What does it truly take to succeed in your career, no matter the industry that you are a part of? For many of us, we’re not too certain where we will wind up unless we first experience various trials and tribulations. But for Christie Lohr, the founder of fashion job website Style Nine to Five, a career in the fashion industry was an established goal from the tender age of 10. In Style Nine to Five’s latest blog feature, Christie Lohr will be dishing out on the best in career advice that can be applied to any industry, fashion or otherwise. Expect discussions involving the true spirit of entrepreneurialism, dressing for success, asking for what you want in order to get what you want, and above all, persevering through any obstacle that obstructs your path. Let’s see what’s in store for our opening article to kick off this weekly feature.
Christie Lohr: ”One piece of advice that I’ve given time and time again in interviews, and when asked by any individual as to how to succeed in the fashion industry, is to go above and beyond what is asked of you on the job. Sure, this may be something that everyone is used to hearing over and over again from any professional, but I don’t think many people truly understand the underlying meaning of my statement. For example, most individuals start working in retail as a means to an end, never thinking that it’ll be the start of their career. What I think people often forget is the fact that many corporate hires from major fashion retailers come from within the company. If you prove yourself from an entry level position as a sales associate, you would be surprised at how many doors open for you. I remember phoning head office as a 17 year old, part time sales associate, to ask about what it takes to get a job in fashion marketing. From then on out, I would create inspiration boards for the sales team during my breaks, just because I wanted to, not because it was required of me from the job. I knew that I had to make the most of what I wanted from the job, and this certainly wasn’t an attitude that I abandoned even as I climbed through the retail ranks to Store Manager and Assistant Menswear Buyer for Le Chateau. As a Store Manager, I would constantly be thinking of new ways to hit and exceed the weekly store goals. Oftentimes, the best results were from the most unconventional of ideas. From getting a popular local DJ to come into the store on a rainy Saturday, to dressing up the entire sales team in Le Chateau’s own dresses to promote the product, I enjoyed my role the most when I kept my mind busy. I think many of us spend our time simply going through the paces on the job, but it really is up to ourselves to create opportunities. When I worked as an Assistant Menswear Buyer for Le Chateau, I would go to other stores on my days off to study the latest trends, and often would buy items that I thought Le Chateau should carry to show to the higher ups. I didn’t let my job title as Assistant Buyer restrict me from doing what I felt needed to be done.”
I think many of us that are just starting out in our professional careers can definitely relate to what Christie has just discussed. Personally, I know that I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking of some job opportunities are merely temporary, and disregarding them as a means to developing my career in the given industry. To conclude this week’s careers feature, I’d like to end off with a great quote from Christie:
“Your personal career growth is up to you and not your management. Create the opportunity for yourself by going above and beyond. Always work towards the position you want, not simply doing enough to get by in the position you have.”
Be sure to tune in on Tuesday from 12-1pm PST for our live Twitter #SNTFCareerChat. This is the perfect time to tweet out any of your personal career questions for Christie to answer!
Written by: Anna Zhao
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