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How to Dress for Your First Job

April 20th, 2010

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One of the biggest differences between going to class every day and going to work is probably going to be the way you dress. Starting a career means entering the professional world, so say goodbye to sweatshirts and gym shorts and hello to business suits and button up shirts. When it comes to dressing the first few months on the job, remember the following things.

Dress conservatively. Your best bet is to play it safe and keep in mind that it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed. While some companies may have written dress codes, others will leave it up to you to find out, so pay careful attention to what other employees are wearing on a day-to-day basis, especially those that have a similar position as you. Even if you see someone wearing jeans on a Friday, don't just assume it's because it is a "casual" one. Check with your boss and make sure that it's allowed office wide. You don't want to make the same mistake a coworker did because you were trying to copy him.

Dress how you want to be viewed. During the first few months on the job, your boss and coworkers are still getting to know you, so it is important to dress how you want to be viewed. Responsibility is a valued quality in any employee no matter what industry, and the best way to portray that you are a responsible person is to look professional at all times. Most likely you displayed this type of professional appearance during the interview process, and just because you are now an employee doesn't mean it should stop.

Dress on a budget. Chances are, you did not have much of a professional wardrobe in college. It is also likely that before you get your first few paychecks, you don't have the money to start one. If you are on a budget, it is best that you invest in some basic but versatile articles of clothing, such as buttoned up solid colored shirts, several pairs of pants, and a jacket that will go well with more than just one pair of them. Remember that you don't necessarily have to wear completely different clothes each day. If you wore the same shirt yesterday, just make sure you pair it with a different a jacket today. Business clothes typically have similar styles, so no one is going to notice that you wore the exact pair of black pants two days in a row.

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