It’s the little things: Missteps that can trip up your career
You can still blow your first impression, even on your fiftieth meeting. Oh
you’re great at a presentation. And PowerPoint? An artist. You can spreadsheet
to perfection and your projects? Tip top and on time.
Now, can we talk about the dandruff?
Or that suit you want to get a little more wear out of, or the fact you don’t
trouble the cobblers much such that your shoes are a filthy, run-down mess. Or
the terrible un-funny puns, or the fact that you try to save time by not washing
your hands, or really any failure of personal hygiene. Oh we could go on.
You might consider all these things “the small stuff” that you’re not going
to sweat, but please. Sweat the small stuff (and do remember the deodorant). The
“little” things send big loud messages to the world, which sees you as a whole
and not just in terms of your performance on the last assignment you aced. The
message these details are sending is “I’m not serious or professional.”
It is also a matter of respect. You no doubt made sure you always looked and
sounded your best in the interviews it took to land the job. And in the first
three months you were no doubt the keenest of keeners.
Imagine the letdown, now that we can see your underwear on occasion, you’ve
become less conscientious about hygiene and punctuality?
Don’t forget it is important to show that you care just as much about the
long term relationship with the company as the first impression. You want to
show depth, professionalism, good character. Show that you respect the job you
have and the place you work.
Get comfy and tell your bad jokes in the privacy of your own home, where they
love these things about you. While at work, always and every day put your very
best face forward. There is no such thing as “well I can get away with it” when
it comes to long term success.
Remember that at work, you are always making a first impression.