Dressed Professionally

Week #11 of counseling internship. I have a total of 151.75 hours (yay!) Here is the specific breakdown: 26 hours face to face, 4.25 hours individual supervision, 5 hours of group supervision, and 116.5 hours of related activities hours.

I’ve been lucky the past few years that I’ve never really been required to dress professionally on a regular basis. I had some nicer outfits for interviews et cetera, but working as a student worker for a high school missions program even as an office supervisor wearing one of our organization tshirts and jeans was fine. This presented with a challenge when I was moving into the internship face of my education, I had not updated my wardrobe on a consistent basis and many of my dress shirts were too short now, or my dress pants too tight.

Therefore, I knew I was going to need to spend some money up front. My apparel at work and designing outfits instead of simply pairing a top with a pair of pants has been a huge focus for me, as I know its important to create a sense of security for the client. My face and body seem particularly young (I’ll appreciate it one day when I’m older so I’m told), so it was my focus to appear older/more professional to, again, help the clients feel more secure. Our new office manager was always ridiculously sweet if I displayed these nerves at the beginning of my internship telling me that she told her children “you have the same holy spirit that everyone else has” reminding me that age is not always an important factor. (I told you she was the best birthday present ever!)

However, recently during a supervision meeting my supervisor suggested that I dress slightly more professionally, just amp it up a little bit. I explained that it was something that I was working on, and would continue to focus on. After polling our counseling intern facebook group for ideas, other friends on facebook, and studying the outfits on Pinterest, I had some guesses as to what I needed.

This is what I was wearing for the meeting, which my supervisor stated that the sweater was more casual looking.

Casual sweater

These other outfits were what I wore to see clients those next few days. Supervisor saw them and approved!

Professional outfit #1

 

IMG_3337

In this instance it helped to pull my short hair into a bun, and focus on smaller details like decorative belts, cardigans, and jewelry to really piece the outfits together. This is going to be different at each location and with each set of counselors. At my private practice I work with many seasoned counselors so I think their style is to lean towards the more professionally dressed side of things, whereas other supervisors may create a more casual environment.

I’m simply excited to have experimented in this realm and to have learned something that I didn’t know as well before. Our outward appearances are only part of the package, however client first impressions are VERY important, and I’m grateful for the little details like pulling my hair up, if it helps the client to feel more secure with me. :0)

Similar posts
  • Made Peace With The Highs and Lows I’m still trooping through the year trying to figure out what PEACE is, what it looks life in my life, and how to let more of it in, and let the bad stuff out. Something I’ve come to recognize (okay, really, just be honest with myself) these past few months are my struggles with the [...]
  • Seen the End of the Journey Once upon a time I began my counseling career after my internship. It was challenging phsyically, emotionally, in all the ways. I desperately wanted to reach these kids who were known to be some of the most aggressive and tough. I hurt because of their hurts, wondering how I could better help them. I cried [...]
  • Counted Down to 2016 Twice When you work with kids you take EVERY opportunity to do fun things like celebrate the holidays. This meant that my coworker and I planned to have them celebrate the New Year’s festivities with making pizza, art projects, noise makers, and counting down at noon. They really seemed to enjoy it. Later I went to [...]
  • Become a Counseling Resident Sorry I’ve disappeared over the past few months, work/life balance is hard for me. A few months ago I accepted a position with the local community service board.   In another blog post later I’ll share about the journey that day. Long story short I was struggling on April 1st. I felt defeated thinking about [...]
  • Begun My Counseling Career Obviously, in April I disappeared from the face of the Earth. I began my counseling career!   I interviewed and accepted their offer to be a day treatment counselor for behavioral and emotionally challenged children. Basically, everything that I’ve been doing for the past 5 months can be summed up in this quote: The kids [...]

2 Comments

  1. Jacquie Jacquie
    March 3, 2013    

    The outfit you put together with the blue blouse, grey sweater, belt and necklace is really cute! I think that looks quite professional and flattering on you. Personally, I don’t think the bottom outfit with the plaid blouse and open sweater is as nice. It and the black sweater hide your curves more and seem a little frumpy, which might be what gave your supervisor the impression of being overly casual. I think though that wearing your hair up, along with wearing clothes that are more form fitting- but not tight, is what really makes the difference because your pants and shoes in all the pics seem fine. (The shoes look cute too btw! 🙂 So hopefully I haven’t offended you with this unsolicited advice. It looks like you are doing a good job. The pastels with earth tones looks good on you. If you are thinking of doing any shopping I think investing in a few more light or bright colored tops like the one in the middle pic is what would make a big difference overall.

    • erin erin
      March 3, 2013    

      I’m not offended at all! It has been really helpful to hear everyone’s varying opinions :0). I agree I really enjoyed the grey sweater, blue dress shirt, belt and necklace. The supervisor didn’t like the plaid as much either. The hair being up has helped drastically! I’ve been adding piece by piece. Recently, I found some nude pumps that I can’t wait to wear. A friend also gave me some more dress pants/cardigans, and shirts that she hadn’t worn in awhile. I will remember to look for light/bright colored tops. I think its because I’m a Spring :0)

Leave a Reply

About Me

Hi! My name is Erin, and this is a place to "process out loud" in the words of my friends. You've probably noticed that the theme is kind of a wide theme, that is much like my life as I'm interested in MANY things: traveling, photography, jogging (its new!), being crafty, homesteading, firearms/self defense, and learning how to be a good wife. Through all of these things my goal is growing to know Christ more, and to make Him known. Each post shares a little about the promise that God has given me, that He'll finish what he began in me! (Phil 1:6) So thank you for joining me on this wonderful adventure.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 26 other subscribers

Category Specific RSS