And 3 Ways to Fix It!
Well, here we are, April 2021, and the start of Quarter 2. I hope Q1 was productive and a positive sign of a profitable Q2.
Major media outlets are posting a variety of articles outlining which Covid restrictions are being lifted and when. One key development in this process is the allowance of businesses to enable a larger capacity of their employees to come back to the office.
The reality is that many offices will either remain totally remote or incorporate some sort of “hybrid” work environment where the term “office optional” will be added to their Employee Handbook.
The exciting idea behind all of this is that we can start connecting in-person once again! We might even start to spend a bit less time smiling at your colleague’s face through a computer monitor and a bit more time staring into someone’s actual eyes! Seems like such a novel idea!
The One Thing That Can Ruin Your Credibility in Q2!
But wait, gasp! I just had a frightening thought, a vision just came to my mind that could very easily tarnish your shiny reputation and credibility, you are stepping out of your home in sweatpants! For those of you who made an actual attempt to look professional on camera, I am proud of you! Now is the time to actually think of your full body, yes, head-to-toe!
Before you even speak, your audience is already surmising your knowledge, education and perceived economic status. While all of this is someone’s personal interpretation (based on a variety of influences throughout their lives), this perception could quickly become a credibility killer before you even utter the word Hello!
3 Fashion / Image Fixes To Ensure Your Message Is Heard
Don’t let your momentum gained in Q1 be derailed by your unprofessional appearance in Q2! I have 3 fashion fixes that will ensure your clients and prospects want to hear more from you!
- Setting Daily Fashion Goals – A great way to ease back into work wear is by asking yourself, who are you going to see today? If the answer is “a client or prospect,” then select a more professional look. If your answer is, “just the kids,” then take the pressure off of yourself and stay casual that day. I know how hard it is to ditch the slippers and sweatpants! I am trying to ease you into elevating your wardrobe selections one meeting or event at a time.
- Consider Collars or Layering Your Look – Any type of collar, whether in a polo shirt or oxford shirt or blazer, instantly elevates your appearance level. So, look into your closet, shake out those shirts, iron them to make them crisp and you will be good to go! Or if you really want to wear that t-shirt, opt for a high-quality cotton t-shirt that you can layer under a nice V-neck wool sweater, cardigan or a sharp blazer. The goal is to lead the observer’s eyes up to the face to focus on your message. Not be distracted by an unprofessional appearance.
- Think 3-dimensional! A silver lining to working from home and virtual meetings, is you only had to worry about what the viewer saw online! Typically, a front-view of you and from the chest up! Now that we are easing back to in-person, remember to think about not only the front of you, but that back of you too! The biggest culprit is “bed head.” Be sure to brush/comb your entire head of hair! When you walk to the restroom or leaving an office, others notice the “back view of your body.” What will be their last memory of when you are walking away? Your amazing sales pitch or wrinkled pants that are too long and dragging on the floor?
The moral of my blog is appearance matters! Technical capability in our careers will only get us so far. So while, I am not saying wearing suits is required today, you should at least look like you tried to dress for success or risk your reputation being misunderstood and credibility crushed.
Best wishes for a successful Q2!