whatveewore

Posts by this author:

Dressing for a Job Interview

woman in job interview outfit

woman in job interview outfit

woman in job interview outfit

woman in job interview outfit

Wearing Sarah Lloyd blazer, Acne Studios tee, H&M skirt, Celine bag and Vince Camuto heels

Some of you may be in the process of graduate job hunting or just considering new job opportunities altogether. It’s exciting, but the recruitment process is often daunting.

That means interviews – at least one, typically two or three – to make an impression on your prospective employer.

I take you through the fundamental things that you should consider in approaching your outfit for a job interview. Looking confident will not only inspire your prospective employer’s confidence in you, but it goes a long way in helping you perform at these essential times.

Do your research

First thing’s first – do your research. What’s the company like? What’s the culture like? Who are the heavy hitters within the organisation? What have been their most recent achievements? Do they have a sustainability ethos?

One of the best ways of doing this is to look through any industry circulars or publications within the profession. This may give you insight as to how conservative/progressive the organisation is and give you an understanding of the expectations of dress around the office.

If you know who’s going to be in the interview room with you, you should find out as much as possible about them – professionally of course, I’m not encouraging creepiness. I like to use LinkedIn but I try to be as covert as possible (ie. making sure I’m logged out on my browser) so it’s not obvious to them that I’m having a good old stalk.

Don’t be too fussed if you have trouble finding any information.  You can almost always make assumptions based on the type of company you’re interviewing with. For example, a professional services firm will expect a conservative corporate look regardless of the industry.

Be conservative

Choose simple silhouettes and avoid too much embellishment. Lace, loud prints and studs can give you a sartorial edge but save these for when you’ve settled into your new role.

Take note from the classics

They’re classics for a reason – they always work. Some pieces that I consider to be classics include a crisp white shirt, a black/navy blazer, pencil skirt and pumps.

Work with what you’ve got

Work with the existing pieces in your wardrobe, ideally ones that you’ve road-tested and already give you a confidence boost which you’ll need in the interview.

If you’re buying anything new for the job interview, do consider whether you can and will wear it again and how it might be styled. If you’re not going to wear it again, then it’s money wasted. Interview pieces can be versatile. Take a blazer, which will see you through many work days and is perfect thrown over jeans on the weekend.

Good luck!

Follow:

I’m pregnant! When should I tell my employer?

31 weeks pregnant in my Carla Zampatti blazer, Sheike dress, Louboutin Degraspikes and Celine Cabas Tote

This is a tough one.

Ideally – it’s no one’s business – so when you’re ready.

Your legal position

Legally (in Australia, specifically), you must tell your employer that you plan on taking parental leave at least 10 weeks before your last work day.  So if you plan on taking leave from 37 weeks – you have to tell them about your plans by the time you’re 27 weeks pregnant.

If you’re employed in Australia, the law protects you against discrimination.  According to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, the Fair Work Act 2009 and other state and territory specific legislation – you can’t be treated unfairly because you’re pregnant – eg. you can’t be fired, made to work less hours or given less important work or overlooked for promotion or training.

Accessing parental leave and flexible working arrangements depends on how long you’ve been at your job and your workplace policies.

Practically speaking…

When you tell your employer is really up to you.

If you have morning sickness and it is affecting your punctuality or people are asking questions – it may be best to let a few people in on the secret just so they can cover for you if need be. For me, I told my secretary, my supervising partner and a few of my most trusted colleagues after I had my dating scan at around the 7 week mark. They sort of clued in to the fact that things weren’t right with me because I was showing up to work a bit later than usual and feeling very ill for most of the day (morning sickness is a misleading descriptor and should really be renamed “all day sickness”).

There will be a few antenatal appointments that you have to attend which can often cut into your work day. When this started to happen for me, I let HR know.

If your office has flexible working arrangements – you’ll probably have the ability to can keep it under wraps for as long as you feel comfortable.

Follow:

My interview with SFW Milano

I was recently interviewed by SFW Milano and opened up about career, fashion and some of the ups and downs of life as a working mum.

You can read my interview here.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and any further insights you may have on topics I addressed in the comments section below.

Follow:

My Go-Tos for Casual Friday dressing

My go-to Casual Friday look – jeans & a blazer

Does your workplace have a Casual Friday dress policy?

The concept of relaxed dressing confuses many – and it’s not the workplace’s intention for employees to rock up looking sloppy. Some misinterpret the idea of ‘casual’ so it’s important to always maintain a sense of professionalism at all times.

