Skip to content

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Zoom

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Zoom

Have you ever dressed in business attire for a Zoom meeting, only to learn that the meeting was by phone? Conversely, have you ever had a call scheduled only to learn, at the last minute, that the call was by video? Is this actually a thing? I’m asking because it has happened to me multiple times.

Business Casual to the Extreme

My business attire is casual when I do my work at home. For one thing, I rarely wear makeup. For another, my hair is either in a bun or in its natural frizzy-curly state. Yet while I am comfortable collaborating on video in real-time as the real me, I still believe first impressions matter. That is why I like to present a more polished version of myself when the meeting is on camera.

Hair, Makeup, and Wardrobe

For most women and the fashionable inclined, getting ready takes time. My hair alone can take a half hour to blow dry and wrangle into submission. Minimalistic makeup? Another 10 minutes. Selecting an outfit? Another 5. In other words, it takes 45 minutes to prepare for being seen virtually. So, for the love of god, when you schedule a conversation, please specify whether it will be by video or phone.

Last Minute Switcheroo

Often a potential client will reserve time on my calendar and provide a phone number for a call. The calendar invitation does not include the instructions and links required for a meeting on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet. Yet all too frequently, I get sent a Zoom Invite minutes before a meeting, informing me the call is now a Zoom. When that happens, chaos ensues

The Get-Ready Sprint

I sprint upstairs; throw on a blazer; take my hair out of the ponytail atop my head; slap on some foundation and lipstick, corral the corgi, and relocate my laptop to a table with a decent background and lighting.

In a Pinch, Try Zoom Filters

If there is zero time to get fluffed, Zoom filters can eliminate the need for make-up. In addition, Microsoft Team has introduced a couple of appearance-enhancing filters. Google Meet also has rolled out a filter that “lightly touches up” one’s appearance.

Join Zoom Without the Camera Turned On

Of course, I could join the Zoom meeting without turning on my camera. Alternatively, I could dial into the Zoom meeting by phone. But then I would become that mystery video-less, photo-less person on Zoom. It seems a little weird. However, dialing in is advised if you rarely wear pants while you work.

Alka-Seltzer Plus Maximum Strength Cough & Mucus DM TV Spot, ‘Meeting’ –

Say Whether You Want to See Me When We Talk

But it would be so much easier if people would clearly state whether the call is just a call or a video conversation. Just say whether you want to see me when we talk.

For more career advice, check our Career Advice Blog Posts Collection. Also, check out The Power of Building Relationships with Retained Recruiters. It can accelerate your career.

I suspect I’m not the only one who has rushed to get ready for an unexpected Zoom call or has gotten dressed up only to learn the call was by phone. Please share your stories.

Feel good. Share the knowledge.
Krista Bradford

Krista Bradford

Krista Bradford is CEO of the retained executive search firm The Good Search and of its research division Intellerati. A former award-winning television journalist and investigative reporter, Ms. Bradford now pursues truth, justice, and great talent in the executive suite.View Author posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *