Posts Tagged ‘career advice’

Fashion Jobs – 5 Tips For Landing the Fashion Job of Your Dreams

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

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1.Inspirational Image

Many of us have grown up with the dream of working in the fashion industry. Whether it’s in the editorial world, in a buying office or in the design field, there are endless opportunities to make a name for yourself in the industry. But how do you actually get in? Breaking into the fashion industry can be a seemingly daunting and exclusive task, but we are here to tell you that it can be done and you can land the job you’ve always dreamed of.   

So here are some proven tips that will help you make it in the industry.

Intern

If you were to ask anyone who currently works in the fashion industry, I guarantee you they got their start as an intern. At this point in the game, any experience is good experience, so cast your net wide and even if you don’t land an internship in the exact area you’re looking for, it’s still valuable to build up your resume and get your foot in the door.

Network

While your foot is in the door, it’s key to make connections for future employment (or more internship) opportunities. Attend events, hoard business cards, and make connections so when the time comes, you have a pool of people to get in touch with. Whether it’s someone who can introduce you to someone at a company you’re interested in or even just someone you see as a mentor who can give you advice, good old-fashioned networking is still a huge part of the fashion industry.

Go Above and Beyond

Showing up and doing your job is never a bad thing, but to really get noticed and ultimately to get hired, you need to go the extra mile to stand out. In an industry where there are so many people gunning for the same roles, being the first person to volunteer for a task, staying late or coming in early to help with a project, and taking every opportunity to learn will set you apart from the crowd.

Teamwork

Another thing anyone in the industry will tell you is that they didn’t get to where they are alone. Whether through networking or working on a project, working well with others is a major part of landing a job. No matter where you are on the fashion ladder, you want to be remembered for being helpful, not for how many people you stepped on to achieve your goals.

Be Kind

Although The Devil Wears Prada may tell us otherwise, you don’t need to be a hellish person to make it in the industry. Fashion is all about being authentic, and people can tell if you’re not being real, as quick as they can spot a knock-off Chanel bag. So if you’re true to yourself, hardworking, and kind, you will have no problem building a career in the fashion industry.

Inspirational Imagery

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Kelly McLeod, Toronto, @kellymcleod7

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Fashion Jobs – Professionalism in the Workplace: 7 Tips For Recent Graduates

Friday, March 17th, 2017

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Attention graduates, you have sure come a long way: the endless nights of studying, countless deadlines, passing every test, and going above and beyond to make it on time for class has finally come to an end.  Celebratory sparkling drinks are definitely on the rise! It is your day and you’ve made it.

You waited four long years for this day and have the knowledge and experience you need to succeed. But to help you further stand out of the crowd, we’ve put together seven proven tips and examples that will help you prepare for a successful internship or and first big job, regardless what industry you’re in. 

Follow these seven tips and you’ll be a workplace all-star in no time.

Be Present And On Time

Being on time (especially on your first day) is key because it shows you value your employer’s time and are eager to grow and learn. The employer will be impressed on how you execute your professional skills by being punctual. I recommend having a daily planner or schedule, as these will help you stay organized and on time for all meetings, events and activities (for both work and your own social life).

Dress Appropriately

Every workplace has a dress code, whether it is business formal, a set uniform or casual. Showing up to work dressed appropriately and professionally shows respect to your employer, colleagues, and clients.

Ask for Feedback

It’s important to ask for feedback based on your work, as it’s a great indicator of what needs to be improved, and your strengths and weaknesses. This gives you the ability to grow and to learn what can be done differently in the future. You may receive constructive criticism about your work at times, but I can assure you that your boss is only doing it to help you develop and improve within the office.

Time Management

We all have different workloads and at times we can take on too much and lose sight of what tasks need to be prioritized. If you master how to manage your time within your daily work schedule, you can improve your decision making, reduce stress, get more done, eliminate re-work, and you’ll be able to spend more time where it matters.

Carry a Notepad and Pen

Preparing for an internship or a new job could be scary and overwhelming but having notes for instructions and future references can make tasks easier. This is especially important during your first few weeks in your new role, as you’ll appreciate being able to look back at what you’ve learned. Write down everything and anything that you may think that will be helpful for you in the future. 

