It takes 4 seconds to assess a person; it takes up to 10 to react to them. Statistically speaking, within the first four to ten seconds of interacting with another person, decisions are made about their economic level, education level, trustworthiness, social position, and level of sophistication, economic heritage, social heritage, educational heritage, success, and moral character.
In my industry, at least, the manner in which you dress ultimately has an impact on the way you are perceived and the impression you make, and sometimes has a bearing on the rewards received. Professional dress here refers to dressing in such a manner as to enhance your authority, promote your respect, aid your promotion, and promote your advancement opportunities in the workplace. By understanding the importance, expression and significance of the power image, you will appreciate the wider impact of the daily choice of apparel on career progression, self-esteem and perceptions.
You need to be aware of what your clothes say about you, because within the FIRST FOUR SECONDS of interaction with another person, they immediately make a decision about you based on their first impression, and this decision is rarely changed. Because individuals are judged on their appearance and behaviour, in addition to their performance, the significance of a professional image cannot be overlooked. If you want the job, you have to look the part. If you want the promotion, you have to look promotable. If you want respect, you have to dress as well as or better than your industry standards.
If you feel this isn’t fair – that a person should be judged, not by what they wear but by what they have done with their life, remember this: Life listens only to winners, and nothing exceeds success in the business world like the appearance of success.
The first four seconds, huh? Challenge accepted!