How to Make a Lasting Impression at Work

Sometimes it can be difficult to stand out. It can be in a job interview competing against other candidates. You can feel lost in your workplace, or invisible to your boss. Maybe you feel people easily forget about you. Making a lasting impression can be hard, but it is not impossible. All you need is to know your own worth and to be able to show it to others. 


Be assertive

assertiveness for a lasting impression

Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, but do it smartly. Listening is vital for this (check out our article on how to listen better!). To take part in discussions or conversations is important to make an impression. But if your input is out of time, or not very useful, the danger could be that the impression you make is actually a bad one. To make a positive lasting impression you need to first understand what is being talked about. This way you can make insightful contributions that help to bring the work forward. 

Ask yourself: Is this a valuable contribution? Has somebody said this before? Does it belong to the topic were are working on currently? You don’t want to create interruptions, rather work with others and help the conversation to keep flowing. Being insightful doesn’t necessarily mean to know something the rest doesn’t. Sometimes being insightful can be simply asking a smart question someone else might have the answer to.  


Dress sharply

It’s a common saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Sadly, this is hardly ever true. It’s been proven that physical appearance can affect the way other people view us and can be critical in making your first impression. Most of the time, people just say to “dress well”, but what does “well” mean? How well you dress many times depends on personal taste, so how can you know what dressing “well” is?

The answer is simple: dress sharp. Impressing people by the way you dress doesn’t mean wearing only designer clothes, especially if your budget or your priorities doesn’t allow you that lifestyle. One worn-out designer item you use every day will not impress anyone. Dressing sharply, on the other hand, means wearing good quality, nicely fitting clothes. It doesn’t have anything to do with personal taste: you don’t even have to throw away your personal style. On the contrary, it can be a plus. Dressing to make a lasting impression doesn’t mean to fit into the mold.  

Dressing sharply also means taking into consideration practicality as well as aesthetic. It is of no use to dress to impress if your clothes are not going to allow you to do your job properly. You don’t have to wear a suit every day to dress sharply. It simply means making sure your clothes are in the best condition as possible and taking care of your overall cleanliness and grooming. Dressing sharply and using clothes suited for you can also help you to boost your confidence. 


Make yourself your own brand

personal branding for a lasting impression

Think of it this way: if you don’t know what makes you unique, you’ll likely struggle to show it to the rest. Take some time to think of your strengths. If you were a product, how would you sell yourself? Personal branding is every day more and more important, and you have to be strategic about it. What do you want your name associated with?

Learn how to introduce yourself. You are your most important product, so you have to put yourself on display. Don’t be afraid to show what you can do. Many introverted people have difficulties introducing themselves, or feel uncomfortable doing so. But introducing yourself, even when unasked, will show initiative and willingness. 


Bring a positive mentality to the table

positive lasting impression

Don’t focus on problems, focus on solutions. Having a positive outlook on work can help you make a lasting impression on your colleagues if you tackle the difficulties as a team effort. It might be difficult, but facing problems as opportunities to grow and learn. Having the correct mindset will make you someone easier to work with and you will leave a better impression on people. 


Keep it real

As important as it is to shine through, make sure to not go over the top. You don’t want to seem arrogant or haughty. Even worse, you definitely should not exaggerate to impress others. Sooner or later, if you start overdoing, it will show. Confidence is good, but try to maintain a realistic approach to what you can and can not do. 

You don’t want to go to the other extreme either. Downplaying yourself will definitely not help you in making a lasting impression. Confidence can be hard to build, but here are 12 tips on how to boost it. Know your own value and sell it to yourself, and keep an open mind to both giving and receiving help. 


Many times being good may not be enough: you have to be able to show it as well. We might be afraid of seeming overconfident, or even arrogant. But it is very different bragging than being able to showcase your talents and achievements. The thing on the way to a big promotion, or to land the job of your dreams, may not have anything to do with your abilities. Rather, it reflects how well you can display your own worth. 

Confidence is vital in making a lasting impression that will keep everyone wanting to know what else you can achieve. Try to ask yourself what would you like for people to associate with your name. Then, work to show it! Assertiveness and confidence will make sure that anyone can remember your name in the right way. 


You might also like this infographic on some easy ways to look more professional!