How to Transition Your Look from Admin Student to Working Professional

With so many potential careers to pursue out there, it can be a difficult decision to narrow down your options and focus on one area in particular. Typically, it's best to choose a path that speaks to your strengths, interests, and of course market trends when it comes to job availability, but even then, landing that dream job will be competitive and take effort on your part.

For those who have chosen the path of a business degree, it's likely that you were looking for something that would offer flexibility come graduation and allow you to choose from careers in a few different areas. It's a smart approach for the future and one that can help boost your odds of success. What you may not have considered, however, is that there is more to landing a job than just getting your education.

Here we'll take a look at how you can start to transition your personal style and look from that of a business administration degree student to that of a working professional who feels confident in the field.

Do a Little Research on Your Chosen Career

When you first start to pursue your business degree, you may not yet know which career path will ultimately be the right one for you. For example, with an online business degree - such as the business administration Bachelors's degree, you can often choose a concentration that allows you to narrow down your options. The most common concentrations are human resource management, accounting, and management.

As for what the careers a business degree can prep you for, they include:

  • Marketing management
  • Food service management
  • Financial management
  • Healthcare management
  • Sales management

Each of these tends to have a very professional attire dress code. This will help to shape your purchasing and style choices.

Don't Wait Until You Graduate to Make the Transition

Another tip is to start that transition well before you actually graduate. Here's the thing - once you start to dress the part, you start to feel the part. Your confidence will start to build, your air of professionalism builds, and you just start to naturally slip into that role. This can make a huge impact once it's time to start applying to jobs and attending interviews.

Key Pieces to Add to Your Wardrobe

And what exactly makes your wardrobe feel more professional? Well, there are a number of pieces you can add to your closet, most of which are considered basics, which means you can build upon them. The key items to look for should include:

  • Trousers that are tailored to fit perfectly
  • A couple of blazers, again tailored to fit perfectly
  • Blouses
  • Camisoles
  • Cardigans
  • Simple dresses that are in basic neutral colors

While this may not sound like a lot of clothing, because each one acts as a basic, you will be able to mix and match and create a number of different looks.

Let's take the simple black dress that you have picked up. Throw the cardigan over it and you have an office-appropriate and stylish outfit. Pair a blazer with that same dress and suddenly you are in "power-suit" territory and look the part if you happen to be attending a meeting or giving a large presentation.

What About the Accessories?

Of course, your accessories will also play a big part in just how successfully you are able to transition from student to working professional. Accessories help to bring an outfit together, make you appear stylish and modern, and again give you that extra boost of confidence that can be so important in the workplace.

Some of the key accessories you can start to build upon in your wardrobe should include:

  • Jewelry, including a few statement pieces
  • Heels that are appropriate for work
  • Dressy boots, such as booties, mid-calf boots, etc.
  • Belts to bring your outfits together
  • A couple of standard purses in neutral tones

Once you've got the basics under control, then you can start to add the fun pops that speak to that season's trends. For example, maybe a brightly colored scarf, stacked bracelets, shoes in a fun pop of color, and even a lively looking purse to jazz up your outfit.

Each of these pieces will help to make your outfits appear more customized and unique as you mix and match.

Looking the Part Means You'll Feel the Part

By using each of these tips, you'll be able to seamlessly transition from a student wardrobe to that of a professional, giving you the boost of confidence you need to get out there and land that dream job.

5 min read

3 Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress Each Evening (Instead of Reaching for Another Cocktail)

When we envision a person who is suffering from substance use disorder (SUD)—defined by having a history of past misuse, experiencing increasing mental health symptoms, or having a family history of addiction—we often picture someone waking up and instantly grabbing their first drink. However, in my experience working with those battling SUD for nearly a decade, I've learned that everyone's relationship with alcohol looks different and having a few too many drinks at night can be just as dangerous.

The time of day, amount, or type of alcohol one drinks doesn't define if they suffer from SUD or not—it's the compulsion to drink. By focusing on healthy stress relievers and implementing them into your daily routine, you aren't just avoiding another glass at night, you are curbing any inclination for SUD that you may have.

While you may feel the desire to reach for another drink after dinner and putting the kids to bed to relieve some of the stress you incurred that day, there are other things that you can do that are much more beneficial to your mental health and wellbeing.

