Warranted or not, your appearance can have an impact on your career. Every person you meet will make some judgments about you based on how you look. Therefore, it is important to do your best to look the part if you want people to take you seriously.
Here are some reasons why your appearance matters:
1. First impressions are hard to change
Once people have a first impression of you, seldom does it change. If it does, you will have to put in a lot of work to correct a bad first impression. People will pass judgment about you in the first minute of meeting you, and this will be the basis for how they view you going forward. A bad first impression can set the tone for a poor working relationship with others and set you back in your career.
2. Perception matters
How you look, the clothing you wear, and how put together you are will give others a preconceived notion about you. For example, if you constantly show up to work with poor-fitting, wrinkled clothing and looking somewhat unkempt, people are going to make an assumption about you. This assumption will also apply to your quality of work and other facets of your career.
3. Age is correlated to experience
People make judgments about you based on your perceived age, not your actual age. If you look older, people may assume you are more established. But they could also make an assumption that you look too old to be in a specific role (entry-level job, for example).
On the other hand, if you look too young, people may not take you as seriously, especially for more senior roles. This could hurt your chances during the interview process.
4. Boost your confidence
When you put the time and effort into looking your best, you will also feel your best. This can help you be confident, even in stressful situations. This confidence can give you the boost you need to enhance your performance and achieve more. The better you feel, the more positive energy you will convey when you interact with others.
Whether you look old, young, or unique, it’s important to put effort into your appearance. It can have a big impact on your ability to progress in your career now and into the future.
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