Dressing for the office can be tricky at the best of times – and each office is different. “Business casual” in one office may be considered as “Casual Friday” in another. If you’ve just started a new job, familiarise yourself with your new workplace environment to get a handle on how conservative or relaxed it might be.

Do’s and Don’t’s

Here are some of my tips that inform the way I approach dressing on Fridays:

Do:

  • pair your blazers and structured jackets with jeans or casual dresses
  • wear tees (plain coloured is best) with jeans and heels
  • wear blouses with jeans or casual skirts
  • use your usual work handbag / tote

Don’t:

  • wear jeans with large rips or denim cut-off shorts with fraying (denim shorts are a bit of a grey area for me so I tend to avoid them altogether)
  • wear thongs or flip-flops
  • reveal too much skin by wearing anything too low cut or too short
  • wear anything too tight or too thin
  • wear leggings as pants (…every day really, not just Fridays)
  • wear t-shirts or tops with writing or slogans on them – logos are generally fine – but I once saw a summer clerk walk around the office with a t-shirt that said “You Don’t Mean A Thing To Me” and it was a little bit weird

I like to think of Fridays as a chance to display a more casual personal style – but still maintaining professionalism and respect for my colleagues and workplace.

Here’s to Fridays!

Casual Friday – neutrals, jeans + heels

Follow:

Monochromatic dressing for the office

Not sure what to wear to the office? Lacking in motivation to get dressed? Got nothing to wear (again)? I say – go monochrome.

When I’m struggling to plan my next day’s work look, I always end up dressing in the same hue head to toe. I’ve gradually shifted away from colour to a more minimal colour palette in my corporate wardrobe and it has noticeably minimised the stress of dressing each morning for work.

For me – it’s either navy or black.

Head to toe navy: Scanlan theodore top and skirt, Carla Zampatti blazer, Prada double tote

 

Follow:

Understanding your parental leave entitlements in Australia

Leaving aside all the confusing physical changes happening to your body, if there’s one thing you should be bothered understanding when you’re pregnant – it’s your parental leave entitlements.

I don’t know many people who enjoy life admin – and this is the more confusing kind – so it’s nice to get this checked off the list as soon as you are able.

If you’re fortunate enough to benefit from parental leave entitlements – it’s important to have this squared away before you go on maternity leave – to save yourself the stress of dealing with any complications just before you’re about to pop.

Government entitlements

In Australia, government paid parental leave is facilitated by the Department of Human Services. You can receive up to 18 weeks pay at minimum wage (currently $719.35 pw before tax) which is paid either directly by Centrelink or to your employer who will forward the payment onto you.

The Centrelink website isn’t the most user friendly at the best of times because of the volume of information available. You can check your eligibility here.

Briefly:

  • you’ll have to meet a work test
  • you’ll have to earn less than $150,000 in the year before the birth of your baby
  • you’ll have to be on leave during the period that you will be paid the government entitled parental leave
  • you’ll need to meet residency and citizenship requirements.

There are other exceptional circumstances that may be taken into account – you’ll need to look into these if you do feel as though you’re entitled.

Dads and partners may be entitled to up to 2 weeks of pay – you can check the prerequisites for that entitlement here.

Step-by-step process

The process from go to whoa should be as straightforward (ha!) as:

Step 1

Checking your eligibility – see above.

Step 2

If you are eligible, set up your myGov account and link it to the Centrelink portal.

Step 3

If you don’t have one already, you will need to apply to have a Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN) to submit a parental leave claim.  Your CRN will be very important going forward as you’ll use it to submit future child care subsidy claims and potential family assistance claims (subject to eligibility). Your children will also receive CRNs too so you should keep all of this information in a safe place.

Step 4

Submit your paid parental leave claim through the Centrelink portal on myGov website (during which you will need to decide the date in which you would like to receive your payment).

Step 5

Provide proof of birth to Centrelink (through myGov or in person) once baby is born (you get this paperwork upon being discharged from the hospital).

Step 6

Manage your paid parental leave payments. Centrelink’s online services make it easy to track your payments and there is also an app that you can download if you are so inclined.

…and in six easy steps – you should be good to go!

Workplace entitlements

Most larger organisations or established smaller companies may offer some assistance to employees about to go on leave (both paid maternity leave and paid partner leave).

You should check your workplace policies to see whether you are entitled and get the ball rolling there.

In any event, your HR department will likely lead you in the right direction and assist you once you inform them that you are expecting.

Hope this sheds some light to those who are currently navigating the minefield!

Follow:
All references to legislative entitlements are current are the time of writing.

Where I can, I’ve added affiliate links, where you can support whatveewore.com by clicking through to featured items.
Click here to read my disclaimer on affiliate links and PR products.