Starting each day on the right note and looking one’s best virtually. — Oct 21
Olivia has been a Dress For Success Impact Ambassador for over a year and in her role, she has learned, “how powerful and transformative fashioncan make people feel. It’s really about building up the inner confidence through clothing.” And while the pandemic has brought unrest for many, for Joi Gordon, Dress For Success’s chief executive officer, this period has been about providing consistency and hope. “I’m just living in the moment,” says Gordon who is physically going into Dress For Success’s Queens office. “They may have lost their jobs, they may have food instability, but what they can rely on isus in their inbox providing new information and ways to up-skill themselves.”
Part of Gordon’s success starts from when she rises—“about6:30am”—and setting herself in the right mindset to motivate and inspire. “The first app I get on in the morning is Facebook,” says Gordon, adding, “I love to see who’s birthday it is [and] I tell them how special they are and remind them of some moment of our lives that meant something to me.” That positive spirit fuels Gordon and the team at Dress for Success providing them with the tools to empower their community.
“These are the times where your network is crucial,” explains Gordon who advises those entering or re-entering the workforce to let your peers know you are seeking out new opportunities.“With so many people unemployed and so few jobs available, use your network and networking tools to stay connected,” adds Gordon. “This is the time to connect to people through sources like LinkedIn and networking groups and being part of Zoom conversations.”
As for virtual interviews, Gordon advises that simple is best. “You don’t want anything to be distracting from you and what you’re saying,” says Gordon. And with the focus being on the top half, she’s invested, unsurprisingly, in blouses. “My blouse business is strong,” she laughs, adding with wardrobe it’s best to focus on timeless, classic pieces that make you feel strong. “Maybe something colorful that speaks to your style. It depends on the setting and the corporate culture.” However, that’s not to say a little flair or personality can’t shine through. “I bring color in through my jewelry,” says Gordon. “Color makes you look a little more joyful and people will remember you more.”
Other top tips to keep screen time on you and your words is to smile, take notes if possible, use appropriate hand gestures, and making sure the background is clean. Another easy win? Goodlighting. “I don’t think you can ever underestimate the importance of doing mock interviews,” shares Gordon who suggests Zooming with a friend to do a dry run and have them provide feedback with any insights and notes. “There’s nothing better than a dress rehearsal.”
And as Dress For Success continues to adapt for the new normal, Gordon is committed to delivering the same level of service and attention to her community virtually and over the phone. “We’re a safe place for them to come [and] they love that we check-in regularly and frequently,” says Gordon. “We just want to give them as much information as we can give them. We bring them speakers both focused on topics, but also inspirational.” With Dress For Success reopening—check out their site for information—Gordon wants everyone to find their own way to get involved. “Most of our programs are being run virtually [so] there’s nothing holding anyone back,” says Gordon, “just reach out.”
Do your part in supporting Dress for Success by heading to Omaze and enter to win two first class tickets anywhere in the world. You can enter and donate through December 17th, and net proceeds benefit this important organization.