Your car is an important part of your working life. You use it for commuting, driving colleagues to meetings, and taking conference calls or checking emails when stuck in traffic. But have you ever wondered what it says about you? The car you drive can actually alter how people see you. Even the colour of your car is associated with certain personality types, a study by Churchill found. Black appears aggressive and success driven, blue gives the impression you’re a team player, while red means you’re likely outgoing and creative. Your car is much more than a method of transportation. It drives people’s assumptions about your lifestyle and personality and can therefore impact your career.
What does your car say about you?
If you drive around in a simple inexpensive car that you haven’t thought much about, you may actually be sending a specific message to others. Owning an economy car can indicate to people you won’t waste money on unnecessary luxuries. And that you’re hardworking and are currently prioritizing career growth — which are positive traits that can help you stand out in the workplace. Moreover, the time may come when you need to give your boss or colleague a ride. If you’re known as a perfectionist in the office, your car better is as equally clean and spotless or people may wonder if that’s actually who you are!
Alternatively, if you drive an expensive luxury car that’s out of the price range for the majority of your colleagues, their perception of you can drastically change. They may automatically assume you’re paid more than them — regardless of the truth. Or your boss or an interviewer may assume you don’t actually need the job and are therefore not serious about it. Is this fair? No, but unfortunately, people’s perceptions can actually work this way.
Like it or not, your car plays an important part in your appearance — which matters when it comes to your career. When your boss or colleagues notice the kind of car you’re driving, you want it to match — or even improve — the impression they already have of you. So, think about this carefully the next time you choose a car. What message do you want to send others about your lifestyle and personality? For example, if you work for an environmental organisation, you should drive something small and fuel-efficient rather than a sports car. Make sure your car aligns with both your personal preferences and your desired role in the workplace.