My Next Chapter – Guest Blog by Ashleigh King
I’ve been through lots of changes recently. From being made redundant to starting my own business and graduating with an MBA from Newcastle University Business School, I came to Lucienne for help with finding a new job in the middle of a global pandemic!
While my MBA gives me a competitive edge in the skills section of my CV, I’ve felt dreadfully unconfident about my professional wardrobe and putting forward the right image to suit the work I was looking for.
I’d landed an interview with my dream employer (Newcastle University Business School) and needed a wardrobe suitable for dealing with contacts all over the world, looking professional but also showing off a certain amount of personal style and flair. I had no idea where to start.
Working with Lucienne
Lucienne and I met over Zoom, and I admit I was a little sceptical about how much I could learn that way. I needn’t have worried as I came away from our meeting with loads of new ideas and brimming with excitement and confidence.
Lucienne’s manner is so friendly and approachable and she quickly put me at ease with her kind nature and humour. She used a variety of backdrops to demonstrate colours and I learned about a core palette of colours that suit my skintone.
Next she asked me to bring all my interview clothes into my office so she could see what I was working with. Not only did she advise me which were the best styles and colours for my body shape and skin tone, but knowing my interviews would take place online, she gave me some tips on lighting and where to sit for best advantage too.
I’d usually choose a red outfit for an interview to appear confident and stylish, but Lucienne explained that red can sometimes be viewed as antagonistic if worn in the wrong proportions!
Throughout our session, Lucienne gave me some priceless tips about colour, style and ‘staging’ for a virtual interview. Here are a few of those tips:
- Choose your jewellery carefully to match the style of your outfit. Simple statement pieces are best as they aren’t too sparkly or distracting but provide a point of interest.
- Experiment with different make up colours against your chosen outfit. I would normally choose a bright shade of pink but Lucienne advised me that a natural colour would work better with my chosen outfit. She also advised me to apply lip-liner – a simple tip to make my make-up look more classic. Video meetings often require more make-up than we’d normally wear so Lucienne advised me to apply more concealer and bronzer for a healthy, glowing look.
- Lucienne even helped me with choosing a backdrop for my interview. A simple, uncluttered backdrop is best to avoid distracting everyone. Keeping it simple helped me lead with my personality, creativity and flair rather than being drowned out by a busy backdrop.
- Given my long-term enthusiasm for Newcastle University and the Business School, I used subtle hints to show the interview panel how invested I was in the organisation. For instance I wore a small Newcastle University alumni pin on my blazer, and a Newcastle University Business School mug.
- Body language was another area that Lucienne helped me with during our session. She told me how to sit, how to project my confidence and what signals to avoid during the interview. When it actually happened I felt so confident having worked on those areas with Lucienne.
While I didn’t get the first role I went for I was asked to apply for my dream role as Alumni Relations Manager at Newcastle University Business School – and I got the job!
My experience of working with Lucienne was 5*. She was instrumental in my interview success and I can’t wait to work with her again. I’m going to invest in a new management wardrobe, using all the things she taught me, as soon as I get my first pay cheque.