First Impressions and Its Importance in Work

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For as long as man has existed, first impressions have drastically influenced people’s success and life paths. This success includes self-worth, interviews, work, married life, and social circles. Humans seem to be aware of this fact as the keen interest in coming across as likable begins at an early age when teenagers start to pay strict attention to their figure and attractiveness. First impressions that people make in seconds are determined by physical appearance, body language, smell, culture, age, voice, accent, and everything that they can feel or see the first time they meet a person.

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To begin with, the positive first impressions made about attractive people may lead to their personal and professional success. For instance, research proves that beautiful people can form more successful social networks because they appear to be more welcoming and trustworthy. Even in politics, a major issue arises; more attractive politicians, regardless of how deserving they are, gain more trust and support from their very first appearance, so they end up earning more votes and eventually outperforming their less attractive peers. This is due to the fact that people who have the “right” facial features are considered more flexible, well-informed, and efficient by the observers.

When it comes to the workplace, first impressions seem to hugely impact a person’s type of job. In fact, visible tattoos were reported to negatively influence recruitment chances especially if the tattoo has an offensive genre. Timming examined the harmful effect of the visible tattoos on the chances of getting employed at a reputable company. He put forth a narrative, proving that tattoos which portrayed certain genres that offend the interviewer or go against their beliefs lower a person’s chances of successfully passing a job interview. Moreover, Johnson, Podratz, Dipboye and Gibons demonstrated that women who look very feminine are not favored for jobs that demand masculine traits because they are considered incapable of handling the job. As for more attractive men who apply for jobs that require masculinity, they are definitely at an advantage in comparison with the less attractive males. Hence, first impressions based on physical appearance seem to either facilitate or complicate a person’s progress.

Besides, research conducted at the University of Glasgow proved that people make judgements about another person from their tone of voice. In fact, voices tell the listeners a great deal about a person’s age, gender, emotional state, and character traits. Regarding the last, McAleer, Todorov, and Belin concluded that people with a high-pitched voice are believed to be friendlier than others. However, this is a double-edged sword itself. To illustrate, Klofstad, Anderson, & Peters stated that people with lower-pitched voices are regarded as more suitable for leadership positions. They emphasize, “Because women, on average, have higher-pitched voices than men, voice pitch could be a factor that contributes to fewer women holding leadership roles than men.”

In conclusion, a first impression is evidently a major component for success in numerous fields, and extensive research does prove that it can function as a passport to achievement. Many people may tend to ignore its value. However, to succeed in life, work on improving the first impressions you make and remember that you only have seven seconds to make a first impression which you never get a second chance to make.  

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