As the pandemic broke in last year, a lot of professionals have embraced a survival mindset. We relocated to home and did what we could to ensure the work would get done. Yet, nobody considered that the situation could last beyond a few weeks. As vaccines are being rolled out in the UK, many businesses have decided to maintain their virtual offices. Working from home is not an emergency solution anymore. It is the new normal, and it’s here to stay in many sectors. As a result, you need to make it your new playground if you are to get promoted to a leader’s role in your company. Then dressing for promotion when working from home is the first step on the road to success.
Admittedly, making your virtual office work for your career progress doesn’t mean you can ignore the existing options to promote your profile. Indeed, it is still crucial to expand your knowledge and skills in the industry. You also need to maintain a close relationship with the administrative branch and the HR team, as they can support your ambition for self-growth. But, now, you also have to brush up on your digital skills and turn your Zoom workspace into a promoting platform for your career.
Tasteful and stylish accessories
What does a leader look like, and more importantly, what does a leader at home look like? There is no simple answer to this question. But one thing is for sure: a leader represents the brand inside and outside the business. In other words, a leader needs to convey a sense of professional elegance, which is where jewellery accessories make a huge difference. Jewellery is a status indicator that can elevate a simple outfit, displaying some of your company’s values, such as success, quality, and sophistication. It is worth investing in a handful of tasteful pieces, such as Guess jewellery for corporate environments, for instance. Ideally, you want to focus on muted designs that are not distracting from your outfit but can elevate your professional image instead.
Glasses or contact lenses
Everybody is biased to some extent. But, in some situations, you can use ingrained bias to your advantage, even when you are in a Zoom meeting. You can create visual clues to make your profile look more appealing to your company on video calls. Something as simple as wearing glasses could make a huge deal of difference. According to a study from the Universities of Cologne in Germany and Groningen and the Netherlands, the stereotype that associates glasses with being smart dates back to the Middle Ages. If you are a contact lenses wearer, you could benefit from switching your eyewear on Zoom. The image brings intelligence and competence to mind, so you can already create positive expectations.
Never too underdressed when dressing for promotion
The abundance of work-from-home fashion articles since the start of the pandemic has revealed one thing: loungewear has made a strong appearance in day-to-day work life. It is fair to say that office wear in a home office can not feel overdressed, but it will also look awkward on camera. So, there’s a need to reconsider your virtual office dress code to make sure you dress to represent the company. As such, you want to look professional without appearing over-done on camera. This isn’t the time for a three-piece suit. However, relaxed loungewear could be playing in your disfavour. Ideally, you want to appear pulled together and formal without being casual. An elegant blouse or a light jumper with a blazer can be all you need for your next Zoom meeting.
Dress your background
What does your home office look like? There’s been many tips and design guidelines on how to make your home office look the part on your next Zoom call. However, if you’re going to make a difference, your efforts shouldn’t be wasted on redecorating the room. On the contrary, you should consider the opportunity of creating your background. You can upload a virtual background on Zoom and MS Teams calls. Creating a professional background allows you to showcase your engagement and represent the brand. You could use a bookshelf backdrop to introduce the company logo and brand values using books and stationery for display.
Look alert and pulled together
Looking good on camera is not something that used to be on top of your list. But when you are trying to boost your career in a virtual workplace, being photogenic makes you more engaging. Looking alert and engaged on the screen has nothing to do with being good-looking. It’s all about managing the light distribution – a selfie ring lamp is a great addition for these calls – and enhancing your complexion. Shadows on your face could be misinterpreted as facial expressions.
Moving your career forward when you’re working from home may seem like a challenge. However, you have the power to influence your luck by making your virtual profile more appealing. Dressing for a virtual work environment is a strategic exercise that can drive success. Best of luck!
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