How To Get a Job
Some of the most asked questions during the 8 ish years I've been sharing my life here, have been 'What did you study at University?' and 'How can I get a job in fashion?'. I love that in amongst all of our love for style and beauty, there are so many of us wanting to chat about education, careers and the long term plans we all have, it's one of my favourite things about our community.
I've touched on both of these topics before here on the blog and I always give what advice I can when I receive DM's and emails asking for help, but I most definitely don't have all the answers, I just have my own experiences. However, what I do know and what I have experienced through my degree, PhD, being published and becoming a fashion marketing lecturer, I figured was enough to share.
So if you've ever wanted to know how I got to this point in my own career, what advice I'd give to others wanting to get into fashion and what my face looks like when I realise how long it's been since I left university, this one's for you!
How to Land a Job in Fashion & My Career Story
1. Early Education - My earlier education from High School (11-16) to College (16-18) focused around me trying to select courses and classes that were relatively creative and artistic. Although I was well aware from a young age that a dream job would in some way involve the world of fashion for me, I wouldn't say that's something you have to know as a teenager. Follow your talents and your passions and perhaps your course will start to become clear and if it doesn't? Don't worry!
2. Further Education - When I began the next step of my education by scoring a place at the University of Manchester (18-21) I decided on taking Design Management for Fashion Retailing (later rebranded as Fashion Marketing) to explore the idea of a career in fashion in a bit more depth. This gave me the opportunity to undertake a course that was more fashion focused but still allowed me the freedom with such a large industry, to explore my options.
3. Work Placements - One of the biggest tips I can offer anyone heading to University, whether you think you know what you want to do or have no idea yet, is to jump into some work placements or internships. Some universities will offer you the chance to take a 3rd year working in your desired field if the right opportunity arises for hands on experience, but short term placements can be just as eye opening.
4. Work Placements - I personally struggled with finding placements that would benefit me at first and I found that it felt like who you knew was the biggest hurdle. If I was searching now, 12 years later, I would use social media to my advantage were possible, to be able to locate individuals/brands I could share my CV/interests with. If you don't find the right long term placement then undertake lots of shorter ones during term breaks, they're invaluable and if it's who you know, perhaps it'll lead to a job down the line!
5. Don't be Disheartened - My own placements allowed me to gain so much confidence and work on basic life skills, while analysing whether marketing was the right goal for me. A placement in a buying department confirmed this for me but I still made the most of my time there with a view to bulking out my CV and other placements in digital marketing expanded my views in further. Say yes!
6. Be Flexible - Although I had an idea of where I saw my career starting, heading and arriving (working my way up to head honcho at a marketing department for a luxury fashion retailer/etailer) things didn't quite go that way. I was offered the chance to undertake a PhD (which may not be the case for everyone in my position) and so my route changed. If I hadn't have been flexible and considered an out of the box next step, I likely wouldn't have become a lecturer or be here today.
7. Focus Yourself - Although I was loving being a lecturer, after a while I realised I was spreading myself thin and in the long run that was going to benefit nobody. I took the plunge with taking the blog on full time and moving down to London, and although it was a terrifying experience looking back on it, it's one of the best things I've ever done in my life. Focusing on one aspect of my career, especially through my experience in education, truly helped me to focus all aspects of my life.
8. Continuity & Persistence - No matter what path you choose to focus on and no matter the industry you choose to become a part of, consistency and persistence is key. I focused on networking, creating an unbelievable volume of content, taking chances on outreach and so much more to get to this point. There's no easy way to build a successful career but hard work and a focus on quality in whatever you do, will give a great foundation.
9. It's Never Too Late - Don't ever think that it's too late to reinvent your career. Just because other people knew what route they wanted to take early on in their life, doesn't mean that's the only way to get to where you want to be. Your experiences so far will always benefit you in some way and there are always ways to get into your preferred industry. The fashion industry is one of the largest in the world and the possibilities and opportunities are endless!
10. Good luck guys!
If you have any questions or need any help, please always feel free to message me or leave me a comment below :) I'll always try to get back to you and help in any way that I can, or hopefully point you in the direction of someone who can help more!