THE APPRENTICE’S JESSICA CUNNINGHAM: ‘First impressions aren’t everything - never judge a book by its cover’

Jessica Cunningham
Jessica Cunningham

Four weeks into that ‘BBC1 business documentary’ that I can’t name for legal reasons (cough!), I have learnt a about the instant perceptions that people form from a first impression.

I have learned through experience to strongly disagree with the saying ‘first impressions always count’ and the principles behind it, as I have come to realise that first impressions can be vastly wrong.

Before working with 18 individuals in a business environment, I had always relied on my first impression of people and would often detach myself from characters that I had a wrongful feeling about.

What I have come to realise over my time spent with complete strangers is that this can have a negative impact on your career as well as your personal life.

In regards to my first impressions of 90 per cent of the people that I have been working with for the past five weeks, I have started to realise that my instant perception of people can be completely wrong.

I had written half of them off (Monobrow....no names mentioned) and three out of the four people I was almost certain would be joining me in week five are back on the highway to hell.

I am starting to see the real qualities of half the people I thought were goners really start to shine through. i

If I would have had this thought process from day one I am certain that delegation of, let’s say an every day garment made out of denim, would have been easier to make and those denim garments may still be with us to this very day.

When I really start to think about first impressions, maybe the first impression of myself may also have been a lasting and negative impression.

I mean who would have thought that the girl who is master of the classic ‘dad jokes’ would start showing some form of business acumen and sales skills.

Yet from the impression I must have made at the start, a few colleagues thought I would be best well out of the way acting like crazy cat women miming with crazy cat scarfs.

I can’t help but wonder how many opportunities, friends and employees I may of missed out on due to judging a book by its cover, and being judged back.

Although sometimes it is easy to gain a perception of someone from a first meeting, I now think twice and take the time to see if my first impression should be a lasting one.

Jessica lives in Dronfield and owns an online women’s clothing company - www.prodigalfox.com

The next episode of The Apprentice airs on BBC1 at 9pm tonight.