My Response


Thank you to everyone who requested to connect with me on LinkedIn. I apologize for the delayed acceptance (see LI post, Deer in Headlights).  Throughout this 4-week LinkedIn viral frenzy, the question I repeatedly received from others has been, “now what?”  The pressure was real and most of it came from myself, if I’m honest. I’ve reached out to mentors, friends and family, and as these people know me best and know what my potential is, they all agreed – You have a platform, use it.  So welcome to my platform:

Toss The Headshot - This blog is about bringing your whole and true self to work. Metaphorically (and perhaps, literally) tossing the headshot to reveal to others who you truly are, with courage and pride.  

Some upcoming work-related topics that I’m thinking about:
  • Video Sharing (and why we need to stop apologizing when we don’t think we look our best) 
  • Work attire
  • Unconscious Biases at play and how to recognize them
  • Showing emotions (crying?!) at work
  • Discussing mental health 
  • Asking for flexibility in your schedule
  • Talking about our families
  • Different standards for different groups
  • The list goes on, and please let me know what topics are important to you, too! I’m so excited to dig in to these - share personal stories, ask questions and challenge the norms. 

Now, my response to my post…

I’m going to categorize my responses as best as I can and offer some reflection.  The driving value behind this blog is to approach with curiosity, and not judgment. I have tried my best to do this and hope you do the same. 

Category 1: Praise and Approval – This was the vast majority of the LinkedIn and media response. Many people thanked me for speaking my truth about embracing a new reality and shared that they felt exactly the same way.  To this group – your words brought be comfort during a scary time (ie. 2020) and inspired me to continue using my voice. I deeply thank you.
  • Category 1A: Game Changers -  This group was inspired to replace their headshots with something more authentic that reflected who they truly are. Wow!  Tell me - how did this make you feel and what has the response been? 
Category 2: Detractors – This group disagreed with posting a selfie on LinkedIn. To this group, I say thank you for openly disagreeing and challenging me. We are all entitled to our opinions. Your comments turned the post into a debate and made it clear that we have a lot to think about and discuss here – with ourselves, with our teams and leaders, with the LI community.  Your posts were thought provoking and begged me to ask – where do our different values on ‘professionalism’ come from and can they be changed? And if they cannot be changed, how can we bring awareness to our unconscious biases to ensure we're making fair decisions?
  • Category 2A: Detractors who judged my photos – Thank you for illuminating the fact that we make snap judgements based on looks. Many failed to remember that both photos had the same skills, experience and education, but only one person would 'get the job' based on her appearance. I hope these comments have reminded all of the hiring managers and recruiters out there that we all have biases (whether good or bad) that we need to be aware of when making hiring decisions.  I’d love someone from Talent Acquisition to chime in on this – what are some best practices your companies are implementing to avoid hiring based on appearance?
  • Category 2B: Detractors who were offensive – 
Category 3: Harsh Realities -  The vulnerable commenters who said things like, “Great for you, but I could never do this.” These posts came from New Grads, Job Seekers, African American women, Older adults, and Executives. Thank you so much for bringing your perspective and experience in the workforce to our attention. I have no response other than to just ask Why? Why is it this way? What do we need to do to challenge this? I'll be exploring this more in this blog. 

Category 4: My eye color - I so did not want to respond to this but it's eating at me, so I must.  My eyes are blue and isn't it scary how some iPhone filtering and poor lighting can completely change our features? 

I recently heard a leader say, “Everyone keeps saying they wish for things to go back to normal. I hope they don’t!” 

Be well, stay safe, thank you for your engagement, and I can’t wait to see where this new normal takes us. 

Until the next post...


  1. It's a great place that you have positioned yourself in... There are definitely some rules still in play, industries, and judgement all to deal with but in the message to it's core, is awesome! I think each person, job role, and industry are all different but being yourself is such a great convo topic and thing to do always!! :)

  2. I'm also hoping that we don't return to the old normal. I think we should build a new normal.

  3. I have never worked anywhere as an engineer that a suit or tie and jacket was required work wear. Mostly I have been issued shirts or uniforms and that is what is expected. I think the idea of representing your self in a way that is not like what is required work attire is misleading in a way. Will I look like a professional head shot during daily work or at the interview? Maybe, but often that ideal picture is not representative of what we look like now or who we are. Change is inevitable, so whether we like it or not this too will change.

  4. The topic of discussion goes very well with the picture. I am really interested in the topics you want to explore as i really feel these are some of the important things that will define our future workplaces. We spend so much of our energies exerting our professional image, which could actually be channeled to extract creative work that sets us apart from the crowd.

  5. The topic of discussion goes very well with the picture. I am really interested in the topics you want to explore as i really feel these are some of the important things that will define our future workplaces. We spend so much of our energies exerting our professional image, which could actually be channeled to extract creative work that sets us apart from the crowd.

  6. I know that the person on the right is approachable. The person on the left would make me wonder if she would be down to earth enough to speak to me, for instance, during a mortgage application interview. We can all be guilty of judging, just as we are sometimes judged. Dress down days where the true self is on display, really is a great indicator of how a person feels and approaches daily life or tasks. If I had a long essay or report to write at home, this would generally call for me to be sat cross legged in PJ's on the sofa. I am reminded of a teacher at school who was generally scruffy, (whilst wearing the obligatory tie), along with baseball boots and an earring. He was a teacher of human biology and it was so easy to engage with him, I swear this is where my love of biology programmes comes from even to this day ( 40 years on).

  7. "Toss the Headshop" is perhaps only the beginning? What about "Toss the Narrative"?

    Isn't it also a problem that again in our profile we usually present ourselves in the way we think we should be perceived? Which narratives do you write in to attract attention? Are profiles real and authentic?

    One example: Everyone talks about the fact that we need generalists today—people with a systemic eye for complexity and specialized knowledge in one area or another. People who are like that have access to many, many fields because they can adapt to the most diverse contexts depending on the situation.

    In selection processes, however, it is easier to match specialists and functions. That's why I put my focus on presenting those roles where I appear as a specialist. Unless I am a philosopher ;-)

    Tossing the narrative? I fear that it is even riskier than tossing the headshot. Is it?


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Let's approach with curiosity and not judgement.
Let's challenge the norms.
Let's act with the utmost respect.

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