Prepare Yourself for the Recession
As an industry, we can’t catch a break. The Great Recession of 2008 laid the groundwork for The Retail Apocalypse that started in 2017 and ran through 2019 (some say it is still going on). COVID hit in early 2020 causing further damage to an already beleaguered industry.
As we came out of the lockdowns, supply-chain issues and pent-up demand caused product shortages.
As the supply-chains got back to normal, rampant inflation forced many consumers to pull back spending on less essential items like apparel, footwear, accessories, home fashions, etc… So much so, that brands and retailers are struggling with bloated inventories. The second quarter of 2022 saw companies like Target and Walmart cancelling billions in orders, with a lot of that being apparel, accessories, footwear and home textiles.
There seems to be some confusion as to what a recession is. Regardless, of the how the media tries to spin it, the accepted definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative growth. That is where we are right now.
With the Federal Reserve raising interest rates to calm inflation, the fastest since 1994, things will get worse before they get better…
Hope for the best but plan for the worst.
With all the turmoil in the fashion industry right now, a job search may be forced upon you with little warning. Because of this, we cannot stress enough the idea of being proactive when it comes to your career. Those who wait until they are notified of layoffs/firings/closings (reactive), will be at a disadvantage to those who are prepared.
1. REVIEW & UPDATE YOUR RESUME
Have you changed companies? Taken-on new responsibilities? Got a new title? Make sure your resume information is both current AND easily read. Make sure to update your resume wherever it may be; hardcopy, job boards, company websites and recruitment agencies.
This might also be a great to time to evaluate the format of your resume. For example, as job seekers gain experience, the trend is to move from a resume that is in a chronological format to one that is more accomplishment based. There are a lot of good resources online for resume writing. If you aren’t getting a lot of hits on your resume, it might be time for a format change!
2. START MAKING LISTS
Let’s say you’ve lost your job. What resources would you use to find a new one? What companies would you target for employment? What contacts do you have that could help you find a new job? Do you want to work in the same capacity or do something different? What skills do you need? Answering these questions for yourself AND writing them down will put you on job search footing from day one and let you hit the ground running.
3. UPDATE YOUR STYLECAREERS.COM PROFILE
StyleCareers.com is (by far) the most important place to have your resume if you are a fashion industry professional. Why? First, roughly 82% of fashion industry recruiters and hiring managers claim that StyleCareers.com is their #1 or #2 source for fashion industry talent. If you aren’t on StyleCareers.com, there is a good chance, you are at a disadvantage to those who are. Second, StyleCareers.com lists the most fashion industry jobs of any resource; more than WWD, California News and even LinkedIn. Couple the most fashion industry jobs with the most accurate job alert system and you will always be among the first to know about new positions.
Don’t have a StyleCareers.com profile? The newly re-designed StyleCareers.com profiles are super-easy to create (3 simple questions) and more importantly, offer 3 levels of privacy (all recruiters, no recruiters). What are you waiting for, create your StyleCareers.com here!
4. UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN CONTACT INFORMATION
Most people use their work email address as their their primary email address on LinkedIn. This practice is fine when the profile holder has a job but can keep those who have been furloughed or laid-off from being contacted by recruiters and hiring managers.
If you have been laid-off or even furloughed, make sure that your personal email address is your primary email address on LinkedIn. Not only are recruiters less likely to contact job seekers who only include a work email address, by law, furloughed workers are not allowed to access their work email accounts. Update your LinkedIn profile’s preferred email address here: https://www.linkedin.com/psettings/email
5. REVIEW & UPDATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
With respect to social media, assume that a potential employer will see EVERYTHING you’ve ever posted and EVERYTHING that anyone else may have posted about you. Keep in mind that your social media profiles are not your only social media presence. Tagged photos of you, comments you’ve made, groups you’ve joined and events you’ve attended are likely to be available to potential employers.
6. REVIEW, UPDATE & PRACTICE YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH
An “Elevator Pitch” is a concise, carefully planned and well-practiced description of the VALUE you bring to a company. The pitch should be easily understood by a layman and last 30-45 seconds; the typical time it takes to ride an elevator.
You never know when you might bump into someone who might be able to help in your job search. Make sure your Elevator Pitch is up-to-date, polished and practiced!
7. PREPARE & PRACTICE FOR VIDEO INTERVIEWS
There is a good chance that your first interviews after the lockdown will be via Zoom, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting or some other video conferencing service. It is important that job seekers practice with this technology before the interview; this is extra-important for older job seekers.