Dress for Success...at least from the waist up!

Have you ever heard the expression dress for the job you want, not the job you have?

In business to business sales, we are frequently used to dressing the part. Even those of us who do not like thinking a lot about our wardrobe know with certainty that the clothes we choose to wear are part of our individual brand. How we choose to dress could also reflect on our team, our leaders, and the company we represent.

In-person client interactions lead many of us to research, and then choose, how to present ourselves. Sometimes that might mean a suit and tie. Other days business casual is more than acceptable. And there are times when dressing a specific way is encouraged or accepted – like touring a manufacturing facility that requires steel-toed boots, or a golf outing in warm weather.

But what about now? In a global pandemic. Last month? This month? Next month? Next quarter? And into the future?

So very many of us are working from home. Our clients too. We are confined to our homes and have nowhere to go, nowhere to be.

How do we balance I want to be comfortable with I should be presentable?

In our alternate reality it could be easy to think who cares. But people do care. And there are ways we can be comfortable and presentable.

Do a bit of research. What are your top leaders wearing on video calls? Can you match their style a bit, or their level of formality?

Dressing for Success with Work Video Calls

  • Throw a blazer on top of that t-shirt

  • Add some jewelry, a scarf or makeup to dress up a plain outfit

  • Change your camera angle so others can only see from your waist up, or even just your shoulders up, so you can be really casual "off" camera

  • Reduce or eliminate any light coming in from behind you

  • Turn off ceiling fans if they are in the camera view – they can be quite dizzying for those on the other end, especially with varying wifi speeds

And, please, I beg of you - put your baseball cap on your dog instead of yourself – you’ll laugh more and you’ll look better!

And, if you absolutely insist on wearing your baseball cap to work - consider doing a Ballcaps & Beers virtual happy hour for your clients, your colleagues, or your prospects some Friday afternoon as summer approaches. You can steal the idea - and use it as your own - and invite me to join you!

When we come into our "new normal" in the months and years ahead of this incredibly strange time in our lives and our careers, our personal and professional brands will be stronger and better because we showed up and dressed up even on days we didn't feel like it!