Are you worried about being judged at work?



5 aspects of the first impression you make on others in the workplace and beyond

Many of us say we don’t care what others think of us. But is this really true?

Deep down, many of us have a fear of being judged at work. We worry about what people think of our appearance, our behavior, the way we communicate, our digital footprint, and our environment. While this may not mean much on a personal level, the things that others think of us in a professional sense can be the difference between success and failure.

This article will look at judgment issues and how they affect our professional lives.

What are we afraid of being judged on?

There are many aspects of our personality and professional image that we are concerned about being judged on. These include:


No matter how often we tell ourselves that appearances don’t matter, the truth is, this is the first thing people will notice about you. Here are some concerns that arise in terms of appearance.

  • The message your appearance is sending
  • Whether you look ‘put together’
  • Whether you take care of grooming and personal hygiene
  • Whether you would feel comfortable if a client saw you outside of work
  • How your appearance compares to your clients’ appearance
  • If your appearance is holding you back
  • Whether you feel you should make changes to improve your appearance
  • How much are you willing to invest in your appearance



The way you behave will make a big difference in what clients think of you. Here are some things to keep in mind in terms of keeping your behavior under control.

  • Whether you are acting respectfully
  • Whether you are able to stay calm under pressure
  • Whether you can keep your emotions in check
  • Whether you have tics or habits
  • Whether you make eye contact when you speak to others
  • Whether you infringe on other people’s other spaces
  • Whether you can take constructive criticism
  • Whether your morals and beliefs are in line with your client’s morals and beliefs



You should also consider how well you communicate with others. Issues that may come up in terms of how you are communicating include:

  • Your tone when communicating with clients
  • Whether you listen more than you speak
  • Whether you use proper grammar when you are communicating
  • Whether you use jargon or industry-specific language
  • Whether you can express ideas clearly and concisely
  • Whether you allow clients to ask questions and express their concerns
  • Whether you are comfortable discussing sensitive topics with your clients
  • How your body language is coming across


Digital Footprint

Your digital footprint refers to how you come across online. Factors to consider include the following:

  • What your clients will see when they google your name
  • What you are posting online
  • Whether your social media looks professional
  • Whether you are using proper spelling and grammar when communicating online
  • Whether you are using offensive language when communicating online
  • Whether you are using slang or informal grammar when communicating online
  • Whether your profile picture reflects your personal brand
  • Whether you are careful about the attachments you are sending through email
  • Whether you would be comfortable if a client saw your email inbox



Environment refers to what’s around you in terms of your workspace. Here are some things to think about.

  • Whether your workspace is organized and well-kept
  • What the personal items in your workspace say about you
  • Whether you would feel comfortable if a client came to your workspace
  • Whether your network of colleagues and friends act in a professional manner
  • Whether your family is aware of how relevant they are to your reputation
  • Whether you attend networking events
  • Whether you are involved in a professional organization
  • Who your mentors and influencers are

Should you be concerned about being judged at work?

In our lives we are taught that judging others is not a good thing. After all, we’ve heard the expression, ‘judge not lest ye be judged’. But when it comes to business, we must be concerned about what others think of us, especially our clients.

There’s another expression to consider in business. The customer is always right. If the customer is displeased by what they are seeing, they may choose not to work with your company. This would negatively affect your bottom line and your company’s success.

So what can we do to put our best foot forward? Here are a few suggestions.

Are you worried about being judged at work in a nutshell

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