You have you're best pencil skirt on paired with your favorite blouse and you have your Kate Spade Saffiano Bag on the crook of your arm (because we just don't do briefcases). You are wearing the cutest pair of heels and you're drinking out of your #girlboss travel mug. As you approach the building of your dream job you read the sign. What does it say? Where are you working? Chanel? Google? NASA? Where do your professional dreams take you?
I totally get it gals -- it's a dog eat dog world out there. We all go through college saying we have "no clue what we want to do with our lives" and suddenly, we're turning our tassels and are out on our own. The real world sneaks up on us real fast so it's best to dip our toe into the world of professionalism asap -- the sooner the better. This can start with a summer job when you're still in high school or an internship as a sophomore in college. I recommend trying to start off in your potential field as early as you can. If you want to work in fashion, start in retail. Stay with the company for as long as you can. If you want to be a teacher, start volunteering in the front office, interning with teachers, and working camps with kids. You get the gist.
It wasn't until I started writing this blog that I realized how important it was to be ready for the professional world. If you want to be taken seriously and want to take that first step into the world of professionalism there are a few thing that can help you get your foot in the door.
Sooner or later, the time will come when you need to take that leap of faith and start applying to jobs, internships or come in general contact with professional establishments. You never know when an opportunity may arise and that's why you need these five things to help you step into the world of professionalism.
A Resume -- The best way to prep for the professional world is to curate your resume. It's hard to write a resume when you don't have a lot of put on it which is why I say volunteering and school clubs can be such great things. Not only are they great in general, but they're fantastic resume builders. Make sure to include your contact information, a little bit about you, your past experience and a few references at the bottom. Always carry an updated resume with you -- at least one. This is great incase you meet anyone at your current job who might help set you up with great contacts, or find yourself in a circumstance where someone asks for it. Think about it, Elle Woods had a resume on hand and see where that took her. If you need help drafting your resume, here's a great website.
An Agenda -- Any professional and serious woman has an agenda. She either uses her phone as one or has it on paper. I am old fashioned and love to carry around my Erin Condren Planner. Carry this around and your life will be organized and you will be ready to take on the world. I take mine to job interviews and meetings. I use mine to set goals, manage time, track meals, make to-do lists, and track homework.
Go-To Interview Outfit -- This is a must girlies! You need one designated interview outfit that you know you can reach for. I have a fun pair of high-waisted ruffle chinos from J. Crew, a white Lilly Pulitzer Elsa blouse and a navy blazer that look incredible with my black pumps. This outfit needs to make you feel confident, look incredible, and help you rock the room. It's so true when people say "you feel how you look". If you look 100% you're going to feel 100%. Never have too heavy of makeup in an interview, no chipped fingernail polish, or gaudy jewelry. Keep it simple, classic, and sleek.
LinkedIn Account -- This is more for the woman who is semi-established but is needed once you reach that point of your career. LinkedIn is a great site to help you connect with potential employers, find jobs, reach out to potential job opportunities and connect with colleagues. As a blogger, I have one and connect with companies, partnership leaders, fellow bloggers, and clothing brands. I also connect with anyone that I have worked with in the past. These accounts are free and are pretty simple to set up. The more you put into, the more you will get out of it. They're so worth having, I highly recommend!
A Structured Bag -- I think that a structured bag just oozes professionalism. A short handle with a shoulder strap and a tailored and structured bag. Something that will hold that agenda we just talked about, you're phone, a mini-mergency kit, your wallet, a couple pens, and whatever else you might need to keep you rocking throughout the day. Celine, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, and Givenchy make incredible bags. Purchase this bag in a great neutral so it can last throughout the seasons. I love nude, navy, and, black for a good structured bag.
Remember gals, you need to rock the boardroom and show off your girl boss skills all while doing it in four inch heels. No matter what you're doing or where you're doing it, it's always a good time to start thinking about your level of professionalism. As early as high school, it's okay to start getting your head in the professional game. If you adopt these five things, you are taking a huge polished-toe step in the right direction.