Never Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Everybody can have trouble understanding, especially in a new environment. In order to understand and perform the job well, it’s very important to always ask questions. There is no such thing as a “stupid” question if you really want a great outcome for your efforts.

Enjoy Every Day at Work

Fun? At work? This is possible. When you look forward to every day at work, it’s a very rewarding feeling, as you’ll never feel like your ‘working’. Each day is a new chance to be positive and show enthusiasm within your work and this will be reflected in your work.

Inspirational Image
Image courtesy of Pinterest

Carly Brascoupé, Toronto, @carlyyr0se

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Fashion Stylist Jobs – How to Gain Respect at Work

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

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It can be tough to start a new job. You walk into a new environment, a new corporate culture with new responsibilities, and new colleagues. The balloon of excitement bursts as you realize you’re the big elephant in the room of your workplace.  In an effort to figure out how to heed these disheartening obstacles we face as newcomers, we investigated 5 ways to gain respect and admiration in the workplace. Unexpected lessons and some serious realizations- ahead.

1.Interact with your colleagues

It may seem like a daunting task in the beginning, but strive to get to know your co-workers and take genuine interest in them. Getting to know them on a deeper level will solidify their trust and respect for you not only as a co-worker but a person as well. You’d be surprised at how a good simple “how are you” can make someone feel.

2. Go the extra mile

When you start a new job, you’re given a set job description that highlights the tasks you are responsible for.

As you get comfortable in your role and gain more confidence, however, you must be willing to operate outside your standard JD and go above and beyond what is expected of you. Your willingness to take extra steps to ensure success will speak volumes to your peers and boss.

3. Be positive in times of triumph

It’s very easy, and very common to let the new 9-5 workday grind get you down, especially when you are still clueless on what your actual responsibilities are. This can make it difficult to continue working with a smile and a productive attitude. Despite this, it is with the upmost importance that you persevere and remain proactive in trying situations. This will help foster greater levels of commitment and overtime will cement your position as a hardworking, well respected employee.

4. Avoid workplace gossip

At one point or another, everyone needs to vent. But it’s crucial to keep any commentary about co-workers off of company devices, email, texts, and especially elevators.

5. Respect others

In order to gain respect, you have to earn it. It’s not something that is handed to you right away. If you want to gain the respect of your co-workers, you should ask yourself how you can change your behaviour to earn their respect.

Inspiration image: Copyright: nyul / 123RF Stock Photo

By: Jennifer Wilcox

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Fashion Jobs – Bad Habits at Work and How to Change Them

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

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We all have certain bad habits that make an appearance in our daily lives, whether it be biting your nails, driving a little too fast, or forgetting to brush your teeth. There are also some bad habits you may have only at work, which may not seem like a big deal but my in fact be preventing you from being productive and happy at your job!

Here are a couple that may apply to you and what you can do to fix them:

1. Starting your day in a bad mood. Okay, if you’ve had a million problems happen between the time you got out of bed and finally arrived at the office, it’s acceptable to not feel so great about the rest of the day ahead. On the other hand though, if you’ve had a normal morning before getting to work, you shouldn’t always be thinking “ugh, I do not want to work today”. You never know how the day may go, so there’s no reason to automatically be in a sour mood before 9 a.m. If you feel this often happens to you, make sure you’re starting your morning off right by giving yourself plenty of time to get ready in the morning and make sure to eat a yummy breakfast that will give you energy for the day.

 

2. Competing with coworkers. The people you spend your week with are not the enemy but people you need to work together with to ensure success for the organization you work for! Sure, if another person and you are going after the same promotion, that may induce a little competition, but other than that, you need to see your coworkers as equals. If someone else makes a mistake, don’t laugh in their face but help them fix it and you should never find yourself disliking another person because you’re jealous of their role at work. Some things may seem unfair at times, but then again not everything in life is fair! Getting to know your coworkers better and finding out their interests outside of work can help you see them on another level rather than competition.

