One of the work-related things on my plate right now is job applications. Some interesting positions have come through my mailbox recently, and I’m now in a position where I’m able to apply for some of them.
Given how crazy the next few weeks are going to be with other work-related things, I got to think about what I can do to be best prepared if something should come up. From an application perspective I’m in pretty good shape – I have all of my documents other than cover and reference letters pretty much ready to go, so I can get applications together quickly.
Interviews are another story, though. I’m currently making arrangements for some interview skills workshops and practice sessions. But I also got to thinking about clothing, since I don’t have much that’s interview ready in my closet. Even worse, I was browsing through Banana Republic’s site (their pants fit without tailoring, which I like), and was once again horrified by the cost of suits – the one I was looking at was $124 for pants, and $240 for the blazer.
I was out for a bike ride today, and happened to be by the local thrift store, so I went in to look to see if there were any suits that would work for interviews. After striking out in the suit section (not a huge surprise, really, in a sea of 80s pastels and super-long shoulder padded blazers), I had a look through the blazers where I happened across the very blazer I was looking at online only a few days ago. After a few second of debating just getting the blazer, it struck me that perhaps I could find some wool pants that would match, since much suiting material is similar. And so I went and had a look. Lo and behold, I found what looked to be the same pants I was looking at online, and they matched the blazer perfectly. The pants were $7, and the blazer was $15. For $22, I bought a suit that would have cost me over $400 to buy new.
Now, anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I shop almost excusively at the thrift store, and that 98% of my closet (and probably 75% of my home) has come from one such store or another. I love the thrift store (possibly more than I should, but that’s another post). But this find was pretty exciting, even for me. It was also rather impressive for The Boy, who is usually rather indifferent my thrifting ways (“a total score” were the words he used, I believe).
Happily, the suit wasn’t the only needed thing that crossed my path today. I’ve had 4 watches die on me in the last two weeks (a sign from the universe to slow down a bit, perhaps?). To tide me over until I can get my usual one out to be fixed I picked up a new-to-me one for $2 that seems to run well and that I actually quite like the look of. And then, although it’s not really so much a need, a much-wanted field vest in my size finally crossed my path and came home with me for a whole $3.
Now, I’m excited by the suit, certainly, and the other items, but I think I’m also excited by the fact that, once again, I was able to not only find something used that I needed, but that I was able to find pretty much the perfect thing. A few days ago as I was looking online for suits I assumed that I simply wouldn’t be able to find anything close to what I wanted. Admittedly, I haven’t had much luck in the past, and I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a suit for awhile now. But, at that moment I was ready to spring for that suit then and there just to have it out of the way and ready to go. I’m glad that I didn’t, though, and although the moments I spring to these conclusions are getting farther apart, I’d like to keep this in mind for the next time I decide I’m just going to have to give in and go the typical shopping route and spend the big bucks for what I need.