Skip to content
A tarot reading, where the reader tells the client “The cards aren’t clear on what your purpose is. But it definitely involves wearing pajamas during the work day.”

Business extra-casual

Business extra-casual published on

This past year has made us experts at hunting for silver linings. One of them is we no longer have to worry about what the hell “business casual” means on an invitation. (This is a long-standing anxiety of mine.) Wear a reasonably office-y shirt, and you can dress it up or down in seconds.

Provided you don’t stand up at an inopportune moment, nobody needs to know you’re wearing Star Trek pyjama pants. (Unless that’s part of your office culture, in which case please let me know if you’re hiring.) And if you have a day with no video calls, then it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a tux or a bathrobe. So long as you’re doing your job well, you can dress to impress your nerve endings, not your boss.

Or your clients. And if you are one of my clients, please know that I’m never dressed in anything less formal than cotton slacks, a dress shirt and a sweater vest while working on your project. Often there’s a cummerbund.

* * *

They say you’re never fully dressed without a smile. And you’re never fully equipped for the new workplace without a copy of Remote, Inc.: How to Thrive at Work… Wherever You Are.

New from Harper Business, it’s written by Alexandra Samuel and Bob Pozen, and it’s superb. It’s your guide to making the most of the new world of blended remote/office work: not just surviving, but thriving. And this cartoon’s one of a series celebrating its launch.

Am I biased because I’m married to one of the authors? Very. But I can tell you that getting to see the writing process up close as the book took shape was an education in itself. Remote work has been part of my life for years now, yet I still learned a ton from Alex and Bob. I strongly encourage you to check it out.

When I grow up, I wanna be a…

When I grow up, I wanna be a… published on 6 Comments on When I grow up, I wanna be a…

I don’t know what a high school guidance counsellor’s job looks like these days, at least on the career-advice side. But I’d have to think it involves a certain amount of throwing up of hands and answering kids’ questions with a “You tell me.”

Back when I was in high school (yes, yes, back when I rode to school on a coal-fueled barge and the skies were black with passenger pigeons and ivory-billed woodpeckers), careers had well-defined paths that were expected to take you through your working life. That’s not quite how it worked out for my graduating class; our career paths forked, spiralled and went downright fractal on us.

Maybe we should give up on trying to predict the precise career options that will face today’s crop of fresh faces, and ask instead what skills will make the most sense in a socially networked world. (“Extracting surgically-implanted RFID tags” sounds like a winner right out of the gate.) Conversational authenticity, exercising sound judgement in deciding what to share and with whom, acting online and offline with intention and integrity – these all strike me as pretty critical, not to mention being building blocks for just being decent people.