Tuesday, 17 December 2013

What’s in A Fashion Job?

As a young woman and a growing fashion blogger, it’s only natural that I would immediately want a fashion job. I mean when you think a job in the fashion industry you would think the glitz and glamour, photoshoots, magazines, cocktail parties and fashion parties; you would think events management and PR, and lots and lots of free goodies! But alas, that not the case or usually the case for that matter; talking from experience I took a fashion job back in February 2013 and I must say I was over the moon! I was planning to juggle a fashion job with my degree; at that time it seemed like a pretty good darn idea; I was working from 9.00-12.15 and at 12.30 I was off to school for my afternoon lectures. Remember I was super psyched and I never thought to stop and process the whole thing, as in will I manage this? I remember my mom was completely against it from the getgo and I remember she told me to pull out before making any final decisions. But as a young woman (and a fashion blogger), my mind was set on growing myself, learning about the fashion business and applying the little knowledge that I had through Zim Fashionista. But after afew months later, looking back, my mama was right because now I’m stuck in a salary dispute pending from February 2013 at the Ministry of Labour and Social Services at Makumbe building in Harare.

Why am I writing this you may ask? I want to teach young women who are visionaries such as myself that a Fashion job isn’t always freebies and stunning stilettos. Everyone is trying to make their mark in a cutthroat business and further create their own stamp of approval in the industry.Yes, it is a job but within in our Zimbabwean industry, it is still young and learning the ropes of the international repertoire. Internships and voluntary work is what drives the industry; looking back I should have considered one of the two than taking on a full job. I’m a bit saddened by the experience because I never got to speak out and say how I felt, needless to say contribute to something I was passionate about. But remember, this is just how I felt and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

So from my experience I have decided to conjure up three top points when considering that fashion job;

DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE JUMPING ON BOARD. I had done my research, but I didn’t know my boss would be the same age as me.At the same time consider a well -established enterprise. Do further research on the companies’ successes and downfalls and try to weigh out both the negatives and the positives. At the end of the day you will be investing your manpower into the enterprise so it’s okay to consider a few factors here and there. If it’s just a way for you to make money and cover personal issues and/or expenses, then that’s fine but my mistake is I wanted to cover personal issues at home, whilst learning the ropes at work and juggling school not to mention my blog! Bad combination here.

KNOW YOUR WORTH. DON’T feel belittled in your workplace; as much as work is challenging it shouldn’t define you.SPEAK UP if you feel attacked because sometimes you may feel attacked whilst someone is trying to correct you and/or help you. Different people have different approaches to discipline so know your worth and exercise it because nobody is perfect; not even myself. We can’t all emulate the next person’s vision. I didn’t speak up nor ask questions because my strategy is to learn the ropes through observation and application (hence I’m a Sociologist), I’m trained to study you not attack you! Hence a lot of my ideas didn’t come through because as two separate individuals we had completely different ideas and ways of interpretation. 

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. Going back to knowing your worth,be well acquainted with the respective Labour divisions and laws so as to exercise your right. A lot of young employees are being ill-treated and taken for granted and some people will just label it as capitalism. The fashion industry is a small industry and a lot of people take it for granted (which is why I’m still fighting at labour), so if you feel out of place at work; exercise your power, do not be silenced because the person next to you is just as good as you are! Remember the revised Labour Relations Act of 2003 subdivided into the Fundamental Rights of Employees is in favour of the employee, so know it, read it and study IT!

Even though I took on this job for personal reasons, I felt abit robbed off an opportunity and my dignity as an individual. There’s no denying that everyone is entitled to their opinion but at the same time there is no prerequisite into judging someone by their cover; each and every one of us is good at something. I know my worth enough to share this on my blog in my writing.

Stand your ground in the fashion industry and make your voice heard.

DISCLAIMER: This article is in no manner a direct attack to and/or towards ZF and its affiliates and/or enterprises. This is an opinion piece from my own personal experience and observation. I’m merely sharing my story.

Stay Gorg and Glam,

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