Hi there lovelies! I am so excited to be featuring Jill from Champagne for Everyday on the blog this week! When I came across her blog I was immediately drawn to her positivity, sophistication, and wonderful tips on all things fashion, beauty, fitness, and health. We have a lot of the same interests and I immediately wanted to move across the country to San Fran so that we could be bff’s. I was thrilled when Jill agreed to let me interview her on some very important topics, such as, how to look for a job and what to ask on the interview! And obviously, we also included some style tips so that you dress the part as well!
Hi Jill, thanks so much for being our featured guest today! Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your style.
Hey Annie! Thanks for featuring me on your page! I’m a full time young professional working in financial services in the Bay Area. On the side, I blog about fitness, fashion, and fun life hacks that I’ve discovered. I love writing and photography, so the blog is a great way to explore my passions and build some new skills that aren’t the focus of my current role.
I would describe my style as classic with some unexpected flair. My wardrobe has a solid foundation of neutral tops, tees, and dresses as well as leather and jean jackets. I also gravitate towards pretty, feminine pieces as well as super ugly ripped jeans and sneakers. I never like to look too “Kate Spade” and love to either mix looks or keep it really simple and classic, not too girly.
What are some staple pieces you would tell a young professional to invest in?
A great fitting dark navy blue or black matching skirt and blazer (basically a suit), by a quality brand like Theory or Vince. It’s pretty rare these days that young professionals need to wear a full suit unless interviewing for a finance role, however it’s always good to have one on hand. The best part about it is that the blazer can be worn with jeans on casual Friday or for a weekend look, or with a fun, printed dress to the office. The skirt will come in handy to pair with colorful blouses for a business casual look, or I even wear mine with booties, a tee, and a jean jacket.
If you can’t find a suit that fits you off the rack, I recommend buying one a few sizes too big and getting it tailored. When I was interviewing in NYC, I bought a Theory suit two sizes too big, and found a tailor to fix it up for me by identifying a few on Yelp in the neighborhood and visiting them in person. That way you can get a sense for a fair price, and whether they’ll listen to exactly how you want it altered.
A great fitting pair of basic black pumps (Nine West makes really good ones for a reasonable price) and some black flats (patent or lizard skin!) are also a must to start your professional wardrobe, and will work in both casual and formal atmospheres.
Biggest fashion faux pas as a young professional:
Boring dress pants – the long, boot cut, old school kind. There are so many fun pairs of black pants out there, in slim, flattering, fashion forward cuts that are cropped at the ankle. When I graduated, I thought stern, plain pants were the only thing that was “office appropriate” – boy was I wrong! I definitely use work clothes to express myself, through prints and different cuts. This is especially fun if you work in an ultra casual tech environment!
What types of jewelry do you wear to the office or to a professional event?
I’m personally a big fan of dainty, versatile jewelry. This includes a pair of diamond studs I bought for myself after hitting my first career milestone (a major professional exam), as well as pearls earrings, and thin gold or silver necklaces and bracelets. I am definitely trying to experiment more with statement jewelry, and I think there is a place for this in any office atmosphere. A bright statement necklace is a great way to express personality when you’re wearing a plain outfit.
Today you’re also showing us how you styled a pair of Chloe + Isabel crystal drop earrings. What do you love most about these earrings?
These Chloe + Isabel earrings are beautiful and classic, so right up my alley. I love the diamond color of the stones because it truly goes with everything. This type of versatility is important given the different facets of my lifestyle, and how often I go from work to an evening PR event. These earrings are something I could wear with a basic corporate outfit, or a party dress for a night out.
How did you style these earrings on your most recent vaycay?
I brought them with me on our recent trip to Italy, and wore them multiple times. In these photos, I styled them with my favorite silk Milly maxi dress for an evening out in Positano. They complimented the neckline and feminine style of the dress perfectly. I’ll definitely be getting a ton of wear out of them!
I know they are just so versatile and look stunning on you! And check out that GORGEOUS view!
Let’s change gears now and talk career tips for young professionals!
Top three tips for preparing for an interview:
- Read about the company, the CEO, the culture, and everything you can find about it online
- Make notes on the job description – what specific skills do they ask for, and what examples can you provide of how you demonstrated those skills? What personal achievements do you have that are relevant to the role?
- Put a time limit on your studying. It’s been proven that imposing a time limit increases performance for anything.
I once studied for an interview for 1.5 weeks, and still didn’t feel prepared. At the end of the day, I would have done just fine with 5 hours of studying. Yikes!
One question you should always ask during an interview:
I always recommend asking about the person you’re replacing. If it’s a brand new role, probe into what the hiring manager envisions as a career path in the company for the person they hire into the role. I also try to ask questions that give me an idea about the culture: how long has the team been together, can the hiring manager describe the culture without forced enthusiasm, and are people promoted from within?
For someone fresh out of college searching for a job – any tips on where to look besides search engines?
I recommend networking. There are multiple ways you can do this, and it’s an important skill that will serve you throughout life. I would ask people you know if they have friends who are employees at companies you’re interested in, and ask them to connect you for an informational interview. You can also write polite notes to people you don’t know on Linked In requesting 10 minutes of their time for a quick chat. If you’re a new college grad, this is even easier to do since people will be eager to help you and understand that you’re trying to get your career off the ground.
To help decide what sort of career you might be interested in, search the internet for “day in a life” articles, and check out websites like Career Contessa where women talk about the day to day in a variety of different roles. Taking a career aptitude test would also be helpful so you’re armed with some information about your strengths. From there, you can start searching for people that you can chat with, and you’d be surprised how often this will generate interview leads.
Overall, it’s hard to know what any career is really like when you have no experience with it, but now is the time to get out there and try different things!
I couldn’t agree more and I hope that you found Jill’s tips, tricks, and styling just as helpful as I did! I also realized that I need to get myself on a plane to Italy STAT!
To follow Jill, visit her at http://www.champagneforeveryday.com
To get her look: Crystal Drop Earrings, only $32
What was the most helpful tip for you?