Through the lens of a CF: Dress For the Job. . .

What I didn’t consider when I chose my CF placement working with kids with complex communications needs and challenging behaviors….

About a month into my job as a clinical fellow, I came home and my mom looked at me and said “ya know, you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. My quick wit responded with, “ya but the job I have IS the job I want, and this is how I have to dress for it.” 

Once I got my job in a school setting, I was excited for some back to school shopping (in January).  I had expected to buy sandals, heels, dresses, long cardigans, fun necklaces, big earrings, you name it; I was ready for a speechy-chic wardrobe. 

But boy am I glad I waited. Working in a school for students with varying severities of disabilities comes also with varying severities of behaviors; and many of those behaviors can not be easily evaded in a dress, heels, a long necklace and some hoops. In my first 3 months, I’ve had to run, hold doors shut, had my cardigans pulled off and worn as a hat, dodged a flying iPad, picked up a whiteboard that was ripped off the wall and more. 

So my speechy-chic wardrobe quickly became comfy minimalism in tennis shoes. My Calvin Klein blazers became Old Navy cardigans, heels became converse, pantyhose became stretchy jeans, blouses became school spirit t-shirts, and curls became ponytails. I was planning for Nordstrom and Macy’s, but Target and Amazon had a different plan for my work style; and I’m ok with that.