"A good first impression can make wonders." J.K. Rowling
When you enter a new phase in your life like starting a new job, you realise that there are a lot of 'firsts'. You may be nervous, you may be scared and you may have many questions on your mind. That’s okay, we all do. The fact that you’re here now, means you’ve encountered and passed countless tests, assignments and have demonstrated that you’re capable and eligible of being in that position. Your good choices led you to that position, your determination worked like a charm on your team and that’s why you deserve to be there.
And once you step into your workspace, you’ll be thoroughly evaluated. You will notice that you’re being assessed on the basis of your appearance, attitude, behaviour, working style, commitment, connections and many more. You cannot slip up, you have to be proactive and ensure that you set the right tone from the start. Be in control of the perception you make.
So how exactly do you do that?
Well, that’s why we’re here to help you out, isn’t it? Unleash Today, talks about various modes of putting your best foot forward and in this blog post, we are going to discuss a few of them. Let’s start with the first point.
Unleash Today’s co-author, Sarah Wagner states, “As a woman, dressing for success isn’t superficial, it’s being smart.” And that is completely true, because whether you like it or not, you’re being judged all the time.
In our book, ‘Unleash Today’ you’ll find various tips and tasks that enable you to understand yourself better and create your own brand. So do not forget to get a copy for yourself to complete that exercise (and many more) in your unleashing journey. You can soon order the book here.
Be aware of how you come across, as a person. Never assume that people know you completely. People only know you by what you show them. So, if you show them that you’re an assertive, kind and positive team-player, you’ll be perceived as one. The way people talk about you is based on the way you show yourself to them. This leads to our next point.
Body Language and Power Pose
Our body mimics our emotions. Changes in the body language can be perceived as changes in our mood and emotions. Which is why being conscious of your body language is very essential. Make a conscious effort to get up and smile. Engage in conversations, and start looking more confident.
To feel empowered, we recommend exercising the power pose, in particular. What is a power pose, you may ask?
The power pose is the epitome of confidence: push your chest out, stand with your hands on your hips and position your legs hip-distance apart. The key is to act the way you want to believe in yourself. So, begin with the power-pose. It helps instil confidence, and helps you feel empowered. Start practising your power-pose before every important event to remain confident throughout.
While we know the importance of the power-pose, it’s now time to understand another integral aspect.
As we discussed before, your body language is vital. Making conscious efforts to take care of your posture is extremely important to be perceived as a strong, yet approachable person. Here are some tips to be perceived as a confident person.
Take up space - By standing or sitting with your legs apart, shows that you’re confident and comfortable with yourself.
Stop fidgeting - it conveys nervousness.
Have a firm handshake.
Be conscious of your facial expressions so that you don’t accidentally imply disinterest or any negative emotions.
However, one must also make a conscious effort to recognise the cultural difference. For example, in some countries, kisses on the cheek or bowing are more common.
Dress Code and Hair
‘Dress to impress’ is a very common saying. While it has been used for a very long time, it does convey a deeper meaning. Non-verbal communication and power-posing can only lead you to seem confident. This is where your dressing style comes into play.
Consider a situation where you first enter a conference room. Many pairs of eyes are now looking at you expectantly. The aura that you project, should put them in awe.
So how do you do that? You dress well, and you project confidence. Dressing well indicates that you took the effort to look good and no effort has ever gone unrecognised.
So, how should you get ready for your first day at work? ‘Better overdressed than underdressed’ is our mantra. You can always turn your outfit down once you’ve identified what the general dress code in the office is. If you walk into a room full of dark suits wearing bright clothes, take advantage of your unique position!
Did you know that different clothing colours evoke certain human responses? For instance, blue conveys leadership while white makes people feel that you’re organised. To understand this in detail, we recommend reading our book, Unleash Today. In our book you’ll find out the meaning of each colour of work attire along with much more!
This blog post has given you a small taste of our book ‘Unleash Today’where there are many more tips throughout Step 1. These include; nailing office communication and mastering your first weeks at work. The very first step takes you on a journey to help you create a magnificent first impression. Remember, you are your own boss. You know that, I know that, but now it’s time to prove it to the world. So, go Unleash Today!
Shivani Nair is Unleash Today's Content Strategist based in Ahmedabad, India.