How I started my career as a fashion merchandiser
When I left school I had no idea where I would end up because I didn’t have a clue where I wanted to go. And for a while not being able to further my education made me feel like I wouldn’t go anywhere.
I walked out of high school and into a job, it was a shitty job that paid peanuts with a boss who I am pretty sure hired me because he had ulterior motives. I worked a maximum of three days a week and would finish everything that had to be done in the first two hours I was there. It was the worst.
I then moved on to work as a receptionist for a cereal company. I will never ever forget how scared I was on my first day, it was all so new and different and I felt like I would never learn everything that I needed to. I did, obviously, and eventually I could do it in my sleep so I got very bored, but I still didn’t know what I wanted to do so I hung around.
One day while browsing Facebook because I was bored to death I saw an advert for a part time internship with an online women’s magazine. I applied on a limb and as an experiment just to see what it was all about because I had always enjoyed writing and English at school.
This was the start of everything.
My husband suggested I start a blog to get more writing practice and to make a name for myself so I did it and I fell in love with the blogging/writing world. I spent every spare moment either writing for my blog or writing for the online magazine. I enjoyed it so much that I decided I wanted to write for women’s magazines.
Now as you know fashion is my biggest love and I always knew this but I had put any hopes and dreams of a career in fashion on the backburner because it isn’t exactly an industry you can get into easily without a tertiary education. And knowing I can’t even draw a stickman decently I nipped any thoughts of a career in fashion in the bud because at the time I thought the only job in fashion, besides retail, was design.
But then I put my writing and fashion together and had a massive brainwave – fashion writing. So I tried to change the topic of my blog and got more invested and involved in the online fashion world.
I followed a bunch of fashionistas on social media and started interacting. Little did I know, this little act would change the course of my life.
A very popular fashion blogger who I followed tweeted about a vacancy at her company. I applied immediately and hoped, prayed, held thumbs and toes and everything you can imagine for that interview and I got it.
The first interview was a complete success but I didn’t get the position. How can I say it was a success then?… Because when another position came up at the company which I was more suited for (admin, reception, etc.) I got called back for another interview. In fact, I don’t even think the position was advertised.
I got the job and started off as a Logistics Coordinator. I sat at my desk all day, every day, listening and paying attention to what the merchandisers were doing in the office. I did my best at all times and worked so hard to try and prove myself.
When I felt like I had picked up on enough, asked enough questions, been at the company long enough and gained confidence in my knowledge so far, I went and asked for a chance at merchandising.
My boss gave me the chance. I started off really small with just a few orders to handle. It went well.
Then as luck would have it, everything at the company changed completely and my position as Logistics Coordinator became redundant. This could have been bad news, but it was the stepping stone I needed because then the real training to become a merchandiser started.
A few months down the line I was officially given the “assistant merchandiser” title. I was over the moon and gave it my all.
The following year at review I was promoted to “junior merchandiser” which is still my title but I am working my ass off to drop that junior.
I didn’t know when I was 18 that I would be such a go-getter so I didn’t have very high hopes for myself if I’m honest. And the only reason this did happen for me was because I gave it my all. If it wasn’t for a change of attitude and going after what I wanted, I wouldn’t be here.
Not being able to study further or being in certain circumstances may limit you but it doesn’t mean that you absolutely cannot do something. It might take longer, it will mean you need to work harder, but trust me the victory tastes even sweeter when you know how hard you’ve worked.
I am living proof that dreams can come true but that doesn’t mean you wait around for them to. You put all your effort into pushing them along.
I will go into more detail about what a fashion merchandiser does in a blog post in the near future.
I would love to hear about your career so leave me a comment and let’s talk.