Earlier this week I was a lucky recipient of a major makeover and the opportunity to gain re-employment through an event entitled Style Me Hired. Style Me Hired gives free makeovers to men and women who are temporarily out of the workforce and are seeking employment.
When I applied to be considered for the makeover I hadn’t had a freelance job in about a month and my savings was really running out. I felt like I was in another loop where I kept applying for positions both in and out of my field, but with no success. When I saw the application for Style Me Hired I figured I had nothing to lose.
Just when I forgot I applied for this opportunity, I received an email congratulating me as a winner! I had a month to get outfitted for interview appropriate attire with Career Wardrobe, and a new cut and/or color with a local salon. At the end of that month the winners were not only provided an opportunity to attend a workshop to help us hone our interview skills, but also given a head-to-toe makeover right before meeting with recruiters from several local employers seeking to fill open positions.
The whole makeover process through Style Me Hired has been an amazing experience. First, I was so thankful to be able to get a great outfit for the job fair. I really lucked out in getting a tweed full length skirt, blouse, and brown pumps. Career Wardrobe provides low-income and unemployed women and men access to professional attire for interviews. Their boutique contains clothing purely from donations and is run mostly by volunteers. Even though the boutique run by Career Wardrobe was fairly large, being a plus-sized girl I had very limited choices in what to choose from. I know that is not fault of Career Wardrobe, but it just made me wish I had old suits/pants/blouses to donate. I was shopping along with several other women and more than half of the other shoppers were plus-sized like me. However, only a few small racks contained donations of plus-sized clothing, none of the racks contained plus-sized blazers. I kept thinking of all the clothing I donated to Purple Heart when I moved out of my suburban house, and how many of those outfits could have been given to a woman who needed a good outfit to help land a job. Again, I was not disappointed in my selection, but in the back of my mind I made a promise that as soon as I am re-employed I was going to make a donation to their organization.
Next, the haircut and color make-over. I was paired with a salon called La Hair Designs, located in the south part of the city. My stylist Tina touched up my highlights and trimmed off some of my dead ends. The salon is small, but the owner and stylists are amazingly warm and friendly. You definitely get a sense that you were just hanging out with the girls and giving each other make-overs and blow outs. I was also extremely happy with the results. I left the salon with an extra pep in my step and wished I had a date lined up for the night. On the day of the job fair I kept getting asked if my hair color was natural, and if not, which salon I went to (so you know Tina did an awesome job).
So with much trepidation, below is the before and after pictures of my haircut and color with La Hair Designs.
On the day of the job fair the winners had about 3 hours to get their make-up done, a fresh hairstyle, dressed into our attire, and attend a workshop. The workshop was a prep talk and role-play session rolled into one. We discussed tips and techniques to help ourselves stand out positively in the recruiter’s mind, learned how to polish our interview skills, and given some uplifting words of wisdom.
For the day-of makeover I shuffled over to one of the make-up artists and was primped over for about 15-20 minutes. I was concealed, lined, shaded, blushed, and airbrushed to perfection. After slipping into my interview attire I shuffled over to the little stand that LA Hair Designs was attending to get my hair interview perfect. I love my hair in wide loose curls, and they did just that. I felt like a million dollars and was so pumped and ready to hit the job fair.
The job fair was modest in size, not too small where you felt there was too much competition, and too big either where you felt like you were going to miss a great opportunity somewhere. I think I stopped by booths for about 80% of the companies that attended. I worked an angle stressing my 13 years of corporate experience. I also stressed that I wanted to put some of my abilities to use in an area outside my expertise in an effort to diversify my core professional skill set.
At the end of the day I slipped back into my street clothes and left with several new contacts and job leads. I felt good and I felt confident. It was a great feeling, especially since I had an interview set-up 2 days later (which was arranged prior to the job fair). Still riding high on excitement and confidence from the fair, I strode into my interview with a positive attitude and ready to demonstrate my excellence.
This afternoon I submitted an application to that employer I later interviewed with. I am currently sitting here with fingers and toes crossed. Its been 3.5 years since I held a permanent full-time position, I not only want to work again, but I need to work again in the worse possible way.