So, you are a new college graduate, an established young pro, or on the hunt for your first “big” job. For most, you are transitioning from an organized, structured school program to an unpredictable, chaotic world outside of academics.
This change can be shocking. The job search is difficult and often results in repeated rejection (kind of like my dating life). Unfortunately, a number of college graduates give up on their dreams after a few months of failing and find themselves in dead-end jobs. Don’t let this happen. Eventually, you will land the job you want and forget all the angst and self-doubt.
This column will feature advice for current and future young professionals as they navigate and identify the best fit in their careers.
MONTHLY TIP: Better to overdress, than underdress
I learned this one the hard way. There’s nothing like showing up to a suit-and-tie event in jeans and a sweater (#regret). Don’t be like me.
This doesn’t mean you need to dress formally every day; simply dress appropriately. Most offices have a business casual dress code that you should generally stick to. Slacks, dress shoes, and a nice button-up work great for men and women. Avoid blue jeans, sweaters, shorts, t-shirts, sneakers or branded material. Even if you have a casual Friday, don’t take it too far. People will judge you by what you wear. You do not want to remembered for the wrong reasons.
In addition, young professionals sometimes have issues determining what’s appropriate to wear and what’s not. Avoid outfits that show a lot of skin or hug the body too tightly. A professional office is not the place to take risks with your outfits. If you want to go out dancing or to the gym, you should probably change outfits after work. Don’t be that person dressing inappropriately at the office; it’s embarrassing for everyone and can lead to awkward conversations. Keep it classy.
Keenan Emery works at VanNatta Public Relations, a PR, Event Planning and Strategic Communications firm located in Salem, Oregon. PRSalem.com, [email protected]