Everything about you is telling a story; the way you dress, the way you act, the car you drive . . . the vacations you take. This rule is about making sure that the judgments of you are positive and enhance your career. You can’t stop others from judging you, but you can take steps to influence them in a way you want to be seen. I’m not suggesting you be something you’re not, what I am suggesting is take steps to be self aware.
Several years ago I worked with a client and took their leadership team on a 5 day retreat. During the five days, among other things, we addressed image, attitude and many other personal and professional development issues. This one particular young woman, early thirty’s, smart and talented was struggling with her role as a supervisor – mediocre success, not very challenging assignments, just kind of plugging along. Several weeks later I met with the client and they asked what we had said to Jennifer. Of course Jennifer was never pointed out during the retreat, nor did she ask for any particular advice, but evidently she made some changes in the way she dressed, the way she talked and how she carried/presented herself in general. Of course the “change” brought about some “talk” around the office, but Jennifer persevered, stayed the course and today she continues to be successful with promotions, rewarding assignments and respect among her peers, leadership and employees.
For our younger subscribers. There is a lot of discussion about social networking and the image you are putting out there. Be very aware of the message you are sending. I want to emphasize, not right or wrong, just be aware. What you post, and the pictures people see of you are speaking volumes. You may be cool or “frickin’ wicked” with your friends even – and if that is the image you want to portray – have at it. If, on the other hand, you desire something different, just know people are judging you.
Be confident, well groomed, look smooth and make smart choices.
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Thanks for the post, insightful and something that will stick in my head for my whole career now I’d say! I’ve discovered your previous ones as well now (thanks for numbering them as a clue there were more), great set of principles.