How to Set and Achieve Your Fashion Career Goals

of BoF career The series, Insider Advice, offers advice from fashion industry experts, HR leaders and academics to answer topical questions about the careers of today’s fashion industry employees and to inform and guide your career. helps.check out Latest job listings with over 2,500 roles in BoF careers today.

In a professional context, strategizing your career progression allows you to specifically define and visualize success, analyze how to achieve it, and see success as achievable. In fact, neuroscience studies suggest that a person who does so is 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to reach his goals. forbes.

Nonetheless, the process “can feel overwhelming if you don’t break it down, because you don’t know where to start,” says the former fashion PR executive turned career coach and LIM College student. Karla Isabel Carstens, Professor of Strategic Fashion Communication, says: Master’s degree in her graduate studies program. “Understanding how to move from X to Y [makes it] It makes it easier to outline a strategy, understand it, and communicate it. Because you can understand why you do what you do and how it affects you. ”

Several frameworks exist for goal setting, but most are similar in nature. Goal setters first identify and ultimately identify their emotional drivers and motivations before creating a detailed multi-step roadmap of next steps, potential obstacles, and solutions for each. Instruct to place. All on your timeline.

As fashion is known to be a highly competitive industry, emerging talent often cannot afford to choose entry-level roles that broaden their horizons and may not fully align with their own ambitions. is being asked to seize the opportunity. .

“Discovery is key at the start of your career [of] What is there and how can you apply yourself?sometimes you just fall [a role] By default, not by design — opportunity comes along, or [part-time] Tracy Short, executive career consultant and coach whose clients include Dr. Martens, Harrods, Levi’s, Mango and Moncler. “In the early days, it was all about experience, trying new things, getting involved, and understanding how things work.”

Senior executives and managers also benefit from actively encouraging employees to pursue their career goals through mentorship and training schemes. Beyond acts of kindness, this has positive ripple effects in the workplace, as shown by research conducted by Leadership IQ, a leadership training and employee engagement company. The study found, for example, that an employee with access to formal training was 57% more engaged with her job than her, and an employee whose goals aligned with those of the organization was 75% more engaged than his. I was.

Beginning in 2023, BoF Careers will invite experienced fashion recruiters, career coaches and college lecturers to learn how industry talent (junior and senior) set and achieve their professional goals. I asked for advice on what I could do.

do a personal review

It may seem counterintuitive, but effective goal setting doesn’t start with writing down a list of desired goals. Rather, it starts by asking yourself why you want to achieve something in the first place.

Achieving goals is not easy and the process requires commitment and persistence. Outlining your driving forces and motivations from the start will make it easier to maintain in the long run. This creates a stronger emotional bond with the desired outcome, which in turn increases your chances of achieving it.

“Before you set your goals, [how to] To achieve them, it’s important to understand why you want to achieve those goals. Because when they are associated with a purpose or reason, they become more meaningful, easier to achieve, and easier to understand what the distractions are. says Carstens.

Short added, “Goal setting starts with identifying gaps: what you want to do more of and what you don’t want to do less. Tune in to yourself.

This reflection will also help you later when you inevitably face challenges and frustrations. Rereading your personal statement detailing your starting point and comparing it to where you are now may serve as a dopamine hit to reengage your motivation system. Try to use words in your thoughts that evoke a growth mindset, such as “,” “develop,” “over time,” “progress,” “become,” and “grow.”

List goals, obstacles, and solutions

Once the “why” is clear, reverse engineer the goal and plan the steps necessary to achieve it.

Sacha Milazzo Mercier is co-founder and director of G&M, a consultancy that specializes in recruiting and training fashion talent. A trained clinical psychologist, Mercier has worked in the recruitment department of Louis Vuitton and has been a guest speaker at the London College of Fashion, the Marangoni Society and others. He advises fashion talents to start the process by being honest with themselves.

“[Identify] Explore your skills and expertise and what you want [to achieve]You need to recognize not only what you are good at, but also what you are not good at. Because if you want to get a certain position, you have to understand the gap you have to fill,” he says. “You have to be objective with yourself too — what do you want? Fashion is a difficult industry to enter and grow in, so be prepared to sacrifice anything. You have to understand what you are doing.”

