3 Ways to Tweak Your Personal Brand—On ZOOM
In the blink of an eye, our work culture went from formal to casual. Even the most traditional of organizations not only relaxed their “work from home” policy, but also happily let workplace etiquette fly out the window in the hopes of keeping productivity—and profits—moving. Thanks to the virus, whose name we shall not mention, everyone up the corporate chain is dealing with kids at home, surprised and enthusiastic pets, shared bandwidth and some really bad hair, so everyone seems to be on an even playing field. Overall, that is a good thing.
But now that we all know this new normal is going to continue into the unknown future, it might be time to take a new tact to differentiate yourself, because in reality, the playing field is not actually even. Remember, your boss and your boss’s boss (and potential clients in your network) are still going to be making decisions about your future. At the current moment, we have lost access to the myriad of ways, other than our work product, that we can communicate our commitment and professionalism.
Is it time to upgrade your optics?
Sure, it’s been perfectly acceptable that your cat shows its behind to everyone during your video conference calls, or the window behind you causes you to look like a dark shadow person, but now you need to decide if this is the personal brand image you want to portray longer term. If the focus is to get promoted in the next year, rather than just appreciated for all you have been accomplishing at home, then you might want to take a look and see what tweaks you can make.
Consistency with hair, makeup (if you wore it to work in person), professional clothing, etc.
Gauge this by how you would look if you were going into the office daily. Try to schedule a day when you will not be on camera, if possible—and then relax your standards that day and just do audio calls.
Upgrade lighting/voice quality/background noise.
Perhaps you have been letting the dogs bark because it is hard to sequester them all day. But what if you work from home another six months, or more? I empathize with these issues greatly, but it might be time to rethink your configuration, at least for important meetings.
Zoom background/office setting.
I think we can all agree that the quality of the virtual background has varied widely. Get some honest feedback from people, because meeting with someone who looks like they’re in a sci-fi hologram is not actually that great. If you are using other platforms and cannot virtually alter your background, take some time to clean-up or change-up what people are looking at when they meet with you. It should not matter, but it does.
Love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep on learning. Carol Dweck