Canada Fashion Jobs – Departures, Stay or Go?

They say quitters never win. Well, sometimes they do! When you’re working in fashion, moving on up sometimes requires saying goodbye. Signs you’ve outgrown your position include boredom, frustration, disassociation and lack of dedication. What may once have stoked your fire, is now a little tough to get up for.  It doesn’t mean that this industry isn’t for you; it means you need to move on. Taking leaps of faith is part of growth, and you’ll find many in this industry who’ve done just that. If you’ve found yourself in the same job rut for years with no upward mobility on the horizon, it’s time for a change of scenery. This will involve calculated risk, careful thought and consideration, and above all, a great opportunity on the horizon. How does one depart for greener pastures, with grace, professionalism and most of all – without burning bridges?

Give notice. Lots and lots of notice. When you’ve accepted a position with another company, and you need to tell your current employer, giving two weeks notice is the standard. If you’re like most in the fashion industry, your role is multifaceted. You’re relied upon by many, and you’re going to leave a void. Giving your employer ample time to find and train your replacement is not only professionally responsible, it’s kind and courteous. It shows you really care about what happens when you leave, that you’ve been a dedicated employee, and that you understand the impact of your departure on the business. Offer to do what you can to make the transition as smooth as possible, even if that means staying later to tie up loose ends.  If you have outside clientele and contacts, graciously announce your exit (after telling your employer, of course) and tell them how you’ve enjoyed working with them. Remind them to keep in touch, even if you’re moving in another direction professionally. This leaves doors open for the future and keeps you connected to the industry. It’s also friendly, and people remember friendly. People will remember you!

Ending on bad terms is never a good thing, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Getting fired happens. Although it’s not the best scenario, it’s one of those things that people always tell you is ‘character building’. Firstly, learn from your mistakes. Accept your limitations, and take the experience as part of your career growth. Indeed, it is tricky to discuss this event in an interview. If you’re going to include the business on your resume, it’s important to stay positive, never to speak badly of said company, and be as honest as possible. Do not discuss the termination itself; instead emphasize how you’ve learned from the experience, and what you’d do differently next time. And remember, it’s a small world, and local fashion communities are even smaller. Part of a graceful exit – even when fired – is biting your tongue and being the best example of utmost professionalism you know how to be.  Keeping emotions level and restrained is difficult, but this kind of behaviour will pay off later.  When you leave a company under these circumstances, it’s important to remember as well that it’s not the end of your world, nor is it the end your fashion career. Getting let go opens up new possibilities, and a chance to start fresh. Did someone do you a favour?

Andrea Charlton is a Vancouver-based Freelance Fashion Writer, and has spent over a decade working in various areas of the industry. Her latest efforts include helping post secondary students with education and work.

Photo from Harry Langdon Collection.

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