Mar 14

Tips to Update Your Brand

By Joanne Blake | Dress & Image , ShowCase , Showcase Sidebar

Image makeover - before and after

Does your image need an overhaul?

Style for Success - Before and after photo of personal image and update your brand tips and advice.

A few years ago, an engineering client gave us some good image advice. He said you need to update your brand, your website doesn’t represent how good you actually are. (Terry was a bit hurt because he designed our first website but we realized the client was right.) Our site was part of our brand and it didn’t create a great first impression of us. So we hired a professional to update our site.

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Mar 06

Is Office Wear Getting Too Casual?

By Joanne Blake | Dress & Image , ShowCase , Showcase Sidebar

How do your customers see you?

What’s your opinion on office attire?

Stylefor Success - Casual office wear tips and advice

I was recently asked to offer my thoughts on this question for the Costco Connection Magazine. Here’s my advice. (Click here to read the full article Has office attire become too casual – with yea and nay opinions)

Most of our clients say… Yes!

As a corporate image consultant, I work with industries ranging from accountants to construction to veterinarians. Most of my clients tell me that office attire has become far too casual.Continue reading

Feb 27

5 Office Friendly Tips for Eating at Your Desk

By Joanne Blake | Dining , Etiquette & Manners , ShowCase , Showcase Sidebar

Business dining etiquette advice to avoid desktop dining faux pas

In an ideal world, none of us would have to eat at our desk. Tips and advice for eating at office desk etiquette - photo of girl eating at deskWe would not be stressed and could enjoy a fabulous restaurant on our 2 hour lunch break like French workers. But this is the real world where we’re always working under deadlines and our desk becomes our table d’hote.

Table for one?
While we cut people slack if they’re eating in the staff lunchroom, it becomes trickier when eating at your desk, inches away from colleagues. This is not the time to eat garlic infused bread or Continue reading

Dec 16

Christmas Gift Advice – Remember Your Local Charities

By Joanne Blake | Etiquette & Manners

Charity begins at home

Let’s face it, most of us are pretty lucky.Christmas Gift Advice - Local charity tips - a hand holding inspirational words like donate, help

Don’t we have too much stuff already? So rather than write another blog on corporate gifting tips, we thought we would remind you of another gift giving idea.

Change of plan

The past couple years instead of corporate gifting and personal gift giving, Terry and I have been making donations to charities.
This year, because of the downturn in the economy in Alberta  and the consequences of the wildfire in Fort McMurray we decided to focus most of our giving on local charities.

Your community


I encourage you to think about your community and who could do with a charitable donation. We have our own favorites like the Edmonton Food Bank and the Salvation Army and this Christmas we looked around for other worthy organizations.

Goes around, comes around

We found a great web site that lists 100 worthy charities in the Edmonton area.
Do some investigating on your own. Remember it doesn’t have to be a cash donation. Volunteering some of your time with a local group is a holiday gift that rewards the volunteer as much as the organization.

Spread the word

Don’t be afraid to let your clients or friends know in a card that you have made a donation to a good cause instead of gifting. It may encourage them to do the same.

You and yours

Our best wishes to you and yours for a fun and safe holiday season and a generous and joyous new year.

PS if you do want some corporate gift giving help and advice here’s a link to a PDF tip sheet entitled Client Gift Giving Tips from Style for Success

Posted by Joanne Blake – the Canadian business etiquette expert and grateful giver
Dec 06

Office Party Etiquette Tips – What not to do at the office Christmas party

By Joanne Blake | Etiquette & Manners , Networking

Office party- HELP!Office Party Etiquette Tips - What not to do at the office Christmas party

It is that time of year again .

With the Christmas season upon us, CBC Edmonton AM radio show called me for some help and advice on how to avoid embarrassment at these unavoidable gatherings.

Here are some helpful tips and a link to the full article in CBC News entitled – Common sense is not always that common: What not to do at the office Christmas party

Business first, party second 

Getting tipsy with your boss and colleagues is filled with pitfalls. It’s important to recognize that it is business first, social second. People forget that and think, “Oh, it’s a party, I can let my hair down, wear my sexiest outfit, drink at company expense and flirt with that cute guy or gal  in payroll.

Naughty or nice?

Though it can be tempting to let loose, your naughty behaviour will be remembered by all, including the boss. Especially if you’re in a sales or client facing role, the people at the top will be observing how you interact and assume that behaviour will be taken externally.

Mix and mingle

Try to avoid “shop talk”  especially if you have spouses or partners attending. Focus the conversation on people’s lives and interests. Keep it light and ask lots of questions. Don’t be exclusive. Be sure to mingle with clients and co-workers outside your department.

Taboo subjects

We’re all human so at the end of the day we’ll vent about so and so.  It can be bad manners even when we never expect it to go anywhere. Under the influence of alcohol, the Christmas Office party isn’t the place to do it.

Ugly Christmas sweaters?

What you wear at the office Christmas party says a lot about you. Take it up a notch. Especially if clients are attending, unless it’s part of the theme, leave your ugly Christmas sweaters at home.

Last man standing

It can be bad manners to arrive too early (unless you want to help setup) and you never want to be the last man (or woman) standing. Arrive fashionably late and leave before the party starts to fade.

Have fun and use your etiquette common sense but remember, common sense is not always that common.”

Click here for the complete article on Canada’s CBC News: What not to do at the office Christmas party

Posted by Joanne Blake – the Canadian business etiquette expert and well-mannered party gal
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