It’s what’s inside that counts.
That’s true, and what’s outside counts too. In fact, your image is the only way strangers can make decisions about you. And when you consistently present a certain image, the people around you will take that as part of your personality.
For instance, if you dress professionally, the people around you, including your colleagues, clients, and supervisor, will view you as a professional person.
And if you dress like a slob, the people around you will view you as a lazy, messy, or careless person.
That means people extend how you look to who you are.
The good news is that you have complete control over how you present yourself – so you have control over who people think you are.
Dress for the job you want
Especially when you’re looking to make a move, it’s critical to examine and optimize your image. When you start dressing and grooming yourself to the next level, those around you see that you’re ready to move to the next level.
Show them what you’re made of
When you dress professionally, neatly, and with some interest, you show those around you that you respect yourself, you respect them, and you respect what you’re doing. By showing that you care about your appearance, you show that what you do and the people you do it with are important to you.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover”
Yes, well, people do. Regardless of what your mom told you about the way things should be, people will judge you based on your presentation. The fact is, it’s human nature. The brain cannot process every single piece of information it receives. It therefore must take shortcuts by making assumptions based on a few salient pieces of evidence, otherwise it would be overwhelmed. That means making assumptions and jumping to conclusions.
“It’s not who I am”
We all wear different hats. Knowing that your presentation matters means realizing that you can be different at home and at work. You can be different in your big meeting and a more everyday work situation. If you want something, you have the capacity to dress for it.
Put appropriateness first, then supplement appropriate attire with interesting pieces that are more uniquely you.
Remember, you have the power!