Recently, it occurred to me that the sessions and workshops I deliver to corporations’ new recruits could be called Business Boot Camp. Fitness marketers have created a designation called “body boot camps” and I see an interesting parallel.

My role, like that of the fitness instructors at all these body boot camps, is to encourage new recruits to look their best, to target areas that need work and perhaps most importantly, to motivate them.

These recruits are the best and the brightest. They come with credentials and confidence. They have excelled at the grueling rounds of interviews required to win the ultimate prize – a much-coveted job offer.

Just as fitness instructors build specialized exercise programmes, varying from beginner to Olympian, I set the bar high for a wide range of business professionals – from new recruits to seasoned executives and CEO’s. Where the accomplished business leader may require coaching for an upcoming role as chairperson, the new recruit needs to understand that meeting attendance alone is not enough – active participation is de rigueur. Similarly, dining etiquette for new entrants focuses on being a gracious guest, not acting as host.

These fresh, new faces are smart and savvy. They traded in their deck shoes for brogues and moved from sandals to pumps, but they still need to understand business appropriate attire – the often unspoken dress code governing their new positions.

Although all these practical tips are part of “basic training”, there’s a fundamental message that takes us full circle – back to body boot camps – and that’s image. Just as exercise enthusiasts work out to improve their body image and health, I stress the significance of business image and reputation.
I tell new recruits –
• Your journey has begun.
• Your business reputation starts now and follows you everywhere. Guard it.
• Interpersonal skills outweigh a wonderful wardrobe.
• Starting now, you are your own brand. Build it with care.

Please let us know your thoughts.
As a new recruit:
1. Were you offered an image-training course?
2. If yes, did management explain the goals of image-training?
3. Prior to image-training, had you considered the importance of personal grooming and interpersonal skills for career advancement?

For everyone entering the workforce, I highly recommend
Richard Templar’s The Rules of Work - A Definitive Guide to Personal Success

Author's Bio: 

Diane Craig, President of Corporate Class Inc., is a leading image and etiquette consultant. For over 20 years she has provided corporate consultations, helping hundreds of men and women realize their professional and personal goals. She is a sought after speaker at national business meetings, regularly gives comprehensive workshops to corporate groups, and offers private consultations on business etiquette, dress and dining.