In this day and age, one of your best weapons in business is your appearance. Yes, charisma and business sense are certainly helpful but as humans, we are simple creatures.
In some industries where stakes are high, appearance, particularly when customer-facing, appearance can be the difference between a deal and no deal (source: WeLendUS), so maintaining a professional look is crucial.
Some studies have shown that we are more likely to trust people who we think of as attractive. So, could it be that your physical appearance is holding you back in the business world?
An attractive physical appearance can go a long way to enhance your personality. A well-groomed, professional appearance is an important asset in the workplace, leaving a positive first impression and earning you more respect from your colleagues.
It goes without saying that a good physical appearance will only get you so far, but an unkempt physical appearance or poor personal hygiene could close the door before you’ve even started the conversation.
As much as we would all love to live in a world where physical appearance is seen to be completely unimportant, as human beings we often judge others according to how they look. Imagine, you have two potential business partners sitting to your right and left and you know nothing about them at the moment. One has greasy, matted hair, bad breath, and smells of body odour.
The other looks clean and tidy, with well-groomed hair, ironed shirt, and smells clean. Chances are you know who you want to do business with.
Why is a physical appearance so important?
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For potential business partners as well as established colleagues, good physical appearance indicates to them that you are somebody who looks after themselves. Whether you are a business phone solution, salesperson, or work in a company’s back office, appearance is always important.
Looking after ourselves suggests we are more likely to be social on a regular basis and that we hold ourselves in high esteem. This signaled high self-esteem could suggest that we are more confident and show an insight into how other people see us.
Physical appearance is incredibly important because it is the first way other people will judge us and those first impressions are quick to make but long-lasting. Great business leaders always know how to create a long-lasting first impression.
Perhaps, even more so, good personal hygiene is a must in business. If you’ve dealt with a number of clients or colleagues, chances are one stick in your head for their personal hygiene, and not for a good reason.
Having a meeting with someone whose clothes smell unwashed or who has bad breath or who smells of body odour, can be an excruciating experience. The reality is that working in business, you’re going to need to keep meeting people in these close quarters and poor personal hygiene could be stopping potential opportunities from coming your way.
What can I do to improve my physical appearance?
First things first, if you think you might not be caring for your personal hygiene effectively, sort that out. Make sure that you’re wearing clean and fresh-smelling clothes every day, shower every morning, wash your hair on a regular basis, and brush your teeth twice a day for 2-minutes.
These are very simple things but for a number of reasons they can fall by the wayside. So, these are essentials, make sure these things happen before anything else
In terms of your physical appearance, here are a few things you can do to improve it:
- Make sure all your clothes are clean and ironed every day. Select outfits carefully to make sure that they give off the professional and put-together aesthetic you are trying to communicate. You can even shop for a new wardrobe if needed.
- Make sure your hair is always looking clean and professional, whatever that means to you. The most important thing is that it’s not looking greasy.
- Get your teeth professionally straightened or white, depending on how they’re looking at the moment. A smile can be your greatest asset in the business world, and a straight white smile goes even further. Look out for a reliable dental care centre near you.
- Keep up a regular skincare routine if you’re somebody who regularly struggles with breakouts.
- Make sure you maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat a healthy balanced diet, and get regular exercise. Not only will this make you feel your absolute best, putting you in a great place to change the world, but you’ll also notice improvements in your physical appearance as well as your sleep and your mental well-being.