excuse me, are you still schooling?

Remember, you are a sales professional.

Rule #9: Wear the right amount of scent.

Your perfume or cologne is supposed to make you smell better as it gives off a light scent. Whether it is a woody, musky or floral scent, that is good enough. Some of us have sensitive noses, so there is no need to over-spray. 

Rule #10: Look in the mirror before you step out for your appointment.

Vain as it sounds, this is really a no-brainer. You will be surprised to see how many possible flaws you can find. Common examples include hair out of place, tie not properly done, stain on your shirt, zip undone.
Bear these 10 rules of dressing in mind because you must get ready, get sharp and get dressed for success today!


Batman VS Superman: 7 Reasons Why Superheroes Wear Their Briefs Outside

I’ve always been fascinated by superheroes ever since I was a kid. Honestly, all the superheroes look so cool. And they never fail to fight the villains, save the world from disaster and ultimately and get the girl they want.
With all the hype surrounding the blockbuster superhero action movie Batman VS Superman which opens in cinemas today, the question is not who will win the epic face-off. Pitting two iconic superheroes together in a movie is in itself a guaranteed movie hit.
Whether you are a Dark Knight fan or Man of Steel fan, you will definitely watch it for all the superhero action. I will too.
The only question that continues to puzzle me all these years is this - why do superheroes like Superman and Batman always wear their briefs outside?
Let me attempt to offer some plausible explanations into this interesting phenomenon.
Here are my top 7 reasons why superheroes always wear their briefs outside.
Reason #1: Think Personal Hygiene
Superheroes want to show the world they wear clean underwear when they fight crime. Think personal hygiene. This is something that even our students are learning in school thanks to our grooming and etiquette workshops. What more superheroes, right?
Reason #2: Increases The Sex Appeal
Physical attraction may be as old as time. But there is no denying mortal women fall for superheroes because they have charisma that is difficult to fully describe in words.
In short, superheroes think wearing them on the outside is sexy and helps them get the girl. 
Well, they may just be singing "I'm sexy and I know it...."
Reason #3: Blame It On The Spandex
Superheroes have costumes that are super tight. They are usually always made of spandex so there's no extra breathing space for their crown jewels with their briefs on the inside. 
I’m not a big fan of spandex as it wraps you all around like a second skin. That’s why I’m sure the superheroes wouldn’t want to overburden the 995 ambulance services.
Reason #4: No Need To Decide On The Type Of Undergarment
Superheroes are busy enough. They don’t need to squeeze time out of their busy schedules to answer the question – boxers or briefs? 
We mortal men have to contend with this difficult decision all the time. I was just sharing with the participants in my grooming workshops the pros and cons of each. And no doubt, all were bursting into laughter.
Reason #5: The Need To Be Extraordinary
If superheroes wear their briefs inside, they will look normal. But this is a big no-no as they are superheroes. They have to be extraordinary.
Reason #6: Saves Time Taking It Off
Superheroes like to rip their clothes off. The leader of them all is probably Superman who changes his identity from Clark Kent into Man of Steel. 
You can't have your briefs standing in the way. Remember, it's all or nothing.
Reason #7: Work On Your Personal Branding
Superheroes understood the importance of personal branding. This one I can fully identify with. If you are as bland as the person next to you, how can you stand out from the crowd and be the thought leader?
This is one message I share with my participants all the time – what is your unique value proposition (UVP)? 
If you can’t answer this, I don’t think you are ready for the corporate world or the next promotion yet.
Ask me if in doubt.



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