This summer, new college grads like you began their entrance into the workforce. After four years of grueling studies, you are finally ready to put your knowledge into practice. As part of a new generation of social media savvy candidates, it’s likely you’ve grown up in a world far different from the hiring managers and executives looking to have you join their team. While employers long to have fresh ideas from the minds of technologically proficient millennials, the knowledge gap that exists goes both ways and should be addressed head on. If you’re a millennial, we know you can get a bad wrap, so we want to help you navigate your new world as “the new kid on the block” … to get you acquainted with your new surroundings and make sure your “millennialisms” are seen as positives by your veteran superiors.
DRESSING FOR THE JOB YOU HAVE
We are going to get right to the point on this. The old expression is “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” That is still useful advice in the appropriate context, however, millennials can sometimes be viewed as arrogant by older generations. Sometimes that’s fair and sometimes it’s not. You want to make sure you look eager to succeed without looking like you think you own the place on your first day.
Opt away from styles that might seem desperate for attention. Choose wardrobe essentials that polish off your professional, business attire without being too obvious. Simple, tailored pieces give you tons of versatility and provide a great foundation to add on or adapt as you change positions or companies. Add simple, statement accessories that show you mean business, as well as have an eye for details.
SHOW WHO YOU ARE, BUT SHOW YOUR RESPECT
Growing up in a social media generation has its drawbacks. For one, it has created a cultural norm where people believe their personal opinion is supreme. Walking into an established business with this attitude can quickly lead to friction among employees. You were hired for your skills, but there is also an order to how the business operates. Find a way to fit in AND stand out.
Take a cue from other employees, particularly if there is no corporate dress code. Make a note of what is appropriate to that business and how you can add your distinct personality while keeping with the company image. You want to be you, but you also have to remember that you are representing someone else’s business, and they have established the company culture that works best for them and their client base.
ADAPTABILITY AND VERSATILITY
It’s not uncommon for new employees to be given a variety of tasks that may or may not fall into their main job role. That doesn’t mean you’ll be cleaning the floors and passing out mail, but don’t be surprised if you’re asked to jump in and offer suggestions for a new business presentation or if a big project for a preferred client requires “all hands on deck.” Your outfits should always be “client presentable” even if you do not work directly with clients. Show your adaptability and your passion by looking appropriate for any occasion and by contributing your best ideas to help the company move forward. Your hard work and team-focused attitude won’t go unnoticed.
Choose clothing that is professional, easy-to-wear and made from breathable fabrics. If you’re working late, make sure your outfit choices allow you to stay in the game. Wear clothes that fit well and can move with you, whether you’re off on client meetings, running out to pick-up lunch or sitting at the computer crunching numbers. Choose comfortable staple pieces and then add on more formal outer garments (like blazers) and accessories that can be easily removed if the workload or long hours dictate.
Ladies, It’s a big world out there and you have much to learn. But you’ve got what it takes to succeed!! Show up, work hard and give them your best ideas with a great attitude. Let your style and your skill sets shine as you climb that corporate ladder. And remember, there’s no reason why you can’t climb that ladder in heels! We are always here to give you a boost of confidence with corporate accessories to fit your personal style. As we always say — go out there and conquer the world, one outfit at a time.
Happy Wardrobing, Friends