Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Professional Dress Is The Key To Success!

12 Apr 2012Looking for a job can be quite a daunting task, and there are a lot of things that need to be considered before you go for that important interview. Things like: your resume, having good knowledge of where you will have to go for your interview, preparing what answers you’ll give during your interview, and possibly, the most import thing; what clothes you’re going to wear, to ensure you look the part.

I always say that when it comes to job interviews, no matter if you’re going for a job as a ‘check-out-chick’ at a supermarket, or a legal secretary at an exclusive law firm, you should always take pride in your looks.

Dressing in business clothes will really show your potential new employer, that you are professional, responsible, and you are taking the job that they are offering you seriously. You don’t want to turn up for an interview in anything too revealing, too big or small, or scruffy looking, it may affect the outcome of the interview. Also, when you look good, it makes you feel good, so you will ooze an air of confidence that your potential new employer will pick up on.

For women especially, finding the best, most professional looking clothes can be an expensive mission to accomplish. For women who have been out of work for a while, and don’t have much money, the luxury of having a work-ready wardrobe isn’t always possible. Thankfully, I’ve found a fantastic organization that is here to help!

Fitted for Work, is a not-for-profit Australian organization that is all about empowering women, and helping them to get into the workforce, or make their return after having children, or possibly recovering from an injury, or any unfortunate life circumstances that have arisen.

I heard about this company a few weeks ago, when some of the girls from the St Marys Transition to Work program, were taken to the Fitted for Work office in Parramatta, to be fitted out with a new interview outfit each.

The girls came back with bags full of new, high end fashion interview clothing, and it was all for free! Each girl insisted on wearing one of their beautiful new business outfits back to our office, to show them off to everyone here. As they walked out one by one, we could see the difference in the way they carried themselves, they had truly been transformed.

The dedicated staff and trained volunteers at Fitted for Work help each woman who comes through their doors, by fitting them correctly, giving them styling tips, and even decking them out with accessories, like shoes, undergarments, pantyhose, handbags and jewellery!

The organization, which has assisted over 6000 women into work, since 2005, specialises in helping women who can’t afford to buy a work-ready interview outfit. They help single mothers, women with disabilities, immigrants to our country, and also with women who have just been released from prison, who need some assistance in making a fresh start.

This fabulous organization is the first of its kind in Australia, and is such a great initiative. It is only currently available in three locations; two in Victoria, and one in NSW, but there are plans for the future to expand further around the country.

Fitted for Work relies mainly on donations of clothing from fashion stores, or members of the public. They also fund themselves by selling less work appropriate clothes that are donated to them, at market stalls, or in their vintage second hand clothing store, called Dear Gladys, in Melbourne, and now online, which you can visit here: http://www.deargladys.com.au/
Relying on mainly word of mouth to become well known within the community, Fitted for Work is sure to start conversations around the country, just from the wonderful job they do.

If you’re interested in getting ‘fitted out’ for your next big job interview, you can visit their website here: http://www.fittedforwork.org/ - I spoke to Jennifer, a representative from the Parramatta store, who advised me that all you need to do to receive a new outfit, is be referred from a job service, or case worker, who will need to fill out an online application, to get the ball rolling. It’s as simple as that, and you could be on your way to looking and feeling fabulous for your next job interview!

If you’d like to help out the lovely folks at Fitted for Work, you can make a clothing or monetary donation, or you can volunteer your time at one of their boutiques. All the info you could possibly need is on their website, so take a look!

Also, if you’re a man, and are feeling the need to be ‘suited up’, don’t feel left out, there is also a male equivalent to Fitted for Work, called Dress for Work, we’ll have more details to follow, so keep your eyes open. If you can’t wait though, you can take a look at their site here: http://www.metromrc.org.au/uploads/Dress%20for%20Work%20brochure.pdf


Danielle - TTW trainee from St Marys

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