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Professional Impressions brings you the first monthly Newsletter with ongoing tips and hints on the

A B C of Impression Management

We are constantly adding to our vast resources of information in the areas of

A ttitude, B usiness Etiquette and C orporate Image

and are excited to be sharing this knowledge with you through our Newsletter.


This month we look at...


A ttitude Adjustment

B e Culturally Aware

C reate a New Look for a New Season


q       Use these season's colours in your working wardrobe-men and women

q       Sunglasses-how to make the best choice


We are proud to have been awarded institutional accreditation by the Services Seta.



Look out for Haydee Antezana

on the cover of the

Career Success magazine.


Attitude Adjustment

Does Monday morning seem like a death sentence?

Are you always the first person to leave the office at the end of the day?

Do you spend your working hours dreaming of the weekend?

 Do you put off important things like getting life insurance or changing your job because you’re waiting for something spectacular to happen to change your life?





On average we spend about

65% of our adult life at work.

That’s a lot of time to spend doing

something we don’t enjoy!

The solution- take responsibility

for your happiness.

Start living each day to the fullest no

matter where each day may find you,

in the office, visiting clients,

making presentations or answering


Your happiness is in your hands.



Take pride in who you are and what you have

Never compare yourself to others as you are unique and just as you can never be someone else – so no one can ever be you! Look at all the positive things you have accomplished in your life and remember that 


you are the most valuable thing you have.


Learn to accept compliments graciously

Whenever possible write down the compliment you received and save it for a rainy day. When you are feeling down, take it out, read it and

remind yourself of your accomplishments and positive attributes.


Just do it….

Even when you are tired and would rather play solitaire on your p.c. than go to gym, phone that friend you’ve lost touch with, or tackle that pile of paperwork you’ve been ignoring for the past six weeks…

Don't let apathy and procrastination steal your happiness

Both of these attitudes can cause anxiety and fear. Get rid of them and you rid yourself of unnecessary worry, leaving more room in your life for happiness.



 The first step to building faith in yourself is to take small risks. Whether that means trying a new route to work or a kickboxing class at gym, you will soon discover that you have the potential to be more than you’ve ever been before!

Risk is the beginning of possibility.




Be Culturally Aware


S.A. today is very much a part of the global community.

  As such we have an important role to play as a leading nation on the African continent.

The world is looking on, as we set the example of democracy, tolerance and acceptance of all.

 This is often most relevant in the workplace where we are in contact with all people, irrespective of their ethnic group, culture, language or religion. In order to avoid unknowingly offending our colleagues and those with whom we do business, it becomes our responsibility to be aware of their social, religious and cultural customs.


Need some tips on making the business environment work for you?

Contact us for information on the Business Etiquette module

Here are a few guidelines to remember
during Christmas and year end festivities:


Muslim Culture

  • It is not advisable to plan functions for a Friday afternoon as Muslim men gather at  mosques during the lunch hour (12:00-14h00) for their prayers.
  • When catering for meetings, presentations, workshops and conferences, remember only halaal food and beverages may be consumed.
  • Muslims use only their right hands for eating as the left hand is considered ‘unclean'.
  • No alcoholic beverages may be consumed.
  • Remember that the month of Ramadan (this year from the 27th Oct) is an important part of the Muslim calendar. At this time they will fast daily from sunrise to sunset. It is not advisable to hold functions in this period where meals form part of the programme.
  • Do not give Muslims a gift that portrays a dog or that contains  alcohol.
  • As within African culture, gifts are given over with the right hand

Jewish Culture

·          Due to the Jewish Sabbath beginning before sunset on Friday and continuing until after sunset on Saturday, it is not advisable to hold functions/meetings or parties at these times.

·          Only food that is kosher may be eaten and when catering pork is a no-no.

·         Avoid giving Jewish colleagues gifts made from pigskin or containing non-kosher alcohol.

Hindu Culture 

  • Beef is not eaten as the cow is regarded as a sacred animal.
  • In strict Hindu culture, only a husband and a wife may dance together. 
  • Never give Hindus anything with your left hand.


Create a new look for a new season

Summertime is here again and we are delighting in the sunshine and  carefree spirit of the season. Unfortunately it is not always possible  to translate this spirit into our working wardrobe. Here are a few tips on how to brighten your days at work while remaining professional and appropriate.


Everywhere you look this summer you will see BRIGHT, ACID colours

blaring at you from store windows and magazine pages.  Never fear,

these colours are not as scary as they seem and when used properly, can

instantly brighten your wardrobe and your life.  Just a note of caution, to

avoid intimidating others with your choice of colour, take the following factors

into consideration before splashing out on this season’s NEONS:


Never wear neon shades with black as it will only make them seem stronger.  Rather wear them with neutrals such as taupe, stone and whites to create a fresh, summer feel.


DO NOT wear acid colours near your face, unless you are certain these colours suit you. If it is not the case the colour will wear you and be too overwhelming!  If you are not sure rather wear a bright top that has a  lower neckline ie not too close to your face.

Do opt for lightweight fabrics when wearing brights in order to dilute the harshness of the colour.  Avoid crisp fabrics such as certain cottons and linen-which will also crease after sitting all day at your desk.


Remember to always hold the fabric close your face to see if it compliments you.


Avoid very strong colours when you will be in meetings or conferences during the day as these may have an aggressive influence on others.


For advice on your best colours contact us for a Personalised Colour Consultation

A few tips for those men out there that wish to experiment with this season’s bright colours

  • Play it safe by introducing the latest colours to your shirts and ties rather than to your jackets or pants.
  • When choosing a suit in a colour other than the basic neutrals, remember to  buy  good quality and ensure the fit  is perfect.
  • It is not advisable to wear the latest bright colours when meeting a new  client, doing an important presentation, having an appraisal.

OOPS ...


And here is how it should be done ...




Sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement, they provide our eyes with much needed protection against the harsh African sun.


Sunglasses take up a good deal of space on your face

and play an important role in the image you project.


Here are some tips on how to wear your

shades and still create a professional image.


The golden rule:

Avoid repeating the shape of your face with the shape of your frames

Ensure the top of the frame follows the shape of your eyebrows around your eye to the top of your cheekbone.  This will enhance your face shape.  If your glasses don’t fit this area i.e. they are too big, small, wide or narrow, then they do not fit your face shape


Square face

Round or oval frames will soften and enhance a square face. Opt for frames that are heavier on top to balance the strength of the jaw line.


Round face

Avoid round glasses as they will make

your face look rounder!

Rectangular and square-shaped frames

will look fantastic on a round face while giving the illusion of angles.


Heart-shaped face

You can wear almost any shape frames as long as the lower part of the frames are heavier than the top.  This will balance your face by adding width to the jaw line.


Oval face


This face shape can get away with any style frame. 



Next month we look at….


A couple of ideas on how to end

the year on a good note

B lunders to avoid at the office

party and Christmas functions

C hallenge your old ideas


Change from office to party

Packing in style


The more you know, the less you need


The above information has been gathered from a variety of sources.


Special thanks to the following publications:

CEO Magazine, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, O Magazine and Men’s Health

Clued Up On Culture by Barbara Elion and Mercia Strieman

Etiquette by Helena van Schalkwyk

Cultural Considerations by Guy MacLeod”


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