I did not set out to save money this year, but it is fairly clear to me that my total spend of less than £90 a month on “myself” is pretty low for a working woman of middle years in a middle-management role. OK, I also bought things like nail polish (4 bottles, not used since the summer) and coffee (a cup a day 5 days a week, 44 weeks of the year) but the £1050 annual spend already documented is pretty much the whole story: my total “selfish” expenditure. Most of my reading this year has been from library books.
As a few people commented on my post about Ready to Wear, it might be time to cut myself some slack and live a little. I haven’t “suffered” by any means, and my love of sewing and knitting has carried me through all the low patches. But yeah, there were some low patches and I sometimes felt like treating myself but didn’t “give in to temptation” because the potential guilt felt worse than the non-specific sadness that sometimes washes over me. Hey – I’m a girl, OK?!
The Financial Position
|House for sale in Hebden Bridge. One day!|
The Workplace Wardrobe Quandary
I live in the muddy sticks and have a very hairy dog. But my job is in a fairly formal environment in the Corridor of Power. My appearance is not always entirely appropriate to my role. I find it hard to balance my inner impulse to rebel with the demands of my job.
I have a wardrobe of quirky hand-mades and a navy cardigan of ill-repute, no social life and no professional network.
Is this a sustainable position? I don’t think so. I am rapidly reaching the stage where I will be labelled “eccentric”. FL chuckles and says I am already there, but I think I still retain sufficient gravitas in the workplace to step off the slippery slope.
Right now, I am in distinct danger of self-sabotage. The knitting demo interview was a shock. I simply don’t know how to be a “career woman”.
We are in the midst of restructuring at work and I don’t want to be the one who takes on extra low level tasks just to make themselves indispensible – oops, I already did that! Quality not quantity should be my aim!
I have agreed to attend a professional conference in March and I am consciously “building my portfolio” so that nobody can deny I look serious on paper.
But I know I that if my job was advertised now, I wouldn’t have the necessary skills / experience / qualifications to meet the Person Specification. It is a classic case of staying too long in one place. I can do what I am paid to do, but I don’t feel like “the specialist” I am purported to be. Its not just an issue of self-confidence, but I’m sure that’s part of it. No male of the species would admit to this scenario!
So what to do?
|What I wore to work today…|
I hate to say this, but it might be time to act like a Grown Up… if only at work.
I refuse to become one of those women in black boxy-jacketted 1990’s trouser suits. My workplace is full of them. H*ll, I used to dress like that myself… in the late1990’s! Some career advisers say you should dress like your boss: to make clear your aspirations for promotion. But I am not seeking promotion. I just want to ensure I look like the person I am already supposed to be.
In case you were wondering, my Boss definitely power-dresses. Her working wardrobe would not look out of place in one of those group photographs of International Heads of State, or a posh wedding. People on the same grade as me are either boxy-suited or Boden-ed, or both. I have relied on the ubiquitousness (ubiquity?) of the Boden-look as my license to stay quirky. But my interpretation may have strayed too far into what others would consider to be Weekend Wear… or just plain weird :S
So what’s the plan?
As long as I have to live here, I need to hang onto my current job / employer, so I need to pull my socks up a bit.
I do have my good days, when I make the effort to look smart for serious meetings. I need to do that more often, if not every day.
Scarves are amazing things. So is jewellery. Clean shoes should be a priority (a quick glance at my current footwear reveals a tide-mark of mud from walking from the front door to the car this morning). I need some alternatives to the saggy navy cardi… which probably entails shopping.
For goodness’ sake! I simply need to take more care about my appearance: get my hair cut more often than once every 6 months; smarten myself up at the edges; sew more career-appropriate items; and accept that this is probably not the right time to dye my hair purple and wear Doc Marten’s.
Or else… start digging my escape tunnel with a bigger shovel.