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I Had a Makeover Before Returning to Work: Case Study

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 30 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Return Work Make Up Confident Office

Returning to work can be daunting on so many levels, with concerns over whether you’ll be able to keep up with the office banter to making sure your professional skills are up to date. For HR manager Tina Powell, 42, from Manchester, one of her concerns was whether her appearance would fit in with her fashionable colleagues.

Ready for a New Look

Tina was returning to work for a high street clothing company’s head office after her second maternity leave, and was finding that her main pre-return to work worry was nothing to do with the job itself. Tina told us, “I felt more than ready to go back to work after my daughter turned one and I was comfortable that I would be able to quickly get back up to scratch with the job, especially as I had taken great care in keeping in the loop throughout my maternity leave. But although it may sound shallow, I was most worried about how I looked.”

Having found it hard to shift the baby weight and with little time to pamper herself, Tina was feeling dumpy and dowdy. She continued, “I was only really a stone overweight, but none of my work wardrobe fitted, and it seemed old and tired. I also hadn’t been looking after my hair and my roots were terrible! Added to that the fact that I hadn’t worn make up in months and my nails were a disaster, I really didn’t feel confident about returning to work.”

A Confidence-Boosting Makeover

Tina decided to make some time for herself to feel better before her first day back in the office, so she asked her mother to look after her baby for an afternoon and took herself off to the local shopping centre. She told us, “I would have loved a weekend at a spa to be honest, but I simply didn’t have the time or the money! I went to the biggest department store and booked myself a manicure, eyebrow threading and lip wax and then went off to get my hair done. I also went to the beauty counter and had a quick makeup lesson, which gave me some great tips for a quick and easy look in the morning. For example, the lady showed me how to use tinted moisturiser and a cream blusher rather than spending ages on foundation, and she suggested I have my eyelashes tinted too.”

After Tina’s speedy beauty afternoon, she felt far more prepared to face the first day back at work. Tina added, “I can’t explain why it gave me such a boost, but knowing that my ‘outside’ was prepared meant that I was better able to hide my nerves. Having my favourite suit dry cleaned and shoes re-heeled also helped me look more polished.”

Although it may seem superficial to focus on how you look when you return to work, for many people like Tina it can help overcome first-day-back nerves, and present the right image to your boss. It can also help de mark the ‘old you’ from the ‘new you’ so that returning to work becomes a positive experience – especially if you can treat yourself to a new hairdo or handbag!

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