What to wear for networking
Source Article: http://www.studyinstyletraining.com/blog/what-to-wear-to-a-networking-meeting/
Dress for Success – What to Wear to a Networking Meeting.
As humans we believe what we see, therefore, you may not have uttered a single word but the way that you look will tell people a lot about you. At a networking meeting it is vital that you take this into consideration. From your appearance people might assume your social level, job status, educational level, trustworthiness, personality and even your moral character!
We make these subconscious decisions and judgements about people in just a few seconds – usually based on our assumptions and biased by our past experiences.
When we start a business there are numerous things to think about and to plan but if you are your business it is important that you think about how you come across to others. You might spend time and money crafting your website, designing your logo and creating your business cards but it could all be futile if you don’t “look the part”.
You truly never get a second chance to make a first impression so it is crucial that you portray yourself in the best possible way from the outset and then maintain that image.
Dressing for success is not pretending to be something you’re not, neither is it a frivolous topic or a sign of vanity. There really is no substitute for sound knowledge and skills, but a carefully managed image will help by creating a reflection of your abilities through a sort of visual shorthand.
If a person looks a certain way we naturally would expect that person to behave in a particular way. Therefore the clothes that we choose to wear are essential to the impact we make and we can then use our image as a strategy to help us succeed.
Celebrities spend a fortune on creating and maintaining a certain image, so why can’t we do the same?
Creating a consistent message is key – you therefore need to ask yourself a few simple questions to help you select what to wear:
How do I want to be seen?
Think of three words to sum up how you would like others to see you? What do you want them to believe about you, before you even open your mouth?
These words may change depending on the occasion or situation but having these words in mind will help you choose, plan and shop for clothes in the future.
What would people expect someone in my profession to wear?
This is linked to the previous question but vital to consider – for example if I was at a networking meeting and met a gardener I wouldn’t expect them to look “suited and booted” and I would probably mistrust their abilities if I didn’t see a little dirt under their fingernails! This doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t take care with their appearance but in my eyes there would be a disconnect between how they looked and what they were saying.
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