Congratulations, you made it! You finally got to the end of your degree and completed a remarkable achievement. It is a dream come true, really. Welcome to the next challenge of your life. Finding a fulfilling job.
The day after graduation, a completely new set of problems arises. You now need to get out in the world and find your place in it.
Some people may see this as an exciting challenge, some others instead may tremble at the sole idea of starting a job application process.
There are thousands of different variables when approaching job searching, but in this post, to make sure we could help our readers with actionable advice we decided to focus on 4 simple strategies.
In this post, we are going to take a look at what types of strategies can get you off your couch and productively working in no time.
Strategy 0. Your Perfect Company and Perfect Location Coincide
We call this first one Strategy 0 because it is not even a strategy. You already know who you want to work for and where you need to be and you just can’t wait to get started.
In this case, it’s a matter of focus and resilience. If we need to break this down in a step-by-step guide, it would go like this.
- Study the company extensively. Read up a few SWOT analyses and market reports, become an expert, so that you can use this information in your application process or job interview when the opportunity arises.
- Look for Openings. You obviously already have a couple of positions in mind that you feel you would be great at, however, also consider that to increase your chances of “getting a foot in the door” the jobs with the highest turnover are usually the ones to go for. Some may argue that these could be the most stressful, but they may simply be the ones with the steepest learning curve. Ok, they may be hard, but if you can make friends and if you show your determination, they could provide access to an internal ladder of career progression.
- Write tailored materials. Don’t send a generic resume and cover letter, spend time on your application, and make sure it matches as much as possible the job requirements. If your application does not match the specific keywords associated with the position, it may not even show up in the recruiter’s email. On this topic we’ve actually got an additional article you may like to read about: Top 10 Tips to Score Your Dream Job in the Fashion Industry.
- Show your passion. Show your commitment to the industry and the sacrifices you made to earn the opportunity to apply. If the application goes well, great, you have a job. If it doesn’t try to get feedback so that you can work on your weaknesses. If you take criticism constructively in as little as 6 months you could reapply and try your luck again.
All of this applies to what follows, but if we want to be realistic there are some additional variables to take into account if you want to score a great job. Next, we’ll look into what to do if you want to focus on a company you are really passionate about, and you’re happy to compromise with the location.
Strategy 1. Focus on the Company and Be Flexible on Location
In this second strategy option, we’re looking into what can be done when the perfect company requires you to transfer to a different city.
This could be a bit more of a high risk\high reward strategy, but it’s certainly an important option to evaluate.
The fashion industry has in fact some unique features, which make it different from other sectors. For one thing, it tends to cluster in specific geographic areas. Some countries have really rich opportunities, whereas others don’t provide nearly as much.
In this case, it’s important to take into account some additional considerations.
- Consider the money carefully. We wouldn’t necessarily start from a simply economic perspective, but if you need to relocate money is an important factor. Living in a new city will be expensive and the relocation costs need to be considered as part of your salary offer. Of course, for a great opportunity, some will argue that money can be secondary, but the truth is that without financial security it is really difficult to fully commit to working productively.
- Consider the opportunities the job will provide. Another caution to consider is understanding whether the job can open long-term opportunities or not. This is important, as by giving up closeness to family and friends, you will find yourself asking “who am I doing this for?”. If you can’t provide a convincing answer, it will be hard to overcome challenges and hard times.
- Consider life outside of the job. Even if you love your job, you will not spend every waking hour in the office. It’s necessary to take into account the fact that the city you move to will be where you spend your free time as well. In this sense, make sure you’re ok with what the location has to offer, and you will be able to make yourself familiar with the environment quickly enough to be self-reliant.
There you go. These are just a handful of pieces of advice in case your passion takes you far! But what if you don’t want to relocate: what options are there?
Strategy 2. Focus on Location and Be Flexible on Company
In this case, you are not able or not willing to move for work and you want to find opportunities where you are currently located. What then? Well, no problem there are a few tips to share in this case too, just to help you find the best fit even when dealing with limited options.
- Build a spreadsheet and be thorough. If your territory is more limited you need to be more thorough. In order to manage your application, you can start by building a spreadsheet where you’re able to map your opportunities, by collecting all relevant contact data. By being methodical and systematic about your job hunt you can attempt to “leave no stone unturned” and maximize the chances of finding a good fit by exploring all the possible options.
- Establish more than one professional relationship. It could very well happen that no one company can provide you with the right job profile. This however does not mean that a combination of professional relationships could very well provide exactly what you are looking for. Managing more than one professional commitment at a time could be stressful but at the same time, diversifying your income by working with multiple employers is a very sound financial strategy.
- Be “Intrapreneurial” to focus on your specific skills. Another option is to be intrapreneurial. Intrapreneurship refers to innovative initiatives carried out by companies. In this perspective, one thing to take into account is to build business activities from the inside out. You may find work for a company that could benefit from your skills and expertise to broaden its collection, product range, or marketing strategy. By being proactive you can ideally develop the business and direct a part of it towards an area that fully displays your skills.
There you go. Let’s now move to another element to consider. What if we looked at neighboring industries where the talents of a fashion major could be very well spent?
Strategy 3. Look at Industries Which Allow for Skill Transfer
Another element to consider is the transferability of your skills. Of course, most fashion graduates will want to work in the fashion industry but a lot of additional options are possible.
- Fashion is art, and art is broad. Fashion as a form of art lends itself to provide skills and talents that can be applied to a variety of markets, from museum curation to luxury hotels. Students who have experience in creating or selling art, will not have a hard time applying those skills to new and exciting fields.
- Design talent applies to any digital space. If you’re a fashion designer, you know that you can draw whatever you can imagine. That’s why your options can go from installation art to digital assets and anything in between.
- Business is business. If you’re a fashion business student, you know how to develop a brand, create a product, build a community and sell intangible value. All of these things matter like never before in many industries, from real estate to software development.
But what if all of these options don’t work? Well, there is no reason to worry. There’s always another option which we’ll discuss in the next paragraph.
Strategy X. Start Your Own Project
This is obviously the last resort. We won’t delve too much into this, as obviously the post is focused on employment rather than entrepreneurship. In any case, we wanted to mention this too as sometimes the best way to find the perfect business for you is simply to start it. We don’t recommend starting a company as your first professional experience, but at the same time, there are a couple of things to mention.
- Funding is hard to get, but not impossible. Nowadays the return of capital for investors is so low, that private equity is a very attractive option for many funds. What this means is that investing in new businesses can be risky but highly rewarding if you have millions to spare and not a lot of patience with banks. Accessing funding is a challenge, but equipped with the right idea, the right mindset, and the right team there is a lot that can be done.
- You have a great network at your disposal to find partners. If you need to look for partners to share this adventure with, the friends you made at school and the network you will have built are an asset like no other. In the years at fashion school, you have met a lot of creative individuals and business savvy friends that can complement your skills and help you bring your vision to market.
- It will teach you things that you cannot learn in any other way. Starting a company is a huge, huge endeavor, one that will question your character, resilience, and beliefs, but on the bright side, it will be an experience that will teach you so much that your degree by comparison will look like a fancy piece of paper.
Now that we’ve explored all of these strategies with sufficient depth, let’s look into drawing some conclusive remarks.
There you have it. We bet you did not consider that all of the options we presented were actually feasible and viable right? In any case, don’t worry, people change jobs an average of 7 times over the course of their life and whatever you do, the important thing is to simply start doing, as the path will slowly but steadily show itself as you walk it!
If you’re looking for additional advice on job hunting in the fashion industry, look no further, in our blog you’ll find plenty of articles covering everything from interview preparation to personal branding. Enjoy!