The catch 22 of growing up is that you don’t know what you don’t know. You need experience to get the job, but you can’t get experience without a job! Enter the age of the internship. No matter what field you’re passionate about, there’s an opportunity to work (for free) in exchange for invaluable knowledge, expanding your network, and hopefully getting some school credit.
Dress the Part
Don’t dress for your internship like you’d dress for your 8 a.m. Friday class. If you’re not dressing the part at your internship, you’re affecting the way you’re perceived and may lose out on your dream job. Here are the steadfast fashion rules for interns, no matter what your career path may be.
They say dress for the job you want. You are playing dress up in a sense. But if you’re ever feeling like an impostor in your work-friendly get-up, just repeat the mantra: “Fake it ’til you make it.” Yes, it’s cliche and a little cheesy. But it’s true. No one is going to inform you that it’s time to start dressing like a serious professional. It’s not like paying your taxes or flossing your teeth. Dressing professionally needs to happen when you are in the business world, no matter what. Dress like you’re going to an interview for your dream job every day, and you’ll be a lot more likely to land that dream job before you’re 50.
Dress Well Doesn’t Mean Dress Expensive
“Never use the word ‘cheap.’ Today everybody can look chic in inexpensive clothes (the rich buy them too). There is good clothing design on every level today.” –Karl Lagerfeld
Dressing like a pro doesn’t mean you have to break the bank or be boring. As the high priest of fashion, Karl Lagerfeld points out, the girl makes the clothes, not the other way around. Investing in a few key pieces paired with some outfit planning is the best way to beat credit card debt and “I have nothing to wear” early morning meltdowns. Closet blindness can happen to the best of us, and nothing is more agonizing than digging through piles of clothes half dressed and already late. But you can combat your worst clothing conundrums by shopping smart and planning your outfits the night before.
First off you need the right clothes. Not the most expensive or of-the-moment clothes, but the right clothes. Get your basics. You might spend a little more on these because they’re classic and versatile. If your office is formal, you need a pencil skirt and fitted blazer in navy and black. Period. Red and nude are great color options too. Then buy less expensive trendy pieces to accent. Trends change from season to season, but the classics remain.
Accessories are a Girl’s Best Friend
Mix and match. Even throw a simple tee underneath a blazer, top with a necklace and you are ready to go. You also need three pairs of heels that are comfortable. Like crazy comfortable. Wear them around the house while you’re cleaning. Can you vacuum for 20 minutes and not want to spend the rest of the day with your feet up? Get to know the brands of shoes that you like and that fit you well. Look for a wedge with an ankle strap for maximum style and comfort. Store some moleskin in your purse for the first few weeks you’re breaking them in. Nothing says novice like wobbling around like a baby deer on heels that are killing you. You also want to invest in a classic purse that carries all the essentials of the day, but not one that could double as your gym bag. Look for lux fabrics like leather and tweed in fun colors to play up your personality and reliability.