I totally smashed the interview and I’m starting my new dream job next week but I want to make the best first impression possible. I’m freaking the hell out; I’ve got nothing to wear! Their dress code is smart casual. What even is that!? I’m worried they’ll realise they’ve made a big mistake and decide that they shouldn’t have hired me. Do you have any suggestions, please?
Calm down hun! You have totally got this. Everybody has a bit of a wobble when they’re taking a big step into a career or role they’ve worked for and wanted for a very long time.
We’ve placed a lot of people into their next permanent role that have all felt the same and they’re all really chuffed they took the leap. Also, erm hello?! They chose you from interviews above and beyond everyone else, didn’t they? Yeah they did. Ok, so let’s break this down and get you first day fresh.
First-day office clobber: If there isn’t anything further in the office dress code other than “smart casual” then pop straight over to your new employer’s website, their Facebook page etc. and check out any photos you can find of their staff. Companies always make their staff dress up for PR photos so whatever they’re wearing in those pictures, is their ideal. If you can work out who the managers are in the photos, even better because you should totally base your office style on theirs and dress in a similar way.
Remember, “Dress one step ahead”
Basically, dress for the job you want, not the one you have. It doesn’t matter that it’s only your first day, you want to climb the ranks in the Company, right? So, if you dress like a manager does, they’ll be more likely to accept you as part of their tribe psychologically, before you’ve even opened your mouth.
Where you’ve got no photos to go off, it’s actually even easier to nail smart casual. Go with an understated plain black suit with a plain white blouse/shirt. If you get there and the full suit doesn’t feel right you can take the jacket off and untuck the blouse. Cool, smart, casual, killing it.
So, you know on Star Trek, in every single episode, someone would say “energise” at least once? They were onto something those sneaky space age explorers.
The best you to go to work as, is the one that’s had a morning shower. Not just so you can smell nice and not offend your new workmate’s nostrils, but because it “sets you up for the day”, according to Business Insider. Especially if you’re brave enough to alternate between hot and cold to really get the blood pumping.
While your previous work experience may have helped you to win your new seat in your spanky new office, nobody that you’re working with actually cares how you used to do it in your old job. You’re there to add value to their business, but you need to learn how they do it, before suggesting any tweaks or alternative ways to do things.
If you spend your first week listening a lot more than speaking (my Gran always said we have twice as many ears as mouths because we’re supposed to use them in that ratio) then you’ll find out more invaluable information than if you blast in like a bull in a china shop trying to impress everybody.
Lastly, nearly everybody at some stage in their career feels like an impostor. It’s totally normal. The jobs where that feeling is strongest are usually those where you are learning the most at the quickest speed.
Best of luck, we’re sure you’ll smash it.
Your friends at Paragon.