New job? New look!

Achiev­ing a pro­fes­sional look with a small bud­get

Middle East Business (English) - - NEWS - by Yara K. Masri Ed­i­tor - Youth af­faires

Change is never easy. This be­comes all the more ap­par­ent when mov­ing from a care­free life with­out ma­jor re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to a life that’s pro­fes­sional, se­ri­ous, and full of com­mit­ment. One of the first ma­jor chal­lenges in life hap­pens when mov­ing from full-time ed­u­ca­tion into em­ploy­ment, ei­ther by be­com­ing an em­ployee or launch­ing your ca­reer as an en­tre­pre­neur. Dur­ing this trans­for­ma­tion pe­riod, change ap­pears in every aspect of the work­ing grad­u­ate's life. At­ti­tude has to be tweaked; you may need to be more se­lec­tive with the views that you ex­press (es­pe­cially via so­cial me­dia), and jokes and laugh­ter have to be tuned down. Above all you will need to try to be more pa­tient as suc­cess doesn't al­ways come at your first at­tempt at job hunt­ing. I'm not sug­gest­ing chang­ing your whole per­son­al­ity, but sim­ply by de­vel­op­ing an un­der­stand­ing that what was ac­cept­able at Univer­sity or school may raise eye­brows in a pro­fes­sional en­vi­ron­ment should set you on the right path. Change in be­hav­iour is of­ten mir­rored by the way you look. Ap­pear­ance is a key fac­tor in pro­fes­sional life; if you want peo­ple to be­lieve that you are pro­fes­sional, you should look like one. If you are a fresh grad­u­ate, you should save your hood­ies, T-shirts, light coloured or ripped jeans, sneak­ers, and your baggy style for the week­end. Fresh grad­u­ates of­ten start on low salaries and there­fore have smaller bud­gets for shop­ping, so don't feel that you need to spend more than you can af­ford. The ques­tion is how can you achieve a pro­fes­sional look on a low bud­get?

Check the Dress Code

You should know the dress code of the com­pany you work/aim to work in, and you should check if you have to be in for­mal suits or whether smart ca­sual is ac­cept­able (this is more preva­lent in the creative or IT sec­tors). You can eas­ily do some re­search by vis­it­ing the of­fice and not­ing how peo­ple are dressed. Once you have an idea you can start look­ing at what you al­ready have in your wardrobe and de­cide how much you can af­ford to in­vest.

In­vest & Mix and Match

Buy your clothes slowly so you can spread the cost through­out the year. When you go shop­ping, don’t get too

ex­cited. Be smart and de­ci­sive, and in­vest in buy­ing key pieces that you can mix and match. Choose pieces that you can wear for a while un­til you can af­ford to buy new items. You will need to have a few for­mal out­fits for of­fi­cial events. Take a list of items or out­fits that you are look­ing for af­ter you know what you al­ready have, and do not buy any­thing that isn't on your list

Don’t be afraid of dis­count stores

There is noth­ing wrong with dis­count out­lets or vin­tage stores. It doesn’t mat­ter if the piece of cloth­ing is in­ex­pen­sive. If it looks good on you and gives a nice smart look, buy it. Don’t for­get that it saves your bud­get. Take your time to shop around in an out­let store, you never know what you might find! Mix­ing a well-tai­lored suit or skirt with less pricey shirts or blouses you al­ready own will mean that your money will go fur­ther. If you don’t like to shop at out­lets or bou­tique stores, take the time to reg­u­larly check sales in your fa­vorite stores.

Shop smart

Look for clas­sic pieces that fit well be­cause clas­sic is time­less and can last for many years if you treat your clothes with re­spect. Tai­lored, nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als will of­ten last much longer than man-made ma­te­ri­als that may look worn af­ter ten washes. Suits should be pro­fes­sion­ally dry cleaned but not too of­ten - air­ing them and brush­ing them with a clean clothes brush can keep them dust free and look­ing smart for much longer be­tween clean­ing. If buy­ing a tai­lored suit, buy two pairs of trousers if you can af­ford it to ex­tend the life of the suit. Shop­ping at the end of the sea­son is also wise as most stores have sales in prepa­ra­tion for the next sea­son. You can also save coupons to save even more. Don’t for­get to fo­cus on items that will last see you through more than one sea­son.

Or­gan­ise your wardrobe

Know­ing what you have in your wardrobe is im­por­tant. Pri­mar­ily this helps you to avoid buy­ing mul­ti­ple pieces that look the same. It is im­por­tant to have va­ri­ety; each piece should look slightly dif­fer­ent in colour or style so you can mix and match eas­ily, even if you do tend to stick to one pal­ette. Hav­ing a var­ied clothes col­lec­tion will pre­vent you from look­ing like you are wear­ing the same clothes every day, even if your wardrobe is limited. Wear­ing ac­ces­sories can make a big dif­fer­ence in your pre­sen­ta­tion. How­ever, do not over­spend on these items. Hav­ing scarves or ties that can be work with mul­ti­ple out­fits is a wise move. Try to choose one or two pairs of shoes in neu­tral colours that will match most of your out­fits (brown, black, blue etc), and take care of them by clean­ing and re-heel­ing when re­quired. Far too much money is spent by young fe­male pro­fes­sion­als on de­signer hand­bags. Don't fall into this trap. You can pur­chase ex­pen­sive ac­ces­sories over time once you have your job and you have been get­ting a reg­u­lar salary.

And fi­nally . . .

Don't for­get that your en­tire ap­pear­ance needs to be im­pres­sive, so make sure that your hair is clean, neat and well styled. Women should avoid wear­ing too much make-up, whilst men should ei­ther be clean-shaven or any fa­cial hair should be neatly trimmed and clean. As a new em­ployee, economise every day by mak­ing your own lunch at home and tak­ing it with you. Or­der­ing take-away food, ex­pen­sive lunches or cof­fees is one way to waste your hard won and much de­served salary in no time. Take-away lunches are not only costly but have a neg­a­tive im­pact on your health and waist­line. Af­ter so much ef­fort to find the right work­ing wardrobe, you don't want to out­grow your new clothes!

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