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FROM INTERN TO EMPLOYEE. MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCES & ADVICE OF ‘HOW TO GET NOTICED’ IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY (PART 2) | #StayExcited | Post 4 of 6
Laura on Fullback and Friends | Last week I spoke briefly about some of the key attributes that I feel are important to implement into your working life in order to get ‘noticed’ as a creative. This week, therefore, I felt that it would be appropriate to continue with this topic, looking a little more closely into other important steps that I personally take when seeking/ maintaining fashion-related working opportunities, as well as answering the dreaded question as to how I ‘stay inspired and motivated’ in the pursue of my dream job.
NEVER STOP SEARCHING FOR OPPORTUNITIES. Being the stubborn and determined being that I am, I know in my heart that I cannot ever imagine giving up my dream to work within the fashion industry for a bog standard ‘9-5 job’. Talking to a lot of my graduating alumni, it is clear that the hardest part of stepping into the big wide world of fashion is, in fact, knowing where to start looking for a job. Searching for post-graduate level jobs, it becomes very clear very quickly that many employers expect far more from you than you could ever anticipate. If I could give my younger self any form of advice, it would be to take on as many opportunities/ workshops/ additional projects as possible, be it through voluntary work/ collaborations/ evening classes/ internships, in order to have more of a chance at succeeding in the long term. The more you do, the more you get back. In terms of searching for opportunities, job-seeking sites such as Fashionworkie.com and LinkedIn, or if feeling brave enough, contacting potential employers with your CV and a speculative email, have always done the trick for me.
REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED. Do you ever sometimes feel as though the whole world is against you and you just wish you’d taken a different career path? I am certainly not the type of person to sugar-coat and say that all is sunshine and roses in this industry all of the time, and that something will eventually work out. It won’t. The key to success is action, and bloody hard work. Everybody gets it wrong, doubts themselves, talks themselves out of doing things because it’s ‘too hard’ or ‘might not work’, myself included. The great names like Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen and Karl Lagerfeld didn’t get their brands to where they are today without a few bumps in the road. It was their passion, motivation and hard work that has seen them succeed. I thrive on a challenge. Just because it doesn’t always seem to be working, that doesn’t mean you should ever give up.
STAY CREATIVE. Sometimes it can be really difficult to consistently stay creative. Leading on from above, the best thing to do when feeling as though you’ve had enough, is to take some time to refuel, reflect and find inspiration; networking, using creative social media (such as Pinterest), making mood-boards, looking at sparkly things or taking time out completely could work for you. I know that personally, there’s nothing more motivational than flicking through photographs from past Haute Couture shows, especially behind-the-scenes videos from my idols, watching how their collections are created. These videos provide instant inspiration to make me get up and remember exactly where I want to be and to do that, I need to work for it.
UPDATE SOCIAL MEDIAS/ ONLINE PRESENCE. I frequently use sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Website to promote and show the experiences that I have taken part in. In this industry, social media becomes your online working diary. It allows people to see what you are up to, what you are learning, what skills you are using and where it is that those skills are getting you. Not only does it allow a sense of achievement for yourself, but at the same time, (whether sometimes I believe it or not) you are in fact inspiring the people around you, showing them that anything that you want to do IS possible, as long as you work for it. Online presence for me not only allows this sense of achievement, but is also a gateway to opening up more opportunities- for example, showcasing my CV on LinkedIn/ my personal website, I have received unexpected yet related job opportunity openings from employers that believe my skills have made me suitable for their roles (collaborations, internships and exhibitions to name a few).
FIND YOURSELF A MENTOR/ SUPPORT SYSTEM. I am very, very lucky to have built up a very special and supportive group of mentors over the past twelve months; Most of these work/ have experience within the fashion industry, and others are inspirational, positive, hard-working beings that I know are willing to help, shape and grow me into a better person and with it, a successful one. Having a mentor, for me, means being able to talk to somebody in confidence about the things that you want to achieve and how you are planning on achieving them. My mentors fill me with stories of their own experiences, offer advice, contacts and motivation to succeed, and help in any way that they can to do so. I honestly do not know where I would be without a support system like mine.
NEVER FORGET THE PEOPLE THAT GOT ME TO WHERE I AM. The opportunities and experiences that I have been given so far in my life have been invaluable. The people I meet, contacts I make, advice and opportunities I am rewarded. But there is nothing more important than spending time with the people that made all of this happen.
Finally, the most important advice I can give. . BE ABLE TO DRINK YOUR BODY WEIGHT IN CUPS OF TEA. I do not know where or why the fashion industry has produced its’ obsession with tea from, but note to all… if you want to be successful, learn to love it.