How I am defining appearance: Appearance is how others perceive you. I am NOT talking about physique or how you dress. I AM talking about what you need to do at the minimum for others to perceive you in a favorable light.
I graduated with an engineering degree, and when going through school, I have met some highly intelligent people. Unfortunately, there are people who strictly focus on their studies/skills, and let simple ideas get lost because they believe that just being really good in a certain topic should be sufficient to carry them through their careers.
“Why does my appearance matter if the product that I make is amazing?”
Appearance matters because in the real world you will be working in a team environment. You need to be able to compromise with your teammates, and if they cannot deal with you because of how you lack basic self care, then that ultimately hurts the product. This unfortunately can lead to alienation, and a toxic environment.
How you carry yourself is also crucial because you are representing a product/company; you need to have others perceive you in a good light, and ultimately associate themselves with you.
The next set of suggestions are quite basic, but are important to social success. Although they are “common sense”, some of us may have strayed a little from the path, and need a light reminder to guide each other back on track.
When going out, whether to go to work or to see friends, or heck even just for yourself, focus on your hygiene! What does that mean?
- Shower daily (use soap!)
- Brush your teeth (scrub your tongue!)
- Apply deodorant (no sprays!)
- Regularly wash your clothes
Think of it this way: You don’t want to be the smelly, unkempt person. People definitely notice these things, and it can make it difficult to work with that person. This can be dodged just by following those basic steps!
The last piece of advice is to have basic manners. Remember that no one is perfect all of the time, and basic manners are subjected to different cultures, but the ones suggested below are general and should be followed.
Basic Manners include, but are not limited to:
- Hold in body gasses
- Keep your belongings around you (not in other people’s spaces)
- Chew with your mouth closed
- Don’t shovel food into your mouth
Here is a scenario to keep in the back of your mind: You are on an airplane, close and confined. You don’t want to sit next to the person that smells of body odor or bad coffee/onion breath. You don’t want to hear (or worse, smell) their burps or farts. You don’t want their stuff spilling into your area. You don’t want to hear them slapping their mouth while they eat.
Ultimately, DON’T BE THAT PERSON ON THE PLANE.