THE KSCHRONICLES: First Impressions

Kerdisha St. Louis

EDITOR’S NOTE: TheKSChronicles are the observations and insight of blogger and journalist Kerdisha St.Louis. Each article seeks to invoke a reaction and/or introspection from readers in Dominica and the Diaspora on various thought provoking issues and topics. We are delighted to present the first article in this exciting, new series on DNO.

First impressions count. The fact is, when you first meet a person, he/she makes a judgment about you in approximately four seconds and  judgment is largely finalized within 30 seconds of the initial contact.

Everything contributing to the way you look on the outside is important. If it’s not helping you, it’s hurting you. While you cannot control your physical features, you do have total control over your dress and grooming.

Making judgments about someone’s personality based on the way they look is something humans do automatically, without thinking.

Once you get to know the person, those judgments gradually dissipate and get replaced by new assessments of what they’re really like.

Except that second bit, while believable, is not exactly true. According to new research, our first impressions of people in photographs influence our perception of those people even after we’ve interacted with them personally.

 And while it might be a bit shallow and we would all like what is on the inside to matter more than the outside, sadly, that is not the case, and I have learnt that for us living in the Caribbean, there is no exception to the rule.

 Flashback to my first interview straight out of college: I was fresh faced and eager to join the working force. I had properly mentally prepared myself for my job interview, even printing out notes and questions I had for my prospective employer and attired myself in my well tailored pantsuit and heels. During the interview I breezed through the question segment. However, I did notice that my interviewer would often get distracted, staring at me in a particular way.  A few days later I got an email letting me know that I had gotten the job.

As you can imagine, I was immensely pleased and graciously accepted but I did inquire why the interviewer had given me those particular stares. The response was simply this ‘the interviewer was very impressed by your wardrobe considering the job you were applying for.’

It was at that moment that I realized exactly how much your appearance and demeanor can either open or close doors in your life. 

I become conscious that dressing for success is indeed a real thing. I understood then that when you put 100% into something you more than likely will get back 100% or even more.

 True the job I was applying for did not call for such extravagant attire, but I did feel like I had to put my best foot forward in order to get the job that I wanted.

 Now I’m not saying to spend a large amount of money to buy a ridiculously expensive wardrobe but investing in a few good pieces in your wardrobe is something everyone can do.

Let’s now talk about the other 10% of leaving a first impression which is conversation.

 It’s very important that no matter who you are speaking to or interacting with, that your first conversation be memorable but in a good way.

As hard as it is to believe you never know if the person you are interacting with is a future employer or business colleague and it is well known that bad impressions are most times more memorable than good ones.

So what do I mean by leaving a good first impression through interaction? I mean first try to sound as much as an intellectual as possible.

 Yes we live in the Caribbean and dialect is something that we have all grown up knowing, but the importance of speaking like an educated person is not to be taken for granted.

The other half of the interaction is BODY LANGUAGE.

People from the melting pot of the world are well known for having fiery spirits and a lot of attitude, but sometimes this can be a hindrance to your success.

As a young person I can say that we often take for granted how we behave among our peers and in other social settings. We also have to take into account that we live in the digital age and whatever we put out there on the World Wide Web is not going anywhere.

I can’t tell you the number of times I hear from colleagues who work in human resource say that they have been discouraged from hiring many a person due to the content of their facebook, instagram and twitter.

Again, I’m not trying to preach. I simply want to use my observations and experiences to let people (especially young people) know that these little things can have a lasting impression in your life.

 While the current trend may be to act in a particular way which can be described as “Rachet” or uncouth, this type of behavior is not going to be an asset when you are going to enter the professional workforce.

The message I want to leave is this, try to put a conscious effort everyday to dress and behave in a manner that helps to achieve your future goals.

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16 Comments

  1. stupes !
    January 23, 2017

    Write an article about the importants of Civics being thought in school.
    We need civics back in the classrooms…
    If that is not a topic of discussion , DOMINICA IS NOT A COUNTRY :!:

  2. TrueDominikaan
    January 23, 2017

    Wow Kerdisha!! Great Article. Keep It Up!!

  3. Lynn Lucas
    January 23, 2017

    This is so true. I have been on many search committees for prospective employees on my job and I react exactly the same way to them. At times I get distracted by their face or tongue piercings and even tattoos. So I don\’t listen carefully to what they say during the interview. I have taught college students with yellow and pink hair and freak out when I meet them. Many of them are very intelligent and nice people. But I only come to that conclusion about them after getting to know them after a month or two. But they only have one opportunity to meet a future employer who will never get to really know them. They only have one time to make that impression. I tell my students all the time that people tend to judge each other by what they see. Unfortunately, one bad impression can close the door to your future.

