Upon starting a new job, engineers can only end the day in two possible ways: with a good impression or a bad impression from the boss and colleagues. While to know which one you got is quite difficult – also beyond your control – there is still something you can do to keep, if you got the good one, or correct, if otherwise, that first impression at work. Or if you haven’t started working, you better make sure you get the good first impression.
But why is this important?
If you ask Sylvie di Giusto, keynote speaker and executive branding image consultant, she would say that when people first meet, our brains make about 11 decisions concerning what to think about the other person. Eventually, this leads to what is called as “confirmation bias.”
“Confirmation bias makes us look for proof and ignore everything that goes against our initial first thoughts,” di Giusto says. “If you see a sloppy outfit, you look for sloppiness in their communication, their work, etc.”
To maintain a good image as an engineer, you should be wary of four areas that will immediately put you out of bad impressions. You only have at least seven seconds to make that work; which is why those areas – appearance, behavior, communication, and digital – should always be kept in check.
According to di Giusto, appearance is the most important factor because we are ‘visual creatures.’
This means that you as an engineer should also be conscious about the way you look including your personal hygiene and fashion sense. But this is only the start.
More than what the boss or colleagues see is the way you interact with them. Engineers should see to it that the body language and etiquette is appropriate in most, if not all, situations. You should also be able to carry yourself well.
“The first words of every conversation are the most important ones,” says di Giusto. There’s a reason why the saying ‘think before you speak’ is pretty common. Engineers should be able to control what comes out of the mouth so that you would not be in trouble.
With all the online tools available, make sure that you do not leave any negative digital footprint. Managers now are sneaky when it comes to this.
“You can’t not be on the internet any longer,” di Giusto says. “What will I find when I Google your name? What do you say online? How do you look online?” Make sure that all your Facebook posts or tweets are kept in private so that you cannot be implicated. Think before you click.