Dressing the part really does give you an advantage.
Check this article out:
“Survey:Fashion Affects Job Advancement”
Just a few days ago I wrote about the importance of this. Dressing the part is just an aspect of getting ahead.
Filed under: advantage, advice, Business, initiative, internships, kevin roberts, saatchi
You’ve heard the saying – There’s no I in team.
And that’s entirely true. There are, however, four i’s in Initiative.
Initiative comes from oneself. It comes from within. Everyday, people are given opportunities. In many situations people are given the same opportunities. However, the lack of initiative sees many of these opportunities float by and disappear. When these opportunities become available, you must be confident and take action. Who knows, something might come out of it. Andy’s recent post is the perfect example of this happening in the real world.
Initiative is rewarded. Managers tend to favor the employees who go that “extra mile”, who take initiative to do more than what is expected of them. And in many cases, these employees are rewarded for their hard work. From a manager’s perspective, wouldn’t you want somebody working for you to go that extra mile?
An example from my life:
From June until August I had the opportunity to work at Saatchi & Saatchi in New York City. The New York office of Saatchi also happens to be the worldwide headquarters. After reading Kevin Robert’s book, I became fascinated by his perspective and told myself that I would try my hardest to meet him at Saatchi (a seemingly impossible task as I was told). All of the interns had the same opportunities. They were in the same building, had the same schedule, same access. Essentially everything was the same. On quite a few occasions I took the initiative to take a break and wander around the office a little, visiting a few different floors. On one of these days, Kevin was in his office reading the paper. My efforts had been rewarded. On top of that, I had asked if I could have a few words with Kevin. Once again, I took the initiative and was rewarded. Although our chat was only a few minutes long, I had proven to myself that with strong initiative come large rewards.
“The right man is the one who seizes the moment.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
When was a time when you showed some initiative?
The first day of class started today, and one of my professors introduced his class with great enthusiasm. “Marketing Management” was transformed from a theoretical class to an experiential class. The highlight of the semester includes working with an actual client (a diamond retailer/wholesaler) who will present the brief and attend the final presentations.
During his introduction today the professor, rather harshly, started referring to the ups and downs of business. Although his references to the ideas of ‘winners and losers’ were very brash, I found them to be very true.
Unfortunately, in many aspects of business there is no second place. After spending my summer at Saatchi in New York, this hit home very strongly. Every single pitch is designed, constructed and presented to win. There are no trophies or ribbons for the teams that don’t win an account. There is no second place position for somebody who does not get promoted.
That being said, second place is not the end of the world. Regardless of whether or not a winning campaign, pitch or idea is created, there is ALWAYS something new to be learned from the experience.
“Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”
– Donald Trump
How have you learned from a loss in your life?
As the new school year begins (or has begun for some students), it’s always important to start thinking ahead.
Whether it be during the school year or during term breaks (winter/summer), internships are one of the most important things a student in college must do before he/she graduates. Think of it as a scrimmage game before the start of the real game. You have a chance to do a variety of things.
2. Learn More
3. Take and create opportunities
3. Make mistakes (and learn from them)
4. Gain confidence in your field/work, as well as confidence in communicating and working with a strong team
5. Decide what you want to do with your life
Many people don’t realize that an internship’s learning experience also entails learning what you want to accomplish in the future. If you work an internship in your field and hate it, you can come back to school after the summer/winter term and fine-tune your majors. It is substantially more difficult to do that once you have started working full time.
Just remember, learn everything you can and take advantages of the opportunities offered by these internships.
I was picking up my dry cleaning (a whole summer’s worth) this afternoon and I had a quick conversation with Dixie, the lady who runs the show and owns the store. After making a few quick jokes about the fact that my bill would be millions of dollars, she made a great point.
Some of Dixie’s clients include executives from the Principal Financial Group, headquartered here in Des Moines. She talked about a very high ranking executive who had this to share:
The person who climbs the ladder the fastest not only works the part, but looks the part. Every single one of the young men and women promoted show well rounded work, attitude and looks.
There is that old cliche “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
At the end of the day, having a great wardrobe not only looks good, but it makes you feel like a million bucks. And who knows, maybe you will be worth that million bucks you feel.
Remember, by dressing the part you are giving your bosses a physical expression of your desire and readiness for new possibilities and responsibilities.
After a welcome-back discussion with one of my mentors today, we began talking about mindset of the go-getter college student. We came to the conclusion that there are two types of go-getters. The first is the person who tries to meet as many people as possible and becomes thrilled by the idea of networking with many people. The second is the person who develops rich relationships.
Hundreds of books have been written about the importance of relationships, yet there are so many people out there who still don’t understand this idea.
One thing is certain; it’s about who you know, and not how many people you know. I would, without hesitation, take one of my strong relationships up against a person with hundreds of people they “know”. And I can guarantee that help would come quicker from the stronger relationship. The largest network is not always the best. In fact, the larger the network, the more difficult it becomes to maintain strong ties with everybody within the network.
For those who have been in a frenzy to meet as many people as possible, remember this. Slow down a little bit and develop stronger mutual relationships. Take the time to genuinely get to know the other person, and make sure they feel the same thing about you. Not only will you get more respect, but you will develop a stronger relationship that could provide a channel of assistance in the future. Once you focus on strength, you can develop the size. At this point, you will not have to worry about the reliability of the network.
So remember – despite what the cellular phone operators tell you, a stronger network is exponentially more important than a larger network.
Strength = Reliability
This concept is not new in the world of business, and after reading Andy Drish’s Blog entry about things he had learned during his internship, I decided to build on this idea.
You, Inc. is a strong step for a student still in college in terms of growing maturity and accountability for one’s actions. This is especially essential during experiences such as Andy’s, when being surrounded by not only professionals and future employers, but people you may look up to.
In the ever changing world today, I believe the first step in developing your own personal brand is by outlining your beliefs and values. One of my colleagues at my internship mentioned that as long as one works, they must never compromise their values. Just like a brand must effectively develop its foundations before sending out their message, You have to do that too. By getting a grasp of these values, you can project a stronger image of themselves by focusing on the strengths.
After identifying these values, it’s important to keep them consistent. On top of that, it is also essential for you to follow through on all of these beliefs. If you determine that you value punctuality, don’t be late. If you value respect for all people, don’t be condescending to anyone.
Personal branding can also be taken to the extent of creating a personal website or blog, and applying the color scheme or style of the site to one’s business cards. Martin Lindstrom mentioned that one of the strongest aspects of brands is consistency (example: the Pentium tune has been in every commercial since 1990). A personal website is also a great place to conveniently place a resume for people to access.
Why is a personal brand important?
Because just like with any other brand in the world, people talk. If the engine of a car with a 10 year warranty randomly explodes, it will be the talk of the car industry. This is the same in terms of You, Inc. If you underperform or fail to deliver on a task, people will notice. They will talk about it, and believe me it will not be good.
Think of it this way.
Why would anybody support Ford if their trucks started falling apart? (contrary to their “Built Tough” tagline)
Why would anybody support YOU if you fail to deliver on your promise?