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5 To-Do’s for any 22 Year Old’s Career

Source | LinkedIn : By Colin Shaw

It was 1980. I was 22, newly married and climbing the corporate ladder in England. David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes played on the radio. Margaret Thatcher was just getting started in her reign as Prime Minister.

It was also a long time ago. I have learned much about professionalism and careers since then. To that end, here are five things I would do today if I were 22.

#1: Dress like my job depended on it

As Customer Experience Consultants, we talk about White Lab Coat moments, which describe how you make a judgment about something based on the appearance of an icon. We named this concept after the infamous Milgram study, where a man in a white lab coat encouraged people to administer electric shocks to fellow participants. Most people applied shocks marked “XXX” to the other person merely because the person telling them to was wearing a white lab coat, an icon of authority.  (Luckily, there were no shocks, nor even a second participant in the study, but the findings are certainly a dark reflection on our nature!)

Men’s suits have created a white coat moment over time. When you wear a dark, well-pressed suit along with the appropriate accessories, you look professional and authoritative. Whether it’s a client presentation, a conference in Vegas, or a job interview, making sure that your attire is creating the right white coat moment is imperative to sending the appropriate signals about yourself.

#2: Practice my handshake.

One of the first impressions you make when you meet people is conveyed in your handshake. Whether firm or soft, the intensity communicates clues about your personality—and these opinions tend to correlate with your grip.

Body language is important, too. From fidgeting to the ability to make certain eye contact, your body language sends subconscious clues to the other people, too, sometimes without you realizing it.

Practice your handshake. Make sure it is the right balance of intensity. Even better if you make eye contact (while not fidgeting). These little things add up to a great first impression.

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