Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

About Lee Nash

Lee Nash is an award-winning writer who lives in Cranston, R.I.

Know How

Know-how

Get a job.
Don’t wear that!
Save a life.
…and more.

Could the barista who makes your coffee help you snag that six-figure corporate job?
Can you get your couch-potato kids to turn off the Wii and go outside?
Can you update your wardrobe to avoid dressing like either your teenage daughter or your grandma?
The answer is yes.
But how?
Who better to ask than our vast network of alumnae/i? They are experts in every conceivable field—from career networking to crisis counseling. Freelance writer Lee Nash talked to a few and asked them to tell us how to…

…Dress after 40

Dress the body you inhabit now. Don’t rely on what looked good on you in your 20s or 30s.

Be choosy. The softer our bodies become (at any size) the more we need to wear clothes with shape, drape and line to erase years and pounds.

Find a good tailor. It’s like six months at the gym.

Don’t use black as a crutch. Experiment with monochromatic combinations that flatter your face, neck, chest. Try rich, dark colors on your top and wear black as bottoms or outer layers.

—Kendall Farr ’81

Farr is a New York–based stylist and the author of Style Evolution: How to Create Ageless Personal Style in Your 40s and Beyond, an excerpt of which was featured in the Wall Street Journal. She has worked as a freelance fashion editor for magazines, including Vogue, Glamour, Elle, Marie Claire and InStyle. As the owner of Kendall Farr Studio (www.kendallfarr.com), she has dressed numerous over-40 women (Sigourney Weaver, Halle Berry and Diane Lane, to name a few) for magazine shots and ad campaigns, and as private clients for award shows like the Oscars.

…Find the perfect job in a tough market

Career-wise, I’ve gone from working in the performing arts to event planning, and from being a food expert to now working as a project manager at a large financial institution. Somehow I always manage to land on my feet—even after a recent layoff. One of the reasons is that I’m always open to new opportunities; even volunteering can build your network and show off your skills. I’m continually rewriting my résumé, always finding ways to make it better, then attaching it to personal e-mails. (Hi, Brenda. How’s your mom? Here’s my résumé.) Those you know best are most qualified to recommend you for a job. That’s how I landed my current position! I have always been open to rebranding myself or repackaging my experiences to fit new opportunities. My advice in a nutshell? Tell everyone that you’re looking for a job. I mean everyone—the butcher, the baker, even your caramel macchiato maker. You never know what might happen.

—Michelle Roden Conway ’86

In addition to doing project management, Conway also volunteers at a nonprofit organization.

…Make the most of an information interview

Times are tough. The competition for a job is tougher. An information interview can give you an advantage in a job search. Before you go, do your homework. Look at the web site of the targeted employer. Learn all you can. If you know someone who works there, call that person. Ask about culture, internal structure, and management styles. Armed with knowledge, march in for your interview with confidence. Showcase what you know. Ask in-depth questions, including how someone with your background and credentials might best fit in. While you’re there, try to see if the employees seem engaged in their work or disconnected from it. If the company representative likes what he or she sees in you, you’ve just given yourself a good chance at a callback, and a leg up on others who have simply sent in résumés.

—Jane Martin ’74

Martin is the owner of The Photo Editor (www.thephotoeditor.com) in Arlington, Va. She has years of experience hiring and interviewing for a large company, experience she uses today to research potential clients.