We are, generally, visual, intelligent and emotional people. The natural corollary would be that we are deeply influenced by what we see.
• We initiate relationships because of physical attraction first, the emotional connect happens later.
• No doubt that the image of a good dish first makes our mouth water, the smell and taste comes next.
• We buy clothes because of how they look, followed by feel and function (and are willing to take the risk of the discomfort they bring)
But will we take the next bite, if the dish only appears tasty, or would we continue the relationship if the person is not stimulating us enough?
In the workplace too, appearance alone cannot thwart the importance of skill, aptitude and the consideration of who is truly hard working. It may help in opening the door, but won’t go far in keeping that door open for long, nor guarantee a seat in the first row. You may be called for that all important interview because of the way you look, but you will only get the job (and hold on to it) because of your talent and the merit that you exhibit while on the job.
Truth be told, wanting to look your best at work is in fact quite desirable. It can enhance your sense of self worth and improve your prospects in life. But dwelling upon your appearance alone, more so at the cost of neglecting your character would be a big mistake. A recent study actually shows that experience and confidence are ranked higher than looks, which comes a close third followed by Education.
But the greater irony lies in the fact that confidence, ranked second, is often the result of looking your best and how you present yourself. People pay more for products that appear to be of a higher quality, irrespective of any innate qualities that may or may not be present. Similarly, employers pay more for candidates and employees who appear to be of higher quality.
Though the debate will continue, we all will acknowledge that appearance can be a major contributor in helping you get a foot in the door, but won’t lead to success by itself. In particular, it makes a strong first impression. So you might be able to negotiate a higher salary at the outset, however a continuous upward moving career graph will be achieved only with the value you add to the role and how you execute your responsibilities. So make sure you look your absolute best at all times on paper, online and in person. Coz you are your own brand.
Someone has rightly said, “A real smile of self-confidence goes all the way to the eyes, lipstick stops at our mouths.” Look the look and walk the talk…
By Juhie Sinha, Consultant Stellar