First Job Survival Kit | Seersucker Sass

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

First Job Survival Kit

It's a horrible trait, but I've always been in a rush to begin the "next step" of my life.  I graduated high school early, and I completed college in four years (#whatwasIthinking), which gave me a December graduation date.  All of these factors led me into the workforce earlier than the majority of my friends, especially when they went on to get graduate degrees, and I decided against law school.  The most fun thing about this is that I've gotten to actually give solicited advice on how to survive post-grad life!

Two of my friends started the workforce last week, and as we were talking, I realized that a survival kit would be so helpful!  So I've put together my picks for a survival kit for the friends in your life who are joining the workforce!  There are a lot of goodies here, so I recommend picking and choosing what works best with your budget and your friend's personality.

Coffee ||  I wasn't a regular coffee drinker before starting a full time job, as Diet Coke was my drug of choice.  But offices are a little different than campuses most of the time, and coffee becomes a little more readily available than soda.  You could represent coffee in the gift basket by picking up a Starbucks gift card, some K-Cups, or the bottled Starbucks frappucinos that you can buy just about anywhere.

Lipstick ||  I don't know about y'all, but whenever I need a little confidence boost, I apply lipstick.  It helps me to feel polished and professional.  My favorite lipstick brand is MAC, but for the sake of keeping this gift basket affordable, check out Kate Moss for Rimmel.  They're almost as pigmented as MAC products, but are a little creamier and dry your lips out less.

Padfolio ||  Big yellow legal pads are about to become your bestie's new best friend.  Everyone at my office had a padfolio, so I picked an adorable floral one up at Target and slapped a monogram on it.  The one I tagged is basic and black, but The See Jane Work line at Office Depot has some cute ones, along with other cute office accessories.

Cute pens ||  Keeping up with pens is way more difficult than it should be.  I was forever passing mine off to people in meetings, laying them down somewhere, or sticking them in my purse.  So I learned quickly to stock up on ink pens, and keep a little stash in my desk.  I linked these fun Lilly Pulitzer pens, but my favorite place to find cheap and adorable ones is the dollar aisle at Target!

Inspirational quote for desk ||  When I was a little girl, my dad bought me an adorable little framed quote from Hallmark that sat on my desk - Reach for the moon.  Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.  For my first job, he bought me a cross to keep on my desk with 2 Samuel 22:2-3 on it.  It's nice to have a reminder at your desk on day's that you feel like quitting.  I may have gone a little overboard on suggestions, but I really love these:  one | two | three | four |

Dry Shampoo ||  Because oversleeping happens.

Friction Block Balm ||   This is my secret weapon for wearing heels or breaking in Tory Burch flats or new Jacks... Because the day that you wear uncomfy shoes is the day that you will spend 90% of your day away from your desk and on your feet!

Handwritten Note ||  Who doesn't love a handwritten note?!  Write your friend a note letting her know how proud of her you are and how awesome she is going to be at her job.  I can almost guarantee that she'll turn to that note on days where she doesn't feel so confident.

Tide to Go Pen ||  It never fails that the day you get something on your blouse at lunch is the day that you have an important meeting immediately afterwards.  Also, having one of these babies will make your bestie's office popularity skyrocket!  Once someone finds out she has one, she's going to have all sorts of visitors at her desk.

I'm sure I left something off, so feel free to suggest other items that you would suggest or that you think would have been helpful while adjusting to your first few months of your first "big girl" job!

Happy Tuesday, y'all!




  1. All great suggestions! I would include breath mints. You never know when you'll be pulled into a meeting right after lunch, or when you'll be taking a cab with a top executive. Have them on hand for yourself and to offer to those around you - sometimes that's all you need to break the ice!

    Sweet Spontaneity

  2. Friction block is literally life. I told my husband about it when he was breaking in a pair of loafers and he seriously swears by it now!

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

  3. This is a cute idea! I seriously need a padfolio. I've been going to "big" meetings lately and feel so out of place without one! I'm going to have to look into the friction block. That seems like a great idea!

  4. All of these are great go-tos! I never drank a lot of coffee before starting work and now I can't start my day without one!

    How 2 Wear It []

  5. Omg yes dry shampoo--because I'm too tired to wash my hair when I get home from work!

  6. Great suggestions! My pens are always stolen because I invest in nice ones, but they are the ones I prefer so I just deal with it! It's the little things in life (like a perfect pen) that mean the most. :)

    xo. A Peachy Sonder

  7. This is such a cute idea! I would have never thought of making a gift basket. I am also very glad you recommended items that are essential for someone starting out in the workforce. I am a college junior, so I'm not there yet, but I know the day isn't too far off when I will be needing this advice!

    Colleen | Buckeye Bliss

  8. Such a solid list!
    I'd def add an agenda in the mix as well because I'd be completely lost without my planner.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  9. Love love this! So true!

  10. After just over a year in the workforce I can vouch for your first job survival kit. Lipstick totally makes me feel more put together, I CANNOT live without coffee and a tide to go pen is a smart item I need to incorporate.

  11. I love this so much. I actually have my first "real job" interview this Thursday! :)


  12. YES! This is great! How cute would this be as a care package for a family or friend who's going into a first job?!

    The Fashionista's Diary

  13. This is so perfect, as you know I just started my new job. I might just have to make a little gift basket for myself. Thank you so much for your constant advice and support as I journey through post grad life! <3

    xx. Brittany | Southern Soul

  14. I have been on the hunt for a padfolio, thanks for sharing!!

    Carley @

  15. Such a great post, these are definitely necessities!

  16. You nailed the first job kit perfectly! I love the friction's a must! And good quote is always great to keep spirits up at work!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  17. Love this! Saving it for my first job in January! Love this!

  18. Great post! Cannot stress tide to go enough! I end up getting the weirdest stains from food randomly, I swear!

    Courtney//As We Stumble Along

  19. AMEN to all of the above!! My keurig cups are my biggest and most important items in my survival kit! I usually make coffee and take it with me before work, but on those few days I forget, my K-cups come to the rescue!

    xo Ashley

  20. I would add favorite snacks (serious my snack drawer is my favorite), cute post-its/to do list pads, toothbrush/toothpaste since you never know if you will have a big meeting after lunch, and lotion. What a great idea though and you covered a lot!

  21. Such great recommendations! I think you got everything covered. I can't tell you how many times I've needed tide to go after spilling coffee on my shirt - such a klutz!

    Alessandra |

  22. I've never heard of the friction block balm! I need to look into that! These are all really great items that I'd love to receive if I was starting in the "real world"!

    Kayla |

  23. I don't think I would have survived post-grad life without coffee. I've become an addict!!

    xo, Alicia | Alicia Tenise

  24. Great post! Pens are a must because somehow I always start with about 50 and end up with one half chewed one??

    Pop over to my blog!


  25. I also think Static Guard and a small bottle of body spray would be items that could be included in this wonderful gift idea. Maybe even clear nail polish to stop a run in your hose.

  26. I also think Static Guard and a small bottle of body spray would be items that could be included in this wonderful gift idea. Maybe even clear nail polish to stop a run in your hose.

  27. Having everything in a GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) Bag is a vastly improved thought when you have to move in short request. survival backpacks