Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but its true! The Edinburgh Fringe has come to an end (listen close enough and you’ll hear locals scream with happiness), sunshine comes a little later in the mornings and hello, its September – where has 2018 gone?! Summer is well and truly over, which means autumn clothing will be making a reappearance soon enough. Anyway, I digress…
After working in a jewellers shop (part-time) for almost 7 years, the notion of working in an office was so different and a little exciting for me. I would have my own desk, decorated beyond any cuteness I had ever known before, after work drinks would be a weekly occurrence and I would be running from meeting to meeting with a lot of exciting things happening on any given day… 18 months later I can confirm that is not the office life I know.
You’ve just graduated or have decided to make a change in career and are terrified of making the transition from the casual bar/coffee shop job to the Monday – Friday, 9-5 life. Its like committing to a serious relationship except, it’s not as easy as saying ‘I’ve had enough’ after one week of un-enjoyment, unfortunately!
Honestly, I love my job and appreciate thats not very common but there is a massive difference in loving your job and loving the office life. Beware that plans for the Christmas night out will begin in August, shows such as Love Island or Bake Off will be discussed at depth and chats of upcoming weekend plans will begin on a Wednesday and post weekend analysis will end on a Tuesday. The weekend is king of the working week. Imagine that… but its not all bad. To (hopefully) set you off on the right foot, take note of the tips below, they should help for the beginning at least!
Yep I said it, the most cliche phrase that ever was but I cannot emphasise it enough. In reality, you are slipping into a formed ‘team’, people who have worked together every day for too long. To many, whether they may admit it or not, you are a breathe of fresh air. You went through a (successful) process to get the job so get your personality out there. Every personality brings something new, different and fresh. Don’t be scared of that one character who seems to dominate, all offices have that person and chances are, if they annoy you, they are annoying everyone else too!
SAY YES TO EVERYTHING.
Unless it’s to making tea and coffee for the whole office, no thanks! I’ll encouage you to pass on that one. Joking aside, chances are that the person giving you advise has been in the job a lot longer than you have, they have been through the process of climbing the professional ladder and know what is good for you! Now, not everyone has your best intentions at heart but I like to think the majority do… maybe naive but hey ho! Grab all opportunities with both hands, something new that sounds frightening? Jump in, head first! If you mess up, try again…
GET TO KNOW THE OFFICE.
Its 2018. Flexible working is a buzz term used by many and for that reason, my first office dream was polluted within my first month of work. Get familiar with the term ‘hot desking’. No, nothing like speed dating, more like The Hunger Games pre 9am in a mad dash to bag a desk before the remainder of the office gets comfy on a busy day! Hot desking also means no personal drawer to your left filled with emergency snacks for those days when you just cant. stop. eating! That said, working from home is something I never considered and now is considered a luxury. Loungewear all day long, a tea pot for constant top-ups and lunch not out of a tubberware box. Its the small things!
Prepare to become emotionally involved in Susan from Finance’s children, you’ll find yourself asking to see photos of first day at school before you know it and will willingly offer up advice to Janet regarding her niece’s next steps after 6th form. Your colleagues will become family, in a way, because lets be honest you spend the majority of your days with them! Enjoy it but enjoy life out of the office more, always keep a balance!
A working day is long enough but will feel even longer if your in a dress thats too tight (especially post lunch), in a top that’s just a little too low or simply something that doesn’t’ make you feel like you! Feeling comfortable is a major factor in feeling confident! Not factual but I think everyone would agree that what is deemed acceptable to wear in the office has changed massively over the years. As a rule of thumb, I don’t necessarily buy ‘workwear’, I just buy pieces that can work in the office, there is a difference! Know your diary, sitting writing reports all day? An oversized dress is always welcomed however, if you have a meeting with an important client, bring your A-Game. A fitted blazer will always look smart!
Check my favourite staple pieces below, get a few of them into your wardrobe to make it office friendly then all you have to do is add a little you into the mix and you are winning!
Zara know coats like no other, the right coat can dress up and add a level of sass to any outfit! This oversized beauty will suit every season, it’s on my wishlist! (Zara, £99)
Trench coats are timeless, whilst we all might want/need a Burberry Trench, this cropped ASOS dupe will carry you through all seasons! (ASOS, £55)
Gotta be quick for this one, it’s been sold out more times than I can count! (ASOS, £32).
Zara have come through with something very similar and now I want both… (Zara, £30)
Stay bang on trend in animal print with this beauty. Feeling the cold? Add a cream/black polar neck in the winter. (& Other Stories, £49)
Walking through a busy office should be done with confidence which can only be achieved with the right shoes! My first day in the office I had a fabulous pair of black pointed flats, I know that pride feels no pain but by 10am they had tore my heels apart – would not advise! I love these small block heels! (ASOS, £35)
A dress down Friday isn’t complete without a pair of Stans. Believe me, they play office cool very well, you won’t look back. (Adidas, £74.95)
An important meeting, a conference or even an interview, you can’t go wrong with a tailored suit but, newsflash – it doesn’t have to be black! (ASOS blazer and trouser suit, £113)
Trousers are my thing! I have gathered up numerous pairs over the years and lots of which I initially got for nights out. Adding the right blouse can make all the difference!
Did someone say hump day? This look would make me jump out of bed on a Wednesday morning. A colourful pair of trousers add a little spring to your step… well, mine anyway! (Topshop, £35)
Wear this floral pyjama style blouse with black trousers to brighten up a gloomy day! (Topshop, £35)
A strong white blouse is crucial (just make sure you don’t wash it out…)
Wear with any bright coloured trousers, as a base to a tailored suit or layer under a pinafore dress or jumpsuit! The options are endless. (ASOS, £30)
This skirt will take you straight from the desk to the dance floor! The perfect Friday piece paired with a t-shirt for a more casual look! (Topshop, £32)
By no means the most stylish bag but definitely the most practical. I was converted a few years back and could not imagine the working week without one. Documents? Gym gear? Lunch? Its all in the Longchamp, hun! (Selfridges, £80)
The office is a weird and wonderful place and will take some getting used to. Pretty quickly you’ll figure out the joker, the one that gets worked up over absolutely nothing, who’s hiding a hangover on a Monday morning, the beauty of a cup of coffee, the value of public holidays and just how quickly a lunch hour can disappear but trust your instincts and you will fit right in!
Enjoy the next step, good luck and never forget to WearWhatWorks!