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Your Car Reflects Your Professional Image. What Does Yours Say?

Your car says a lot about who you are. A sturdy and square box of a ride says you care about function more than flash. You're practical, and probably give zero, cough-cough, "cares" about what other people think of you. Congratulations, you're an adult.

But most of us want a little style, a splash of power, a certain edginess in our cars, trucks or SUVs. We want to pull up outside the workplace in a ride that tells the world who we are, really.

The video above answers a variety of questions about how your ride affects your professional image, including one from a man who drives a stinky two-ton diesel pickup and is afraid that's holding him back at work.

"There is a linked effect on the vehicle we drive and how it affects other people's perceptions of us," said the host of "Real Men Real Style."

A survey found 57 percent of people would rate a person as more or less attractive based on the vehicle they drove, he added.

Here are tips for finding the ride that sends the perfect professional image.

  • In the most general terms, keep your car clean inside and out. No one wants to chauffeur a client to lunch in something grimy and strewn with old fast food wrappers or sweaty gym gear. Even an older car can look great if it's freshly washed, waxed and vacuumed. A meticulously maintained car says you take care of things, like your job.
  • A giant truck says you probably spend time outside, love to go camping or have to haul things. That's fine and dandy, but make sure it's tidy so it doesn't also send a "I live deep in the holler" message.
  • A screaming red hot rod with eight under the hood says you're probably an adrenaline junkie and an admirer of detailed mechanical prowess. You might be an engineer or serious car enthusiast who can walk anyone through the pistons and gears. If you can't, you may just appear to be insecure or living out a midlife crisis. If you're that guy, be self aware about it. Owning it goes a long way.
  • A Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini says you're rich, or at least you're concerned that people should think you are. It's cool if you're a titan of industry, a member of the Ford or Ilitch family or one of the people on their sports payrolls, like Matthew Stafford or Justin Verlander. If you're not rich, stop trying so hard. Also, see above.
  • A classic car says you think outside the box, take care of details and love engines and engine maintenance. You're probably detail oriented and conscientious and love to spend time in the garage.
  • A four-cylinder family sedan or mini-van says you're a mom or dad. It's safe and bland, and represents a life of baggy khakis, soccer games and bad jokes. It says you're a good employee, and there's nothing wrong with that. But if you want to spice it up a little to make people think you're interesting or unconventional -- "Have you seen Bill lately? He's really bringing it" -- spring for the turbo engine or 6-cylinder when they're available.




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