SANDRINE RATTAN (WITH WOMEN IN MIND)
My belief is you have one chance to make a first impression – Kevin McCarthy
Make a statement without saying a word equates to your image.
The image depicted by you in professional and public spaces says quite a lot about who you are and what you represent.
Though image means different things to different people, the importance of its impact is not well understood.
According to Laura Morgan Roberts, professor at Harvard Business School, “professional image is the set of qualities and characteristics that represent perceptions of your competence and character as judged by your key constituents.” Image is a holistic package beyond external looks and encompasses your smile, body language, conversational techniques and your overall ability to interact with others both in the workplace as well as in social settings.
The levels of importance attached to image vary depending on circumstances. For example, when preparing for an interview as well as general deportment in the workplace, image, along with professionalism and proper deportment go hand in hand. Maintaining a positive image outside of the workplace also lands some great opportunities. I am aware of individuals who received job offers as a result of a winning and sustainable image. Many women have also admitted that their poor image is as a result of self-neglect, but are now willing to start their journey of renewal.
Several people have failed at interviews because of inadequate preparation as well inappropriate attire and body language, the old adage — first impressions are lasting, is true to life as you are judged based on that very first encounter, hence the importance of always being fully prepared at all times.
Knowing the difference in the type of events and what is required is also critical in avoiding negativity and disappointment; there are ongoing instances where some of the most qualified candidates failed at different encounters including interviews, because they lacked in other important areas such eye contact, poor body language and/or not addressing the interviewers appropriately.
A positive image includes these and many other components.
Image like your personality is always noticed by others, and based on what is seen, opinions and judgments are formed which may or may not be accurate. An extremely important element which complements your image is a high level of self-confidence which must be visible in your every move; in fact, strong self-confidence is the hallmark of a positive image, to the extent that others will be influenced into emulating you.
Because the concept of image is not well understood, there are some who believe that based on their profession, they are free to waiver; whilst this may feel democratic, it may not always work in your best interest as opportunities can be missed. Improving your image should be a great privilege as that renewed package can redound to some excellent benefits including a new job, promotion in your existing job or even receiving an advertising offer that can yield a fortune for a lifetime.
Sandrine Rattan is a communications/branding consultant/author and president of the International Women’s Resource Network (IWRN) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or contact 283-0318.