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Is Your Image Hurting Your Career?

May 8, 2008
This is the harsh reality of the world we live in, where your career depends on the image you portray. People who are attractive, physically fit and better dressed are those who get the best jobs - irrespective of their skills or qualifications.

It is all about the image in the business world. It may not be fair, but that's how it is.

Be Fit

Ok, so it does sound unfair that people who have a weight problem, or are not model-skinny do not get the best jobs. However, before you get too outraged, consider the reason behind this.

If you are seen as a person who has a weight problem, it usually means (or is assumed) that you do not exercise. This is where the problem lies. Exercise is what keeps people going through tough times. When you exercise, you have the ability to focus and are more alert, and this is because exercising produces endorphins in the body (the happy hormones). Some people claim that exercising can even make people smarter.

When you are seen as a person who is serious about health and fitness, you are seen as a person who is serious about professional life as well. This makes a good impression on employers or prospective employers.

Prioritize Your Image

If you have no time for fitness, and no time to eat properly or exercise, what sort of image is that portraying to people? It tells people that when you do not have time for your own health or personal life, you will be a workaholic. If you are so busy with work that you really cannot find 40 minutes a day to hit the gym and help your body to be healthy? It is all about your image; if you look good and fit, it portrays the image that you work hard towards looking good, and you will put the same kind of effort into your work and professional life.

On the other hand, if you are overweight or look sloppy, it gives the image that you don't care about your appearance. It also reflects upon the fact that you do not respect your coworkers or your clients enough to look respectable around them, and in turn do not care about your job and the work you do!

Dress for Success

As cliche as it sounds, you have to dress for success. When you dress with care and give an impression of power and confidence, you are building a brand for yourself at the workplace. Your image is what matters at the end of the day.

Do whatever it takes to build that image - meet with an image consultant if necessary. An image consultant will help you look the part when it comes to your job.

Spend some money on getting the right kind of clothes. Don't think of this as shopping; think of it as an investment in your career. And think twice before you reach for that cheeseburger!
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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