  4. Bunny
    January 22, 2017

    Very relevant. Great read!

  5. jay
    January 22, 2017

    Great article. Looking forward for more of them.

  6. Sister
    January 22, 2017

    Great article , very interesting

  7. Daily Reader
    January 22, 2017

    Very insightful article ! Indeed, first impressions are of utmost importance, especially for a young person searching for employment or an individual trying to make a name for themselves, both virtually (Social media etc.) and in person. Will definitely look out forward to the next installment. Great Job Ms. St. Louis !

  8. CHS Alumna
    January 22, 2017

    This is a very good article. I am impressed. I hope many people take your words into consideration.

    I am also proud that you are a CHS alumna (class of 2011 :wink: ) who is making a positive difference in Dominica. I always knew our class of graduates was special.

  9. The Truth Be Told (Original)
    January 21, 2017

    People’s overall demeanor, attire and how they present themselves tell a lot about them. What is in the heart projects unto the face. The face is a mirror of our hearts. It is something which we cannot hide. Some people have a pleasant face, others not so pleasant one or not at all. It may be a gift to have a pleasant face. However, there are some who consistently frown which could make their face appear unpleasant. They may not be so at all. This is why it is said according to the words of a song, “Smilers never loose and frowners never win.” Indeed. People do like pleasant people and those who are easy to communicate with..
    On the topic of attire, it is important how men and women dress. How many people would like to be near others who are not decently clad? There are exceptions, depending on the type of work which is performed. Too often some of our own people are careless in their attire. They could deny themselves a good job and a promotion.

  10. J
    January 21, 2017

    Great stuff Kerdi

  11. The Truth Be Told (Original)
    January 21, 2017

    These articles/conversations interest me.
    Yes the first interaction creates the first impression and a lasting impression. There are some people who lack communication skills. They do not know how to talk to people and especially if they do not know the person. Through lack of education and/or ignorance, they may not realize their error. It does not require maturity to know what to say, not what to say and how to say it. They could really turn a person off.
    What happens? Their reaction will be this person is not nice and is sensitive. They assume the person is wrong and they are correct.
    Take for instance, communicating with fellow D/cans on this Website. Note some of the comments and responses. How respectful are some to their fellow Dominicans?
    My opinion is, some people should take a communication course on how to talk/write to others and to communicate with them.
    Let us see what your next interesting topic will be. :)

  12. freedom fighter
    January 21, 2017

    Your pic says it all :-P :mrgreen: :lol: :oops: :-D :) 8-O 8) :-P

  13. January 21, 2017

    DNO Admin.

    Congratulations on the introduction of your new column THE KSCHCHRONICLES by Kerdisha St. Louis.

    This is an enlightening piece of work. I expect the readers will find this column not only pleasant to read but helpful.

    Thank you Ms. St. Louis. I hope you will be inspired to keep up the good work.

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

  14. JVidal
    January 21, 2017

    Hey Kerdisha,

    Great article. Keep up the good work! :)

  15. Roger Burnett
    January 21, 2017

    Yes, first impressions are crucial, and most important is to be true to yourself.

    When it comes to looks, Caribbean women all too often disguise their natural features in favour of a foreign concept of beauty.

    Thirty years ago I began a series of paintings and sculptures titled, Daughters of the Caribbean Sun. The project is on-going and continues from my present studio at Antrim. By way of hundreds of paintings and scores of sculptures, I pay homage to the natural beauty of the Afro-Caribbean woman.

    My poem “The Colour Black” includes the lines:

    To the painter, poet and lover,
    A hundred hues compete,
    With the jet of her cane-row hair
    And the pale saffron soles of her feet…

    False mascara need not disguise
    The warm sepia bloom of her cheek.
    And applied loud rouge cannot improve
    On rust-red coral – to her lips unique…

    You can learn more about my work at: sculpturestudiodominica.blogspot.com

    • The Truth Be Told (Original)
      January 22, 2017

      You know the saying, “There is a time and place for everything. There are women who put on too much makeup, eye shadow, mascara, rouge and bright red lipstick. These are not necessary. They could overdo it. Some probably try to imitate women; film stars and how they view some women on TV and in the movies..
      The saying, too much of one thing is good for nothing.. Everything done in moderation is acceptable – OK. i.e., there is nothing wrong in a little make-up which complements the face, its color and also the outfit.
      For the attire, a simple, well-fitting outfit with matching accessories do stand out.

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