Risks of Reaching for Another Drink

Reaching for another cocktail or glass of wine can feel like a great way to relieve the stress of the day at the time, but over time it can actually lead to the opposite. Excessive drinking is known to lead to increased anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders such as increased risk of family problems, altered judgment, and worsened sleep quality. These can all lead to increased stress and create a continuous cycle I have seen in many of my patients, which often prove difficult to break.

Increased alcohol consumption can directly impact an individual's mood and temperament, too. In my patients, I've seen a connection between increased alcohol consumption and irritability, fatigue, and loss of interest in activities that previously brought that person joy—activities that people should always put time into, especially right now during the pandemic.

While drinking in moderation doesn't have serious implications for some, others are already at increased risk for SUD. One drink per day is considered moderate for women, while eight drinks or more in a single week is categorized as heavy drinking. It's important to monitor your intake—whether you are at increased risk for SUD or not. It is all too easy for one glass to become another, and then another. And if you keep reaching for just one more drink, you can start to build a tolerance, as it requires more and more alcohol to achieve the desired effect. This can result in dangerous, addictive habits that will alter your life, and the lives of those who care for you.

Three Healthy Ways to Relieve Evening Stress

Stress relief from alcohol is short-lived, but choosing healthier, alternative stress relievers can provide long-lasting benefits for both your mental and physical wellbeing. At Wellbridge, our team not only focuses on treating addiction but also on teaching healthy habits to support ongoing sobriety. And many of these learnings can be implemented to avoid addiction by handling stress better as well!

Below are three healthy stress relief ideas you can implement into your routine:

  1. Mindfulness exercises can be a powerful and mentally stimulating stress reliever. Throughout our therapeutic program at Wellbridge, we provide different opportunities to cultivate mindfulness. For example, breathing exercises, such as box breathing or diaphragmatic breathing, mindful walking, and progressive muscle relaxation. If you're looking for entry, guided meditation, check out this YouTube channel where experts post mindfulness exercises each week.
  2. Human connection is invaluable. Whether it is your spouse, your children, a friend, or even a therapist, connecting with someone else can be a great way to relieve stress. The additional perspective that another person provides can also help us feel that the anxieties and stressors we are experiencing are more manageable. If you are feeling increased stress from loneliness or isolation, reach out and schedule a Zoom coffee hour with a friend, or call a loved one to check-in and chat.
  3. Physical activity is an excellent stress reliever as well, for so many reasons. Not only can it help us get our mind off of stress, it enables our bodies to release endorphins and provides long-lasting physical health benefits. Physical activity doesn't need to be a full-blown workout if you don't feel up to it, or simply don't have extended periods of time to dedicate to a longer exercise regimen. Even a short walk or some stretching can go a long way towards improving your mood. I enjoy following guided, online yoga practices for both mindfulness practice and physical activity.

Despite my years working in this space, I am no stranger to giving in to stress. However, I've learned that by allotting myself a little time each morning and evening for activities that set a positive tone in my life—like meditation, journaling, and exercise—I've been able to better manage my stress and feel more prepared for heightened periods of stress. Do I manage to set aside personal time every morning and evening? Definitely not—life happens! But by doing our best to take regular time out for ourselves, we're all certain to be in a better place emotionally and mentally.

Putting Your Mental Health & Wellbeing First

It's important to also recognize that it isn't just stress that causes us to reach for another drink at night. With the added pressures and responsibilities of women in today's world, having another glass of our favorite drink at the end of the day can often seem like a quicker and easier option than other healthier ways to relieve stress.

However, it's essential to put your mental health and wellbeing front and center in your priority list—something that many women struggle with. But just like the oxygen masks on an airplane, you can't take care of others if you don't take care of yourself first. By focusing on implementing small, healthy habits and making them a seamless part of your daily routine, you ensure that you can show up in all aspects of your life and for all the people in your life.

If you are struggling with increased stress, be specific and honest with your support system about your need to preserve your mental wellbeing. Prioritizing your needs will help you be there for other people you care about in your life.

I always refer back to a quote from a Dar Williams song—a song about therapy no less! "Oh, how I loved everybody else when I finally got to talk so much about myself." Talk about your needs with others and find time to develop healthy coping habits. And if you feel as though you've already created an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, discuss that relationship with a medical advisor to learn if advanced treatment is the right option for you.