A request was made not long ago to guest blog for a certain Law School Fashionista. Happy to oblige. You can visit her on Ooh La Law Blog. The offering from Amour discusses that all important first job.
So you landed your first real job. It’s not an internship, not a summer job—it’s a real life big girl job. Now what? Straighten your thong. You don’t want panty lines on your first day, do you? Take a deep breath and follow along. It’s easy if you remember a few pointers.
Tip One: Follow the dress code. Unless it’s horrendous and then just dress better than everyone else. If the dress code calls for panty hose, stock up girlfriend, and make sure there’s an extra pair in your desk drawer. Now is not the time to school your higher ups on bare leg etiquette and its superiority. Follow the rules when you’re on the bottom rung. Casual Friday is the exception. Casual Friday is for the lazy and the weak. On any given Friday, your next boss or future husband could walk through that door. Do you really want to be all covered in jeans and casual shoes? Pfft.
Tip Two: Speaking of the bottom rung; remember your place. Harsh words, non? If you should forget your place on the ladder of success, someone will be more than happy to kick you in the face until you fall back to that first step. Don’t piss off those just above you. Especially if they’re chicks.
Tip Three: Chicks above you neither forgive nor forget. Irritate the girl just above you and you may as well leave now. Remember eighth grade? Deja Vu. Do your job better than anyone else. Shine like the star you are, but usurp her place and prepare for silent girl war, hushed whispers behind your back and snark concerning your shoe choice. You want to get ahead with her help. And that means not stealing her spotlight. Whaaa? There really is enough for everyone and getting her on your side will pay off in the long run. Besides, if she really is an idiot, you’ll be ready when she’s fired.
Tip Four: For the love of God, don’t piss off the big boss. She got there not only because she’s brilliant, well dressed and talented. She got there because no one plays the game better than she. Grovel if you must. Sit back, observe her every move and figure out her triggers. If you prance in the door behaving as an equal be prepared to munch on humble pie at the lunch table.
Case in point: A career fairy tale for your reading pleasure.
Once upon a time a certain diva that shall remain nameless (ok, it’s me) is the head of PR. A diva underling thinks because Big Diva’s husband dropped dead that Big Diva might prove vulnerable. Little Diva talks behind her boss’ back to clients and coworkers, usurps Big Diva’s authority and indicates to others that Big Diva may not be as effective as she once was. Silly, silly girl.
Big Diva tightens the reigns in an attempt to curtail Little Diva’s behavior and her inflated ego. Little Diva’s crucial error is in thinking because Big Diva says nothing she sees nothing. Little Diva, choking on her tightened reigns and puffed to bursting with imagined self-importance, marches into Big Diva’s office.
“How much longer are you going to micro-manage me?” (Secondary tip: If your boss starts micromanaging you—get a clue—something’s wrong—fix that shit right now)
Big Diva glances at her watch and says, “I believe it stops right now because you’re fired.”
That, my dears, is how it’s done. Attempt to undo your boss’ hard work at your own peril. She is a hawk. She did not get to her perch without an eagle eye, battle scars and full knowledge of how to cut a bitch if the need arises.
Tip Five: Don’t flirt. I know. You’re a natural flirt. You’re lovely. Boys flirt with you all the time. You can’t help yourself. He looks so good in that Italian suit. His shoes are fabulous. While you certainly can appreciate the goodies strewn about the office, if you flirt you lose ground. He, and everyone else, will believe this is climbing strategy. You don’t want to be that girl do you? Of course not. You want to get ahead based on your brain not your you know what.
Tip Six: Despite your best efforts, resistance is futile. You find yourself in an office romance. For God sake, keep it a secret. No meetings in the janitorial closet with the lights off. No stolen glances across the boardroom. Only the two of you think you’re being discreet. Everyone knows, and yes they are talking. Your private life is private. We cannot always manage whom we love. But keep it in the bedroom and out of the boardroom.
Tip Seven: Some things are only true on TV. The company president will not pluck you from obscurity and make you the head of PR. Doesn’t happen. You will not win one case and be asked to become partner on the spot. Your first story will not win a Pulitzer. You will not make enough money to buy Manolo Blahniks for a damn long time, if at all, regardless of Carrie Bradshaw’s lies.
By the way, no one makes five dollars a word and even if they did, they still could not afford Carrie’s apartment in NYC, eat out every meal and wear killer Louboutins. Don’t fall for it. Invest in your retirement and not your shoe closet. Whaaa? I know, coming from me.
Tip Eight: Be a smart money girl. What is it you should do with your paycheck? First, pay the rent. Mom and Dad will only treat you like a big girl if you act like one. Put a little in a Roth IRA and buy some beautiful under things. Truly. On those days when you are working late, hair askew and no one appreciates or even notices your hard work or talent, at least you’ll be wearing matching bra and panties—praise sweet baby Jesus.
And if there should be an accident on public transportation, you’ll be well prepared.