Clap along if you know that happiness is wearing flower pants

Eight weeks to go until I officially graduate and make the transition from student to (fingers crossed) reporter. It makes me uneasy to be unsure of what I’ll be doing in two months, but the Portland Experience is the perfect combination of workplace and class to ease into it.

At my internship, I’ve already taken over a news brief section that I update every day including publishing freelance work, along with writing for two other sections. It’s been a whirlwind, but my colleagues have been graciously helpful in editing all of my work and giving me writing advice. (Someone gave me an old copy of On Writing Well  … that’s ok … it’s to develop my writers’ skin.)

The dress code is interestingly comfortable. According to “They Don’t Teach Corporate In College,” I should dress for the job I want, not the job I have. A coworker takes of her clogs and walks around on the carpet; someone wore khaki shorts; someone else had a spaghetti-strap dress and open-toed shoes. It’s given me amazing freedom to not worry as much about my apparel while I’m mostly living off my tax return, but I haven’t gone that far. I do have these floral leggings I finally had the courage to wear today


Far Left: The black pants with pink flowers look like mine.

(underneath an H&M LBD, I’m not that brave yet!). They give me much more confidence than pantyhose (ugh my poor squished tummy!). When I’m wearing my own style, I feel genuine and I’m glad I have the freedom to wear my flower pants. And my favorite secretary said, “Those are wild!” As you can probably tell by her word choice, flower pants are bridging the generation gap for me!

What I’ve learned from that is to prioritize: an Urgent/Important graph has worked well for me. I’ve got at least three colleagues editing my work who do not know everything I’m doing, but I want to do a good job for them all. This strategy helps me meet deadlines (cop-log!) and work on longer-term (read: interesting) articles without stressing to infinite and beyond.

Jay Rogers

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6 Responses to Clap along if you know that happiness is wearing flower pants

  1. davidhamernick says:

    Nice Jay. I had a similar experience at my internship– overdressing the first day and then slowing into a more casual dress once I realized that was the vibe. I like that urgent/important graph you shared, I could see myself utilizing that to organize my headspace too! I’m curious what would happen if I walked into my internship wearing floral pants.

  2. I, too had an experience close to you guys. I dressed for the corporate setting on my first day and since then have mellowed it down to the rest of the casual (yet super trendy and Portland-ish!) office. You rock those floral pants!

    You’re so right that it’s actually quite terrifying that we’re so close to graduation. Our friends back in Eugene are already picking up their caps and gowns! Where did the time go? I think the most important thing to remember here is that we’re already halfway through the door. When it comes to graduation, we won’t be frantically pacing around searching for a job because, most likely, we’ll have the experience under our belts to apply wherever (or at our current internship) and truly thrive. I think that will be the case for you. You seem like a very talented and focused writer. It’s easy to see that. Plus, you own floral pants…and that’s just plain awesome.

    It’s so smart that you’ve created an urgent/important table to keep your thoughts and projects organized. I haven’t tried that, but I’m actually about to jot one down as soon as I finish writing this to try it out! 🙂

    I hope you loved your second week. Cheers, Jay!

  3. Great post Jay! Some really helpful information in here for sure. I especially like the link regarding urgent/important charts. I’ll definitely use that strategy in the future to help prioritize my work and school assignments.

    Similar to everyone else it seems, I was also way overdressed for my first day in the office. I’m still struggling with dressing down, even though my office’s official policy is “Portland business casual” which means my coworkers sometimes wear suits and other times wear their workout clothes so I’m trying to fine the happy balance somewhere in the middle currently. You’ve inspired me however, and I rocked legging for the first time today!!

    Thanks for such an informative post and I hope all is going well at your internship 🙂

  4. pdxsx says:

    Good post, Jay! Nice to hear that you are able to enjoy expressing your inner fashion at the work place!

  5. kaitlynchock says:

    Jay, I’m a huge fan of your floral leggings. I have a pair that I haven’t been brave enough to wear yet so I really connected with your story. I’m really glad that you feel comfortable enough in your workplace to start expressing your personal style. I’m still struggling to find the balance at my office.

    Also, thanks for the link about urgent and important charts. I think the consensus here is that the link is super helpful. I appreciate the advice!

  6. Jay,

    Awesome post! That is great you to get to your express yourself through your attire and you are feeling comfortable enough to start molding your professional persona. I think you made a great point about when you don’t have to worry so much about the clothes aspect you are able to focus more on your immediate work and less on whether or not your attire is appropriate or not. I have quite the opposite experience, although we do have a “casual Friday,” which has so far been pretty nice, especially at the latter part of the week. I think your urgent/important graph is a great idea as well. Although I put everything in my laptop and iPhone calendar and set constant reminders I still like the idea of writing things down and this chart seems like a great way to prioritize. Can’t wait to hear more about your journey in becoming a reporter!

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