Things Just Got Really Real: What You Need For Your First Job After College

Today's Guest Blog is by the one and only Nicole Tutalo, twenty-something, golden doodle owner, year round ice coffee drinker and recent college graduate. 


After years of endless nights in the library, waking up at 5 am to finish studying or to finish the last page of that 10 page paper and...not partying I'm sure...wink...Congrats to all the graduates!

I graduated this year and just landed my first job at Wayfair. (Click here to check out their website.) When I got that job offer, I was so excited, but I also immediately started to prepare. (Does that make ME crazy?) Here's an overview of everything I bought and why it's essential:

First: I shopped every day for a week (maybe even for two weeks) - because you need to dress to impress, especially at your first real job. At Wayfair, there are options. Some people are more dressed up while other people are in jeans and stripped shirts. One of my all time favorite stores, that offers everything from dressy looks to jeans, is J.Crew. I like this chambray shirt because I can wear it to work (if I iron it) or on Sundays (if I don't iron it and it's wrinkled). It's also machine washable. Yes also to this collarless blazer - because you cannot have enough black jackets in your closet. Especially if you're now working in an office.

Another favorite store, that recently opened in the Providence Place Mall, is Free People. Shoutout to Laina Forleo of Anthropologie who introduced me to this brand. Now, I'm obsessed... These FP pants and white shirt are two things I was online stalking for wear to work. 

*That's just a few of the stores/items I bought and love for my first day in the office. Other stores I shopped include H&M, Banana Republic, Macy's, Anthro and...Okay, I think you get the point.

**We can't forget about the guys - J.Crew, Express, Macy's, and Banana Republic all have great options for men.

Second: If you're a female, you NEED an awesome wallet - it's the most essential of all the work essentials.  This wallet can actually replace your bag. You can fit anything in it. Wear it as a (stand alone) clutch. Did I mention that there's also a pen and chapstick holder INSIDE too? Crazy awesome, I know. Allegra Micheletti introduced me to this wallet and buying it has been one of the best decisions of my adult life.

Unforotuntaly Kate Spade is sold out of the colors I own (red and black), but Kate is coming out with great NEW colors soon. In the meantime, go to to find similar styles.

*Gentlemen, don't fret, a wallet or briefcase (or both) from TUMI is what you need. Especially if you're trying to look extra professional. Check out the Tumi Outlet in Wrentham for the best prices for an entry level salary and budget.

Third: If your first job doesn't have a cafeteria (or even if it does), then you need to bring a lunch, unless you want to spend most of your salary on takeout....If you want your food to stay fresh, invest in some lunch containers from (where else?) the Container Store. By packing your own lunch, you not only save money but also stay healthy! I won't carry a lunch box, but I did invest in a bag to hold my lunch. Whole Foods has perfect to go bags for only a few dollars. 

Fourth: Pack Your Gym Bag The Night Before. This is important. Very, very important. After a long day in the office who feels like going to the gym....I know I live it. I have to commute to Boston everyday, so I will bring my gym bag, so that after a long day I have no excuse not to go. But even if you commute a long distance or you just drive to work, PACK YOUR BAG AHEAD OF TIME. When you see that bag sitting on your front seat, it will motivate and guilt you into going...If this is hard for you, treat yourself to a new bag. That's what I did. (And new gym clothes.) Then you'll want to go...Hey LuLu Lemon fans, Garden City! (LuLu Lemon caters to guys/girls)

College graduates, entering the real world is scary - I know because I'm living it now. My advice is show up early, always dress to impress, and do the best that you can. You will win people over! 

Good Luck,

Nicole T.


Photo Credits: Photos courtesy of J.Crew, Free People, Kate Spade, The Container Store and Lululemon.