Tag Archives: listening

How important is appearance and presentation to getting or keeping a job?

Colorful ties

How you look, which includes your grooming and what you wear plus how you present yourself are very important to getting and/or keeping a job or in landing a new piece of business. In all my blogs and other writings, I do not spend much time on this subject, so here it is.

On page 199 of my book, The Power of Ownership: How to Build a Career and a Business, I do say: “Don’t drink alcohol at client or customer events.” And I say: Dress well and stays in good physical condition for you.” Those tips are just as important as the other 16 Career Tips listed.

Gone are the days when we all must follow specific dress codes like men must wearing ties and women can’t wear pants or slacks. But even with these two examples, there may be exceptions.

I always thought about myself at the event and tried to think through what was proper attire. I would find out what others wear either every day or to any event. Then I would dress once small notch above that level. For example, it is easy to take a tie off but almost impossible to put one on, so I’d wear a tie.

And make sure your clothes are clean and look great and your shoes–men and women–are shined, etc.

Wearing too much aftershave or perfume can be a huge turn-off in office situations. So use these moderately.

I have always said that listening is the key to good communication, so listen before speaking.  And don’t dominate any situation. Make sure everyone is participating in any conversation. Ask questions to get others involved if they are reluctant. Remember that when you are talking, you are not learning anything.

Keeping in shape for you means just that. No one expects everyone to be a triathlete or marathon runner. However, being in good shape and looking that way just might mean to the other person that you have the energy to do the job.

It is hard for me to say what a woman should or should not wear in any situation. So talk to other women about what is appropriate and make a decision based on that input. Still, the general concepts mentioned here apply to both men and women. This is true if you are going to an event or making a presentation in the board room.

If you are presenting, rehearse. Know what you want to say and say it. Speak with a polite voice and with confidence. This will most likely help you create a great first impression.

So, in summary, dress appropriately, stay in shape, and listen before you speak. And, have fun.

John J. Bailey is a veteran public-relations professional, former agency owner and author of The Power of Ownership: How to Build a Career and a Business. Learn more about John, hear what others are saying about his book, and purchase your own copy in hardcover and for Kindle.

Lessons learned in my 56-year career

In my book, The Power of Ownership: How to Build a Career and a Business, I share the lessons learned along the path of my 56-year business career. The purpose is not just to tell my story, but really to help readers learn from my successes and mistakes. Many lessons are rooted in my dealings with business professionals and public servants, all of whom helped to shape these lessons, and ultimately, this book.

Some lessons are way more important than others. Here are the ones I consider to be the most important.

  • Be honest. Honesty will make you a better person and professional.
  • Listen. When you are talking, you are not learning anything. So, listen! Listen to family, associates, clients or business partners and advisors. Once you do, you are better able to make decisions that include all their input.
  • Respect everyone and everything. If you do, there will be a better chance of others respecting you. If you do not, you will not get much if any cooperation.
  • It can be done. Most things can be done. Find a way. Do not give up.
  • Work smarter as well as harder. We have all known people who worked 12 hours and got eight hours’ worth of work done. A smarter way is to work eight hours and get 12 hours’ worth instead. How? Prioritize. Do what is important first. By prioritizing, you will find some of the least important tasks fall off your “to-do list” before you do them.
  • Teamwork. Any two of us is smarter than any one of us. Use the team you have to get more done all the time. This helps the product as well as your teammates to be better. If you must operate alone, work smarter as well as harder.
  • Continue to learn. You need to be a student your entire life. Make yourself a better person each day through constant learning. You will be amazed at how this improves your efforts over time.
  • Constantly learn to recreate yourself. If you are not doing this as a person or business, you will be passed by. Also, continuously recreating yourself and learning new things go hand in hand.

The book includes more detailed lists of lessons I learned, ones focused on career and business. I encourage you to read, adopt and share them when the book goes on sale this coming June on Amazon.