 

3. Not being involved enough at work. It’s easy enough to think this is just 40 hours of my week, I have a life outside of this but that isn’t always the best way of thinking. You should enjoy your job enough to want to stay involved with it and be motivated to contribute to the success of the company as a whole. If you don’t, then likely the job isn’t the right one for you! You shouldn’t feel dread if you have to stay a half hour later after work, or if you have to attend a work related event outside of your normal work week hours. You job doesn’t have to dominate your life, but you should care about it! Volunteer to do some tasks at work that you normally wouldn’t do and you’ll see it’s not as painful as it may seem to become more involved.

 

4. Procrastination. This can be a big problem for some people and could end up costing you your job. It’s all too easy to leave a task for the next work day, but next thing you know you may forget to do it altogether, or you could be in a sticky situation when your boss asks you if it’s been done. Try to treat everything with importance even if it seems like a mundane task and you’ll be and feel more productive.

 

5. Poor communication. Sometimes it’s easier to want to do everything yourself rather than having to work together with others on a task and have to worry about communication. It can definitely be frustrating coordinating emails, phone calls and getting your message across clearly to others but it’s an essential skill to have. Sometimes you may not even realize that you have poor communication skills until a problem from it arises. The best thing to do would be to stay on top of your emails, and to make sure people you are working with are on the same page as you. Don’t be afraid to ask if they completely understand what you’re saying, just make sure you do it in a polite way so they don’t get offended! You can also take a communications course or workshop if it seems you need a lot of help in that department.

 

Fixing or improving upon these bad habits will help you become more satisfied with your job and will also impress your boss with your changes. You’ll become more productive and we all know only good things can come from that!

Inspiration Image: Courtesy of The Next Web

By: Sarah Brooks, Toronto

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Fashion Jobs – Fashion Career Advice Round-up

Friday, November 14th, 2014

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For this week’s career advice feature, we’re sharing all of our past topics! Click on the below to read the whole article.

 

What does ‘Above and Beyond’ really mean? 

Asking for what you want. 

Reach out to break out.

How to answer the difficult interview questions.

How to write a cover letter.

Finding your calling.

How to face criticism. 

Importance of internships.

How to start your own business.

Perfection is overrated. 

What makes an applicant stand out?

What do fashion employers look for in a candidate?

How do you define your dream job?

It’s not a competition.

What are common mistakes applicants make? 

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Fashion Jobs – Fashion Career Advice: What Makes An Applicant Stand Out?

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

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Last week, we got a chance to hear what other employers had to say about making it in the industry, and the one piece of advice that they would give to individuals looking to pursue a career in fashion. When it comes to the actual application and screening process, what makes a candidate stand out amongst the pack? Known for being a highly competitive playing field, we set out to discover what different fashion employers each look for when they’re making the hiring decisions.

 

Christie Lohr asks: What makes an applicant stand out to you?

 

Sebastian Ramirez from Alexander Nash in NYC: Their relevant experience. School is important but companies need to know that you have the discipline to do simple tasks.

 

Sarah Cumming from 3×1 in New York:  When they have identified their specific passion and can explain it well through examples. Example: “I love analyzing sales figures to determine future seasons’ merchandise plans. I built a spreadsheet to do this quickly in my last job. The collection was much tighter than previous seasons, and sell-through in the next season was X% higher.”

 

Jordana Scarapicchia from Le Chateau in Montreal: Creative resumes always stand out! I am always impressed when I receive a resume that is visually appealing (not your standard template), but without getting too caught up with the design and still focused on the content of the resume.  A well written cover letter also goes a long way! It is important to write a letter that is personalized, does not sound too generic and is pertinent to the role that you are applying for. Your cover letter is your employer’s first look at your communication/ writing style so be sure to write your best!

 

Sarah Anderson from Aritzia in Vancouver: Their ability to understand and, subsequently propel our brand during the interview.

 

Photo by Michelle Morton

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Fashion Jobs – Career Advice: What Do Fashion Employers Look For In a Candidate?

