340 the etiquette book
There was a day when, upon entering one’s chosen eld, barring some egregious occurrence,one would retire, many years later, from the same eld (often from the same company whereone had worked for decades). Nowadays, people tend to move through several differentcareers during their lifetime. What does that mean for today’s busy professional? It meansyou do not have the luxury of time to develop your professional reputation. You will beforming and re-forming your image regularly. What’s more, new colleagues and clients willbe judging you immediately. Fortunately, the vast majority of these judgments will be basedupon observable behaviors—of which you have complete control.Take a moment to consider someone you truly respect in your chosen eld. Why didthis person come to mind? What has this individual accomplished? How did this individualachieve desired goals? As you ponder these lofty questions, consider this individual’s dailybehavior and the image he or she projects. How does this person speak with colleagues andclients? How does he or she interact with subordinates and support staff?
A jacket is an essential element in almost all professional wardrobes.It is a symbol of power and authority. Studies have found when menremove their suit jackets, they lose a bit of their power. However, whenwomen remove their suit jackets, they lose most of their power. Thereare other gender dierences with jackets. Men may and do unbuttontheir suit buttons (at least the bottom one!) when seated. Women’ssuits are not designed the same way and therefore women shouldkeep their suit jackets buttoned.Whether you wear a suit, khakis, a uniform, or coveralls, youshould arrive at work neat and clean. Your hair should be washed,combed, and away from your face. Your hands should be clean andyour shoes polished. And, of course, you should be ready to work.(For more information on achieving a respectable appearance, referto Chapter 10.)