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Never Underestimate the “I” in P.I.E.

Those of us who operate in the corporate or white collar arena have heard of the acronym P.I.E. before. It’s commonly used in presentations and/or trainings as a way to be most successful. For those who are unfamiliar with this, I will briefly explain. P.I.E. stands for Performance, Image and Exposure. The thought behind this is, if one can balance all three one will be successful in their careers and in life. If you can perform well, look good doing it and know the right people, essentially there is nothing stopping you from achieving all of your goals. Many presenters and experts have conflicting opinions to the kind of balance that’s needed here. Some may say you’d need equal parts of all three where as others may put more emphasis on performance or image. Regardless, it’s clear to everyone that all three are needed! Yes, all THREE! This means that if you are a strong achiever but don’t look the part or fail to network, you will not be as successful as you could be. Alternatively, if you look the part and know all of the right people, yet fail to put in some honest effort, you will (most likely) end up in a similar position. I’m sure we all know someone who seemed to have it just a bit easier than most for one reason or another or didn’t fit the mold yet was wildly successful, but that’s another lesson.

Back to the lesson at hand…..

As shallow as it may seem, how you look is important to your overall success. It just is! This is a reality and will not change. Appearance includes several different factors like weight, make-up, apparel, hair, nails and even what you smell like! It is a proven fact that women who wear make-up (even once a while) make more than women who don’t. A man who is up for a promotion may lose 20lbs to gain leg up on his competition. Losing weight shows discipline and commitment to hard work. It sends a message. When you care about how you look it says that you care about the work you’re producing.

Moreover, there are certain looks that should never be seen in a professional environment. Now, I understand that the work “professional” can be a relative term so for the sake of this lesson, let’s define “professional” as “attire fit for the corporate sector or boardroom.” Using this definition, there are certain images that simply won’t work.

Recently, I attended a recruitment event full of job seekers and for the most part I was pleased with what I saw. There were many attendees who were dressed professionally, presented themselves very well and looked as if they were ready to interview on the spot. Many of them received gold stars as far as I was concerned however there were some that clearly were not prepared. In this day and age anyone can Google professional attire and know what they should look like. If money is the issue, Century 21, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory and many others carry fantastic looks for bargain basement prices. There literally is NO excuse for one not to be able to put themselves together well and present the right image. There should be NO purple hair, hot pink sweats, neon colored nails, clown make up, body odor, leopard print hair extensions, greasy hair, novelty ties, etc.

There is a classic quote that says “Dress for the job you want not the job you have.” If you plan on being a CEO one day, start dressing like it today! Never underestimate the importance of looking good. Get yourself together and make sure that your physical appearance is just as strong as your work performance then get out there and meet the right people. Build your own personal brand, be successful and look great doing it!

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