1. Rock a brand new hairstyle?
It seems like such an innocuous thing: between buying new shoes and stocking up on plastic lunch containers, why not revamp that shaggy mane and strut out of the salon with a shiny new Carey Mulligan/Alexa Chung/Christina Hendricks inspired ‘do? Well, I have just three words – ARE YOU INSANE? You’re ignoring the Murphy’s Law of Hair which comes into play whenever you have a significant event — wedding, high school graduation, first date — that requires good hair. The law states, and I quote, “Verily on dates of import, whatever you want your hair to do, it will do the opposite.” For me, that meant my insouciant Charlotte Gainsbourg fringe instantly puffed up into a Punky Brewster meets Tina Sparkle ‘80s megamop. And don’t get me started on my bleached brows…??
2. Drop your kids’ inheritance at Net-a-porter
?A friend of a friend once scored an interview to become a personal assistant for a serious Hollywood A-lister. The first thing she did? Took out another credit card, clicked over to Net-a-porter and blew the entire balance. She got the job and as far as I know, she’s living it up in Tinseltown rolling with Ari Gold and loving life. Who knows, in 10 years’ time she might have earned enough to pay off her debt. ??Working at an Australian fashion magazine is as close as I’ll ever get to that life. First thing I did? Headed to the cheapest shops at the mall and dropped at least $120. I mean sure, I obsessed over a pair of Stella McCartney boots, but a) I can’t afford it and b) I can’t afford it. And luckily I didn’t try. My first week in the office I saw a whole lot of fast-fashion — worn with some pretty nice designer accessories, I might add. The moral of the story? I’m all for sprucing up for an interview, but at the end of the day a job’s about earning money — not putting yourself in debt. Besides, I even got a compliment on my cheap-ass shorts. Score?.
3. Obsess over potential problems
?I play this game with my boyfriend called “What if.” It involves me asking a series of questions about a certain topic, examining it from every facet and getting increasingly random and ridiculous. ??Over the past month, the questions have increasingly focused on the new job. “What if they don’t like me?”, “What if I suck at it?”, “What if my desk collapses and I’m crushed under the weight of my computer and an office of angry editrix death stares?” It’s completely ridiculous and helps nothing. But admit it – you’ve played the same game. ??Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from not reading The Secret, it’s that positive thinking can make you a lot of money. And we all want money. By inference, negative thinking costs money, and I’m not rich enough to throw any more coins of self doubt out the door. So a week before I started I made a massive effort to keep my annoying questions to myself and so far so good – I’m still here and I haven’t been taken out by any tumbling office furniture.?
4. 180 on your personal style
?I have a tendency to change my wardrobe to suit my workplace. When I worked at a music magazine it was all ironic T-shirts and black stovepipes. At an investment bank I’d work power suits lined with $100 bills. For this job? Well, I was a bit confused. ??If the magazine was a real life person, she’d rate near the Camilla and Marc turbans and Billy Bride rings on the style-o-meter. And while I LOVE those looks, my real, true, honest personal style is more Prince of Darkness than Pretty Woman. My ultimate style icons are people like Yul Brynner, Aeon Flux and Severus Snape – and how many times have you seen those guys in the Star Style pages? ??My first week I’ve tried to tone things up a bit by wearing, er, colourful lipstick, but the black just comes creeping back. And you know what? I don’t think anyone cares too much. Black is the new black, the old black, the smart black and the forever cool black. Grace Coddington wears black, and when I’m wearing it I like to feel I’m a little closer to her (as well as being relaxed, confident and ready to do the task at hand). And that’s all people care about when you start a new gig anyway. ?
5. Get back to nature?
Forget politicians, the Australian bush has the dodgiest, sneakiest, most Parsel-tongued PR machine on the planet. “Get out of the city,” she whispers. “Before you start a new job escape to a Hawkesbury River houseboat where you can turn your phone/computer/iPad off and relax on amongst the native flora and fauna.” ??Now don’t get me wrong, I love trees as much as the next clog-wearing hipster, but I can’t say I was prepared for the murky water, sub-Arctic temperatures and whiplash winds that greeted us at the ferry. Four hours later, things were looking grim: my three hoodies were soaked, my nerves were more frayed than Balmain cut-offs and my lips had become locked in a freaky Joker-esque “Yes! I’m! Totally! Having! Fun!” rigor mortis grimace. Fortunately, my boyfriend remained calm and collected throughout (see below). ????Finally, we found a secluded spot for the night and it dawned on me: Bear Grylls is for real. The most fun you can have in nature really is eating elephant crap and showering in your own urine. Consider yourself warned.