One of the best indicators that you’re a full-grown adult is when you start working, earning your own money and budgeting through the month. And sure, every career path has its little rocky start – but going into the fashion industry can seem risky and daring on another level, especially in the beginning. So instead of you guessing if you want to indulge in it or not, we’ve put together a list of key skills that you need in the fashion workplace.
The fashion industry is one of the largest contributors to the UK economy, offering around 890 000 jobs in 2018. Sounds like a lot? It is, but considering the number of applicants per position and how quickly new, full-time posts fill up, it has become harder than ever to stand out. Ever heard of the proverb ‘nothing worth-while comes easy’? Well the same goes for the fashion environment. Be prepared to work hard and be relentless in the pursuit of your dream position, and you’ll get there eventually.
#2 Time management
Especially around Fashion Week, things tend to get hectic and working hours can majorly exceed the traditional 9-5 shifts. Being able to correctly prioritise and divide your time will make your life a lot easier.
Organisation goes hand-in-hand with our previous point. If you struggle with organising your daily tasks and your time correctly, an easy way to get into it could be by making a to-do list first thing in the morning. Make sure to prioritise your tasks according to deadlines and don’t over-estimate yourself – we all know how quickly time flies by and having an unachievable amount of points on your list will be more demotivating than helpful.
#4 Flexibility / Adaptability
We all know the situation: you’ve got your whole day perfectly planned out, everything is going according to plan until… well, it doesn’t. Situations like that happen quite a lot in the fashion industry so make sure to be flexible in your approach. Remember that your to-do list is a guideline, not a set-in-stone plan for the day.
#5 Work under pressure
Talking of fashion week – it all looks very glamorous and enjoyable until you’re actually on the organisational end of things. Time is valuable and scarce, so being able to work under extreme pressure is a key skill to develop.
Even when you’re on the lower ranks of the system, you might find yourself in a position where you have to make executive decisions. When you find yourself in a dilemma, make sure to consider all possible outcomes and choose accordingly. Sounds terrifying at first, but
trust me, you’ll get used to it real quick.
#7 Know when to ask questions
Starting off in a new position can be over-whelming at first. Listen carefully to all instructions, but if you find yourself struggling with a task and are unsure about what to do, please ask questions. When I first started off, I found the thought of asking questions quite scary, but here’s one thing I learned: everyone started off somewhere and we’re not born knowing everything. Sometimes, asking a question is easier than rectifying mistakes with hindsight.
#8 Be friendly and professional
This one’s important: make sure you always remain friendly and professional. We’re all in a bad mood from time to time, whether that’s because of some personal issues or because it’s just ‘one of those days’, but that doesn’t mean you should let it out in your workspace.
#9 Be a team player
No matter if you work at a magazine, a PR company or a design studio, as soon as you accept a position, you become part of a team, so make sure you act accordingly. You might have a great idea, but that doesn’t mean that others aren’t allowed to give some input or even reject your idea for another one. If one of your colleagues asks for help and you’re able to assist, do it – you never know when you might need to ask a favour back. Think of it as a calibre of a watch. If one small wheel is off, the movement is interrupted, aka the watch stops working – same goes for your team. Don’t be that wheel.
Lots of love Valeria Wiwinius x