Friday, October 24th, 2014

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Fashion Jobs

“I love fashion, but how do I get my foot in the industry?” The uncertainty that is encapsulated in that question is shared by many individuals who are just starting out in their professional careers, oftentimes possessing the necessary passion, but lacking direction. While I’m used to answering similar questions on many occasions, I thought it would be interesting to hear the opinions of other fashion employers for a change. Take a look at what happened when I asked three different fashion insiders about the qualities that will get a candidate into the industry, and perhaps even through their own company doors.

 

What’s ONE piece of advice you’d like to give to potential candidates wanting a career in fashion or wanting a career at your company?

 

1. Sarah Cumming from 3×1 in New York: Know why you want to work in fashion specifically…not just because you like to wear cool clothes or go shopping, but what really excites you about the industry or the position. Be honest. Then, be able to explain what your skillset can bring to the table — not just what fashion or the company can do for you. Convince us why we need you. Show your excitement for the specific job you’re applying for.

 

2. Sebastian Ramirez from Alexander Nash in NYC: 
Be humble and stay focused on your long term goals. Giving into emotions is all too easy, but even more costly and damaging towards fulfilling these goals.

 

​3. Jordana Scarapicchia from Le Chateau Head Office in Montreal: 
The one piece of advice I would give potential candidates is be open and embrace change and always be willing to learn! It is no secret that the fashion industry is a fast and exciting place to work which often means that trends and ideas can change quickly. Working through this process is rewarding when seeing the final products reach the customers.

 

Photo by Laura McIntosh

 

By: Anna Zhao

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Fashion Jobs – Fashion Career Advice: No Competition

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

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Fashion Career AdviceThe fashion industry is often noted as being highly competitive in nature. And while the actual availability of jobs may reflect just that, the sense of competition and the feelings of stress that are often associated with it are arguably self-induced. It’s impossible to control the external happenings around us, but what we can control is our own self development. When it comes to landing your dream job, think of the process as less a competition with every other candidate, and more as a personal challenge. Having seen it all, Christie’s here to shed some light in regards to how a competition mindset may actually be hindering your professional growth.

 

Christie:  There will be stylists more fashionable then you, journalists smarter than you, that’s ok, that doesn’t mean there’s no room for you. It’s not a competition. I’ve always said this. No matter how great you believe yourself to be at something, there will always be someone that can do the same thing a little (or a lot) better than you can. While that realization may be disheartening, it is in no way a sign that there’s no room for you in the professional playing field. The moment you start focusing your energies on what are considered uncontrollable, such as the other candidates you may be up against for a job opening, is the moment you’ve just done yourself a great disservice. Rather than worrying about what others can and cannot do, focus on what you can do and how you can improve upon your own skill-sets. The only real competition is with yourself, and a motto I live by is simply, “do you.”

 

We all move forward in our own time, which means some people may get to the same destination before you do. That’s okay! You know yourself the best, and if you need an extra few years to build up your repertoire, don’t feel as if you’ve failed. If I had started Style Nine to Five at 25 instead of 30, it probably wouldn’t have been as successful a venture or successful at all for that matter. The knowledge that I acquired in the 5 years were completely necessary to get me to where I am today. I’ve made many mistakes along the way, and I still have plenty of things to figure out. Regardless, day by day, I learn a bit more than the previous day, and I wouldn’t trade that time in for anything. Given how precious time is, every moment I spend comparing myself to someone else is wasted time that I could have spent on furthering my own development. Remember, you are your own worst enemy, and the moment you free yourself from the self-doubt is the moment you’ve just opened a world of possibilities.

Photo by Laura McIntosh

By: Anna Zhoa

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Fashion Jobs – Career Chats with Christie Lohr – Would You Hire Yourself?

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

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Fashion Jobs - Career Chat

 

When it comes to employment and referrals, would you hire or refer yourself? This is a question that Christie has found herself pondering over various conversations with fellow business owners and friends.

 

 

Christie: As business owners (I speak on behalf of my friends who own businesses), we’re constantly approached by other like-minded individuals regarding the subject of employee recommendations. “I’m looking for someone great. Do you have anyone in mind”? – That is a question that we get asked all too often, myself especially because of my HR connections through Style Nine to Five and Beauty Nine to Five. While our answers should be yes more often than not, as we list off every single intern or employee we’ve had in the past, the reality is, we find ourselves struggling to come up with an answer at all.

