My View, Jessica Cunningham: Realising first impressions can be wrong

Four weeks into '˜that BBC1 business documentary' that I can't name for legal reasons (cough!), I have already learned a lot about the instant perceptions that people form from a first impression.

Thursday, 10th November 2016, 3:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 2:55 pm
Jessica Cunningham is a candidate on the new series of The Apprentice

I have learned through my experience to strongly disagree with the saying ‘first impressions always count’ and the principles behind it.

I have come to realise that first impressions can be vastly wrong.

Before I began working with 18 individuals in a business environment, I had always relied on my first impressions and I would often detach myself from those characters that I had a bad feeling about.

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What I have come to realise over my time spent with complete strangers while being on the show is that this can have a negative impact on one’s career and 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 on the business documentary, I have started to realise that my instant perception of people can be completely wrong.

I had already written half of them off including ‘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, as they have really started to shine through.

If I’d had this thought process from day one I am certain that delegation of, let’s say an everyday 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 off 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 have 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 Cunningham (The Apprentice candidate) lives in Dronfield and owns an online women’s clothing company – Prodigal Fox