Have you ever wondered what people think of you when they first see or meet you? In doing some research on the subject, I read that 55% of the way others perceive you is based on how you look. Your “Image” is extremely important because it affects others opinions of you and may decide the outcome of future relationships.
Some people feel that if someone judges you that they are superficial and should be focusing on your character or skills. I tend to agree… however, when meeting or coming into contact with someone we don’t know, it’s easy and instinctive for us to make a quick decision based on how they look. In regards to business relations, our image can create connections or set boundaries whether this was the outcome you intended or not.
Think of your image as a 30 second commercial that tells others about who you are and where you want to go based on your appearance. You want to ask yourself: Is my image sending the right message to help me reach my goals? Am I getting the response desired by customers/employees? Remember that image is a valuable tool in business and relationships. If you’re not receiving the desired results in relation to confidence, power or success, it’s possible that you may not be sending the right message.
In business, it’s very important to always be professional. In regards to image, your personal appearance goes a long way. Let’s face it… you are the face of your business. If you work for yourself or are employed by a company, you are the “representative” for that company. You come into contact daily with people and when on the job, you want to put your best foot forward to look and act your best.
A professional appearance makes others respect you and value your business. You will be taken seriously when you present a professional look. The basics of maintaining personal hygiene are a must. If you wear jeans and a t-shirt to work and really want to “stand out” as a professional…invest in purchasing and wearing a uniform. Select navy or khaki colored work pants and a button down shirt, belt or even a tie if your type of work allows. You can find options for “uniforms” online.
If you operate work equipment, the inside and outside should be clean and neat. No clutter on seats or the dash. Be sure to provide regular maintenance to keep your equipment in excellent working condition.
A good professional image also includes portraying a positive attitude. Be polite, kind and courteous to others around you. Get to work early or on time and be helpful whenever you can. Be knowledgeable in the areas of your job and expectations of the company.
I realize some of these areas seem basic, however you can have all the skill, talent and knowledge about your job but without a professional image and appearance you won’t be respected or taken seriously. If you want to achieve your professional and personal goals, you need a solid awareness of what that “IMAGE” is for you.