So you landed a new job. After the post-interview nail-biting is over and the contract is signed, you've got to decide how to present yourself for your first week on the job. The key here is to look polished and professional without standing out too boldly from the crowd.
Take Notice During the Interview
When you go in for the interview, take notes about what other employees are wearing. Do they dress in business casual slacks and cardigans, or are they marching around in suits and pumps? Perhaps there is a particular style in the office, such as creative dressy, or conservative? The more clues you can pick up during the interview, the better you will fit in on your first day.
Go professional, but don't overdo it. According to Anna Runyon, consultant for "Career Girl," it's smart to dress up on the first day of a new job, but turn on your sensors and get a feel for the appropriate level of fashion. If you pick up on the fact that many colleagues wear a suit to work, pick a conservative suit in a neutral color and wear it on your first day. You'll get a sense of whether to tone things up or down from there. Get off on the right foot with a sharp suit or outfit with professional heels and a structured jacket. Regardless of what you'll wear every day after the first, you should make a sharp impression up front.
Go Minimal on Makeup and Jewelry
Just as you did in your interview, stay minimal when it comes to makeup and jewelry. You want to be refined, not flashy. Go simple when it comes to eye makeup, sticking with mascara and concealer. Choose a neutral or soft lipstick that complements your skin tone rather than screaming Lady Gaga. Pick simple earrings instead of dangling chandeliers, and keep perfume tame and subtle. Remember, you want your skills and abilities to stand out on your first day at work, not your flashy lipstick, bra strap or estate jewelry. Save your flashier side for the cocktail hour outside of the workplace.
Shoes You Can Wear
Invest in a comfortable pair of stylish, work-appropriate shoes. This is crucial to your performance. Sometimes, the most beautiful heels are nightmares to walk in, and you'll find yourself stumbling across the parking lot to rip them off once you're safely alone in your car. Don't let your shoes limit your mobility, your ability to stay active and vibrant in communication, or your willingness to jump up and perform necessary tasks. Spend some time trying on work shoes that allow you to walk all day long in style and comfort.
Jan Archer holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a master's degree in creative writing. Roth has written trade books for Books-a-Million and has published articles on green living, wellness and education topics. She taught business writing, literature, creative writing and English composition at the college level for five years.