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2019-06-03 Issue 99 – Fundamental Behavior 22 – Take pride in our appearance
The workplace has changed a great deal since I started my legal career years ago. When I first started out as a young lawyer, at the law firm I worked for, and at most other law firms and banks, and many other work places at that time, men wore a coat and tie and women wore skirts, hose, and heels to work every day. I remember on one occasion, one of the partners in the law firm I worked for commented that he would not mind if women wore pants to work. I asked him if he would take me with him to a meeting with an important client if I wore pants to work that day. His silence told me what I suspected – that he was not quite as ready for women lawyers to wear pants to work as his comment had suggested!
We have come a long way since then. Workplaces are much more casual. That does not mean, though, that we do not need to be concerned about our appearance. Even though we can now dress on a more casual basis, it is as important as ever to be appropriately dressed and well groomed at work. We don’t always know when colleagues from overseas, customers, or others we want to make a good impression on will be visiting us. As the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression, and you want it to be a good one. We are meeting new people, greeting customers and colleagues, and otherwise interacting with co-workers and others as we go about our jobs every day, and an important aspect of how we will be perceived by those we meet is how we look. If we are well dressed and well groomed every day, we will be prepared to meet and/or greet everyone who comes in the door. Being well dressed and well groomed can even give you additional confidence in yourself, which, in turn, can help you perform to the best of your ability at your job.
It is also important to take pride in the appearance of our offices, manufacturing facilities, and other work spaces. I am always impressed when I walk through our manufacturing facilities and see how well organized, neat and clean they are. That is one of the things that makes me proud to work for YKK. I expect that it likewise gives our customers who come to tour our facilities additional confidence that they have chosen wisely in making YKK their trim supplier or other business partner. Keeping our factories and facilities well-organized, neat and clean also helps ensure safety and environmental compliance by keeping hazards out of working areas and properly stored and disposed of.
Appearances do matter. So let’s make sure we are presenting ourselves and our company to the best possible advantage every day.
Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel
YKK Corporation of America