If you want to achieve a certain position, you have to understand the gap you have to fill.

This pragmatic approach reveals the relevant focus or changes that need to be made in the short and long term, and also helps you think of your goals as realistic and achievable, further increasing your chances of achieving them. Raise. Maintain self-awareness and develop a strategy to reconcile your current positioning (free time, skill set, experience) with objective parameters such as the current job market and job standards.

Document all this in writing. Because, according to a Dominican University of California study, 61% of his written goals were ultimately achieved, and those who wrote down their goals developed a commitment to action and reported their weekly progress to their friends. , achieving 76% of the target.

create a roadmap

Once you’ve clearly defined your goals and how to reach them, create a roadmap to guide you.

Mercier believes that through data collection and interaction with other users, you can design the right path for yourself. He recommends citing great professionals and their journeys for inspiration.

“LinkedIn lets you discover what people have. [your desired] What they do, where they’ve studied, what skills and tools they’ve acquired, what their expertise is,” he says. “Speaking French or Italian is very important, for example in the production of luxury goods, because […] Many luxury goods are still made in France [and] Italy. Learning a new language can take time. ”

Carstens suggests creating a timeline that fits your immediate needs and schedule. “If your goal is to get your first job in the fashion industry, I recommend breaking out. [it] Gradual downtime for 30 days or 3 months […] think: what to do [you] What do you have to do to get a job? [You] A resume, cover letter and references are required. This is his month’s worth of work. ”

For more senior professionals, “the first thing is [to consider] It’s about what you can achieve at your current company, what leads and how you can get promoted,” says Short. Whether you want to quit your current company or quit freelancing, “you should look for a similar type of environment with more opportunities for growth. […] Think strategically about how you’re going to get somewhere. ”

Agile and tenacious

As the last three years have shown, staying agile in the face of turbulent conditions is the only way to get through it. In planning her career, Mercier recommends “being open-minded, flexible and ready to adapt to your plans.”

Whether you’re just starting your fashion career or want to change direction, it doesn’t always work out right away. “I liken your career to a ladder. Each role should bring you a step closer to where you want to be in 10 years. No, but if you’re really strategic about where your final stop is, don’t worry.

Take the time to attend events, gain insights, post on LinkedIn, and get in touch. It says something about potential candidates.

For those who haven’t had the opportunity to intern, Carstens says, “I encourage you to attend industry events and listen, whether it’s virtual or in person. [Afterwards,] Go to LinkedIn, not Instagram, and write an overview of the event and what you learned from it. Tag people you’d like to meet and send them via LinkedIn. [Tell] they know how much you appreciate [their insight]and the opportunity to have a 15 minute conversation talking about X — specifically — would be greatly appreciated.

“That strategy [helped] multiple of my clients [book] Coffee meetings with C-level executives for the thoughtfulness behind it. They attend events, gain insights, post on LinkedIn, and take the time to reach out. It says something about potential candidates. ”

Seek external support

Having a support network throughout the career planning process is an invaluable and sometimes differentiating resource. First, it allows us to reflect more objectively on ourselves and our abilities, and we may feel more critical or critical of those things, providing a more balanced perspective. .

Additionally, support from managers and mentors can drive progress in the company and industry as a whole. Leaders don’t always give feedback spontaneously, but you should actively ask for it.

“Schedule time with your manager to get feedback and ask questions. Don’t wait for them to give you that opportunity. Because you may not be aware that you’re not getting it, it shows you care, and at the end of the day, senior level employees want their employees to care.” says Carstens.

Mercier believes that managers are best positioned to support employee development as direct supervisors, with the ability to act as mirrors to identify strengths and weaknesses. . Still, he advises fashion professionals to seek outside mentors to diversify the pool of opinions they receive.

“Our brains work better when they access diversity and remove stereotypes. […] look out [the company] It gives us access to diversity, opens our minds, and lets us look further ahead and discover new things,” he says.

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