One of the biggest inside “jokes” about the work at home freelance writer is the one about coming to work in your jammies and bunny slippers. In fact, some “serious” marketing from get-rich-quick internet companies espouse this as one of the greatest benefits. Okay, I admit that I have written a post or two whilst wrapped in my bathrobe, but I’m here to tell you that if you are seriously staying in your pajamas all day you are hurting your writing business.
Here’s a little story for you. A few years back, I was working for an overnight package shipping organization. I applied for an internal position and had to interview for the job like the two other candidates. Because they were located in different states, the interviews had to be conducted by phone in the interest of fairness. It felt a bit weird because I would be interviewing by phone a few doors down from where the manager would be on the other end of the phone. I showed up for the interview wearing a suit and tie. I took a lot of flak from folks. “It’s a phone interview, ya knucklehead. What are you doing?” Dress for success was my inner mantra.
I got the job. Was it because of the suit and tie? Maybe. To this day, I think it made a difference in how I approached the interview. I felt like I was in control and ready to act in a professional capacity – regardless of what the hiring manager could or could not see.
I think how you are dressed does make a difference in your performance. Sure, there is some writing I do that is less formal, and the casual mode of dress suits the writing. I often write the posts for my own blog in the early morning as I’m sipping my first few cups of coffee, dressed in my bathrobe. If I have a lot of writing to do, I get dressed fairly early and treat my writing job as just that – a job. The TV is turned off, I shower and shave and I wear appropriate work clothes.
If the day is one that involves any amount of client contact, I kick things up a notch. I might don a tie and I absolutely get rid of anything that might serve as a disruption. I know the client isn’t going to be seeing me (I guard my webcam “on” switch like a junkyard dog). Whether or not the client will see me makes no difference. I can see me. I know how I feel in terms of my attitude about the work day. For me, this makes all the difference in the world.
I know there are folks who will read this and think it’s a lot of hooey. That’s fine. For those folks that are bunny slipper bound, I would encourage you to just give it a shot. Change your dress into something more formal for a day or two and see if it doesn’t make a difference in your writing and your attitude about your clients and getting the work done.
Posted by: George