I mulled over several different topics for this edition of the McHenry newsletter. I even started a couple of the articles. And then… I was on LinkedIn and saw a post from a member (Lauren G.) that changed her profile picture. From a shot that was picture perfect. She looked very professional – every hair in place, blue blazer/striped shirt. To a picture that more accurately represents her and her life today. In the new picture, she is wearing a sweatshirt. Her hair is “almost” dry and as she puts it “slightly frazzled from having just gotten 3 kids ready for ‘school’ – but smiling and ready for work”.
It stopped me dead in my tracks. If you follow me on any Social Media platform, you may know how I feel about the nightly news. I don’t watch! I don’t believe much of it. I feel as though there is a slant on many of the news stories that we see, and it causes me to not believe any of it. This is difficult for many Gen X’ers to understand. We grew up to believe everything that we heard on the Today Show or nightly news is fact. Unfortunately, as the number news networks have exploded, competition has become stiff. Therefore, what is a news channel to do to get market share?? Share the most dramatic stories of the day with the most interesting “spin”. But, is that really what I want to know? The answer for me is NO. I want facts, statistics and video proof – but there just isn’t enough of that to fill up 30 – 60 minutes of news time. About now, you are probably asking yourself “what does a LinkedIn profile picture have to do with the Nightly News?”
If I had of told you in January that by September, no talk shows would have audience members, that you would not be able to sit AT A BAR (in some states), that our kids would be sitting in the living room “going to school” – WHILE we are all working from home – at least 60% of the week, and all of our meetings would be via some non-existent (in January) technology platform called Zoom, you would have looked at me like I had 3 heads. With all that said, we have been dealt this hand and I think we are all doing a pretty good job playing the game. We have had to make adjustments literally on the fly and the truth is, every time the screen freezes or we get to another restaurant that is closed, we just deal with it and move on.
So – why shouldn’t our “professional image” change with the times as well? As a recruiter for McHenry Consulting, one of my first questions is “what communication platforms are you familiar with?” Back in March, I feel like a lot of people were still trying to present themselves as if they were face to face. The red power-tie for men, the scarves for women. As the months have gone by, I think we all agree that we have had to rely on the content of what we are saying, presenting or showing, more than the clothes we are wearing. I finally gave in and bought a light ring because I was more worried that the glare off my glasses from my overhead light always made it look like I was asleep. I try to get some makeup on, but I’m not sure if anyone even notices. I don’t know about you, but I rarely notice what others on my Zoom calls are wearing.
So – why shouldn’t our LinkedIn, Zoom, Teams, etc. pics reflect our reality TODAY?
I am challenging everyone who is reading this to take a new picture and change your LinkedIn, Zoom and any other picture that is not projecting the real you. Yes – even with the COVID 15 (lbs) that we may have put on in the last 6 months. Does that make you uncomfortable? It’s ok if it takes you a few weeks to get used to the idea, but I am still throwing out the challenge. Once it’s changed, please share it with us!!
For the record – I actually kind of wish Jimmy Fallon would go back to his house and do his shows from there. His kids were somehow able to fill in the awkward silence in between jokes…