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I’ve always loved the theme song from CSI: even though I’ve never watched the show. It’s a remix of a song by The Who (ironically). It starts with “Who are you? Who, who… who, who?” 

At the end, the man says, ‘Oh, I really wanna know, who? Come on tell me, who are you, you, you, oh you.” 

OK, so it sounds better when he’s singing it. It’s catchy.  

Just those few lines remind me that we’re always in a battle between who we are and who we present ourselves to be. It’s all about perception management. 

In the fast-paced world we live in today, we don’t get much time to define ourselves to those around us. At work, it’s especially important that you are coming across in a positive light and in a way you want to be perceived. 

How do people describe you when you aren’t around? 

What value do you bring to the workplace? 

There’s a difference between how you may describe yourself and how others describe you. No one knows your background. They are basing their thoughts of you as a person off of what you are doing right now in your life. How do you present yourself? 

Do you leave early every day? Do you have an excuse for everything? Are you late to every meeting? Do you work overtime every night?  

Say you are the employee that is always volunteering to work late. It seems silly, but your coworkers might hate you for it – you’re making them look bad. They also probably think that you have no life since you are willing to constantly put work above all else.  

Of course you have a life, right? And you are probably staying late because you either want a promotion or you feel guilty because no one else is willing to do it. 

Because we live in an impatient world, we judge people in order to simplify things for our brains. Your coworkers may be judging you as a brown-nosing recluse, and you may not even know it! All you know is that you are sacrificing for the company and/or your career, and that should be honorable, right? 

Sometimes there is a disconnect between the value you add to the workplace and the PERCEIVED value. If you are “the brown-noser,” all that hard work may be for nothing. Although your boss may appreciate that you work late, he might think the same thing as your coworkers. He may feel that your sacrifice doesn’t mean as much because you have no life.  

All your hard work may not turn into a promotion just because of office gossip.  

Your boss may want to promote someone who he thinks is supporting a family… when in fact you might be, too, but no one knows it.  

It’s important to manage your image at work. Even though it may seem unfair at times, your image affects how you are treated now and can impact your chances of moving up within the company.  

So, how do you manage how you are perceived? Keep your eyes and ears open, take feedback well, and ask hard questions. Find someone you trust at work and ask him/her what they think of you. If you simply don’t work in an environment with someone you feel comfortable asking, then just focus on the first two pieces.  

Be open to change. 

Maybe you should turn down some overtime. Let everyone know that you have a valuable life outside of work, just like they do. Be a leader, but not a dictator or a know-it-all. Be agreeable, but not a doormat. 

Impressions are extremely important. Don’t be manipulative or devious, but make others see the real value you bring to the workplace by managing how they see you. Be cognizant that we are always judging others.  I mean, don’t become obsessed with what everyone else thinks, but be aware.

Once your real-life contributions equal what everyone else perceives, you may find it easier to meet your career goals. 

Leesburg, Virginia Event Photography

Alimond Photography Studio specializes in creating strategic corporate headshot portraits for not only the individual small business entrepreneur, but also the Fortune 500 Company.  Alimond Photography Studio is located in downtown Leesburg, Virginia, where they will create the perfect look for you in their 1300 square foot photo studio.  If you have a large team or you have a specific vision you want to create, we can also come out to you on location of your choice.  Please go HERE to get more info and set up your session.

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