Net-a-Porter’s Fashion Director offers her advice! Introverts listen up…
When working in a fashion office, senior’s surely feel like the most important and subsequently most intimidating people in the building. And let me guess, you stay well away unless you ‘have to’, right? Yet, what most natural introverts don’t realise is that by saying nothing at all, you’re unintentionally making a negative impression. Welp!
Never waste an opportunity to show the person at the top how great you are and we’re here to tell you how. Lisa Aiken, Net-a-Porter’s Fashion Director was recently interviewed by Refinery 29 and shared insightful tips that every fashion newbie needs to know. Her advice about trying to break into the industry is all about your personality!
“Always be kind, confident and approachable, whether you’re an assistant in the fashion cupboard or doing admin on work experience, introduce yourself and make yourself known… I always remember personalities”.
(Excerpt from Refinery29 UK – How I Made It: Lisa Aiken)
Inspired by Lisa’s career hacks, we delve into 3 more tips that’ll make it hard for a fashion director or any top professional to forget you.
BEFORE YOU LAND A JOB…
Advocate for yourself
As we all know a successful interview is vital to landing a job, so prior to researching generic questions, think about what someone in the fashion industry wants to hear about YOU.
Have a clear understanding of your strengths and the qualities you can apply to the job. Think – What makes me perfect for the position? Then, and this is usually the hard part for an introvert – speak about it! Employers love to hear confidence in your skills which brings you one step closer to landing the job.
The primary basis for an interview is so that employers can physically meet you and assess how well you’ll get on with the wider team. Interviewers are just people and they want to meet other people and not just a talking CV – allow your personality to shine!
WHEN YOU’RE AT WORK…
Interact with your team
Hierarchal systems (assistant, coordinator, executive, manager etc.) exist because the fashion office needs structure. Yet, no matter what level you’re on, but more importantly as a fashion junior, say hello, start conversations and offer your advice.
This may take a little more effort for you as an introvert than it will for others. Start small with loads of smiles and direct eye contact and build up to your highest goal.
Openly and positively contributing to the working environment will play a huge part in being noticed at work. Fashion seniors have a good way on picking up on certain personality traits.
Making a real effort to get to know people goes beyond the mundane “How was your weekend?” formality.
WHEN SEEKING A PROMOTION…
Prove you’re an asset and not just an extra hand
As an introvert, you may become accustomed to coming in and clawing straight into your to-do list. Head down, earphones in, world blocked out.
Reviews only come around once or twice a year, but every day is an opportunity for development. Have you spoken to anyone about what you’re enjoying and where you can add value?
Identify your top 3 skills and have a conversation with your manager about where you can apply them to ‘lead’ tasks. As a junior employee, getting a head start on projects that are above your level shows initiative and that you’re a team player.
But if you don’t say it, nobody will ever know!