 

I’m sure that many of you have read my past career chats on how to be an excellent employee through going above and beyond, and the importance of proving oneself during an internship. However, now more than ever before, it’s becoming apparent to me that many young job seekers lack the motivation to work hard and put their best foot forward after they’ve got the job. An important thing to note is that this isn’t a sentiment unique to me; it is one that is shared by my friends who also run their own businesses. Nowadays, it’s a common topic that comes up during our discussions.

 

After a recent conversation regarding the topic, I was reminded of an article I once read about how the new generation feel a certain sense of entitlement when it came to the job. I would like to remind every single job seeker that landing the position is only the first step. Who’s to say that you’re deserving of a reference or recommendation if you don’t perform up to par? While it is important to make sure that you are a good fit for the company before you dive right in, you still need to be prepared to pay your dues before landing that dream position. This is especially important to keep in mind when you’re negotiating wages and/ or salaries with your potential boss. You may not wind up with your ideal pay right away, but if the position will offer you invaluable experience, then it shouldn’t be passed up just like that. You want to start at $20 an hour? I was an assistant manager making $7 an hour, and did so primarily for the experience. I knew that in order to get my dream job, I’d have to put in the time, working a few jobs that I may not have enjoyed all that much. I knew I wouldn’t land that high paying fashion buyer job right out of Kwantlen because I needed the experience first. I wouldn’t have been nearly as successful at the job if I hadn’t had the past work experience to draw upon.

 

To leave off, I’d like to share a quote from the same article that really resonated with me: “There is no easy route to great success… A generation has lost touch with that.”

 

Photo by Laura McIntosh

 

By: Anna Zhao

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Career Advice With Christie Lohr – How to Respond to Criticism

Friday, September 26th, 2014

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One of the hardest things to hear is criticism, and that’s not necessarily something that changes over time. Whether it’s criticism towards an idea or an action, the difficulty comes with finding out the discrepancy between what others perceive of what you do or deliver, and how you perceive it all yourself. If you think that your solution to a problem will solve all, while the rest of your team would beg to differ, your confidence would certainly take a hit (even if you don’t want to admit it). However, when it comes to personal growth, Christie argues that learning to accept criticism where it counts is a fundamental professional and personal skill to develop.

 

Christie: When I was starting out in my professional career, taking criticism from my higher ups was definitely difficult. I feel that we were probably all at our most arrogant state during the start of our careers, even if we would like to argue otherwise. After all, we hadn’t been knocked down by life, management, and peers quite as much at that point, and any criticism we may have received prior to our first real job certainly didn’t hold the same amount of weight. Back when I took on my first managerial role at 18, I was convinced that I was the best around, even though I was still green. While I proved myself enough to have been promoted to a position in management to begin with, I hadn’t yet paid my dues or really done anything to earn the respect of my employees. I simply assumed that it was a given that came with the role. Boy was I wrong. When my supervisor at the time gave me feedback regarding my performance, I was stung. The problem was, I needed to learn to view myself from their perspective, and through an objective lens at that. If your natural instinct is to become defensive, don’t. Avoid the urge! In fact, force yourself to listen for once so you can actually hear what your peers have to say. No criticism is given with the purpose of attacking you as an individual, and that’s the first thing you have to recognize. Every piece of feedback given on the job is meant to help you improve. Most people don’t want to see you fail, especially your higher ups. They hired and/ or promoted you for a reason! Forget making excuses and playing the role of the victim. Nobody can respect an individual who doesn’t want to own up to their mistakes.

 

If you do have a valid response to any criticism you receive, then reply with your rationale and facts, not opinions. State everything clearly and try to rein your emotions in. The last thing you want is to say something in the spur of the moment that you’ll regret later on. I’d like to stress again how important listening is. We have a personal monologue running in our heads 24/7, so taking that 5 or 10 minutes of mental silence to truly absorb feedback from others is a necessary habit to get into.

 

Photo by Laura McIntosh

 

By: Anna Zhao

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