One of my most vivid childhood memories was of the phone.
We were not allowed to touch the phone.
To us kids, the phone was ‘bad’.
The phone was my father’s key instrument for making money.
Whenever the phone rang, it was ‘money’.
The ringing phone was an opportunity for a sale.
We had it drilled in us to be deadly silent whenever the phone rang.
Dad didn’t want potential customers to hear kids crying or laughing in the background.
He wanted people to think they were calling a professional company, not a home-based business.
Pretending to be bigger than you really are
Richard Branson did this when he set up his first business from a call box.
He put on different voices pretending to be fictitious staff to make his fledgling company appear to be bigger than it was.
You have a baby so you can’t be professional
Shortly after I had my first child, I was turned down for a job with IBM because I had a baby.
The manager who interviewed me told me that I had the skills capable of doing the secretarial job really well.
But because I had a baby he didn’t think I should be joining their after-work drinks.
That’s discrimination even in the early 90’s, but that’s how it was.
You could have a family but they didn’t cross over into your work as that made you less professional.
It makes me wonder how valid that is now particularly in this current lockdown era.
With lockdown we’ve seen a few hilarious interviews with experts where their child has burst in on the video interview.
The professional being interviewed looks mortified and embarrassed.
Their faces tell us they think their credibility just dropped from 100 to zero in that split second they realised their child just burst in.
Watching we think it’s highly amusing.
But have they lost credibility?
Personally, I don’t think so.
Lockdown Paradigm Shift
I think it makes them more human and relatable.
It reminds us they are a dad or a mom as well as the renowned expert trying to juggle family and work.
Certainly with lockdown and working from home has become normal and it’s expected that if you have children, they will be there too and there may well be an interruption from them.
Is it really necessary to pretend your children don’t exist in your professional life anymore?
Is this a positive paradigm shift come out of lockdown?
If you do have kids, is now the time that it’s acceptable to be open in your branding the fact you’re a parent?
Embracing your parent-ness in your branding means you’re even more authentic, human and unique which sets you apart from your competition.
What do you think?
If you’re a parent do you make that obvious in your marketing?
If you’re not a parent and see children in other people’s marketing does it make you think they’re less professional?
Email me and let me know.
Image by congerdesign from Pixabay