womens ralph lauren polo shirts Is Your Image Networking for You
Are you aware that it takes less than ten seconds to make a first impression? In a networking situation, during these few seconds, the person you are meeting for the first time forms an opinion as to your economic status, educational background, credibility, and confidence.
In today competitive marketplace, if you are well groomed and appropriately clothed, and if you display the right attitude, social skills, and personality, you stand a good chance of making a positive first impression. To be a master at networking, you need to ensure that the messages that you send to others are congruent with your professionalism, the reputation of your company, and your chosen image. All of these elements have to be present during the first ten second encounter with the individuals that you meet.
Your image does play a huge role in networking. The way you use your image determines how those who will influence your level of success receive you. Dynamic networking is a process that begins when you come face to face with another person. If you make a positive first impression, the encounter continues and a relationship based upon trust has the potential to unfold. The more attention you pay to your image, the less you will need to convince people that you can be trusted. It is important to be familiar with contemporary trends in clothing, hairstyles, accessories, and eyeglasses. If your appearance or attitudes reflect another era, others will question your awareness of current affairs. Update these image factors regularly, but never be a slave to fashion or blindly adopt a style that goes beyond your comfort zone. If you are not comfortable with your appearance, you will not be sincere and self confident.
With today general tendency to dress more casually, strike a balance between the rigid for success regimentation of the eighties and the ultra casual clothing that is best regulated to weekends at home. Learn to dress down without bottoming out. In businesses where a navy or dark suit is still essential, replacing the white shirt or blouse with one in an interesting color will make you seem more approachable, yet still professional. In a more casual work environment, a sports jacket or blazer will keep you in the business casual zone. Subtly patterned jackets worn with colored shirts, dress pants, and ties are miles ahead of polo shirts and jeans. Keep a blazer handy to throw over more casual clothing if you suddenly meet an important client on dress down Friday. As the thermometer rises and polo shirts become an option, team them with dress slacks and dress shoes instead of khakis and docksiders.
Dressing Down by Degrees
The number of pieces of clothing worn at one time, the colur combinations, the pattern and texture of the fabrics, and the style of the garments are variables that affect the perceived formality of your clothing.
The greater the number of pieces of clothing one wears at one time, the higher the degree of formality. A three piece suit is the most formal; pants and a T shirt are at the most casual end of the scale. Similarly, switching from dark colors to mid tones, such as mid gray or taupe, makes you appear more approachable. Combining a jacket of one color with pants or a skirt of another color will always be less formal than a matched suit.
More formal garments are usually made from fabrics that are smoother and plainer. Knitted fabrics are less formal than woven fabrics. Worsted wools and silks are considered better quality and therefore more formal than most cotton, linens, and synthetic blends.
A tailored, collared shirt is more formal than a collarless shirt, blouse, or T shirt. A fully tailored garment will carry more influence than a softly constructed version. Women should take note that wearing a dress will have less impact than a suit, unless the dress is a structured coatdress, or the dress is worn with a jacket. The garments must suit your physique and fit impeccably, especially in the collar and shoulder area of a jacket. They should be clean and in good repair.
Your shoes will give clues to others about your attention to detail and your economic situation. Shoes that are unpolished or have worn heels should be avoided. Remember to polish the back of your heels. This detail is the last thing that is seen when you leave.
Strive to buy quality accessories. A leather briefcase, portfolio, purse, or billfold will look better and last longer than vinyl. A worn belt will detract from a new suit or pair of slacks. A good quality pen is very important if you will be writing in view of business associates. A broken umbrella never makes a good impression.
Making Your Entrance
You arrived at your destination and are about to begin networking. You pause at the door to straighten your clothing. The garments you wearing have been chosen with great care to create a professional image. Using the reflection in the window, you discreetly check your hair and take one last look at your shoes. You have prepared what you will say and are ready to enter.
The speed and confidence of your gait should display awareness and self control. When you enter a room, do not stand meekly inside the door. Walk with deliberation a few steps into the room and stand equally balanced on both feet while you examine the people around you. Approach either a person standing on his/her own or a group of more than two. Smile and introduce yourself. Offer your hand in greeting; shake the hands of the other persons present firmly two or three times, and release.
The Look of Success
People like to associate with those who appear successful. However, image is more than a mere polishing of the exterior. It starts with analyzing your appearance and behavior to avoid unfair visual judgments when others meet you for the first time, or interact with you in social or business contexts. It also involves specific strategies that, once learned and applied, will serve you well both socially and professionally. You want the opportunity to exhibit the positive qualities you possess and to develop good business relationships. Make sure your image is working for you.