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Changing Jobs… ‘Design is a Journey of Discovery’

A job is something that most people have whether you love it or loath it, it is something we have to do. Fashion however is never just a job, never just a 9 to 5, so that’s why the prospect of ‘moving on’ can be a major decision for any designer especially after holding down a position for many years after working your way up through the ranks.

This is something that can be scary, overwhelming and daunting but also very exciting.

Being a designer is all about learning, challenging and thinking outside the box. Pushing the boundaries in terms of style and taking risks there is never a right or wrong answer. Taking opportunities when they present themselves, so why should this just apply to the clothes and not to the designer designing them?

Eight years can feel a life time in the fashion industry, so much can happen in a year let alone eight so the thought of starting over somewhere new was very overwhelming. This was something I faced after being head designer at a fashion brand for over 6 years after progressing up, building up the collections, seeing people come and go, trends and styles changing you often get attached to the company, the collections and the thought of separating yourself can be scary it becomes your identity almost but as a designer we are always learning and striving for the next thing.

So when a new opportunity presented itself with a new exciting company I decided to go for it. A whole host of emotions flooded to the surface, what if my new role did not work out, would it be the right step for me, what if the people were not nice, what if I could not do the new project briefs set, what if the systems are different, am I too old set in my ways to learn new things. But the want to learn and develop as a designer is always there no matter what point of your career you are at. Never become stale in your work as this is when you get content and can sometimes take your eye off the ball.

Things to consider when contemplating a change after so long;-

Research what your next step should be. After working so hard on getting your CV to read how it does you want to add value not just go for anything.

Take your time, work out what it is you want from your next role. What it is about your current role you do not like or would like to change. What it is that you love to do and want to build on. Product areas you want to learn more about.

Think about location, do you want a total change of scene or move closer to home, sick of a long commute or do you want to try another city or town?

Always be confident in the knowledge you will be taking with you to your new role, although you may not know it you will surprise yourself at what you have picked up being at a company for a period of time. Be confident in who you are as a designer and what you can do.

Always keep good connections, it is important to try and never leave on a bad note. The industry is big but small at the same time you never know when paths will cross in the future.

As with anything in life, think carefully before making any major career decisions. Just don’t let yourself become stagnant where you are. Exploration is vital to keeping you excited and motivated about your work.

One of the main things about changing jobs is making sure you are happy. You have not worked for all those years to not be happy in what you do.

Thinking the time has come to make the switch? Create & Develop have over twenty years experience of assisting fashion people in making that life change. Get in touch at

About our Author: A true Menswear aficionado, Denise Reynolds graduated in Knitwear Design at Nottingham Trent University and has since built an impressive career in Menswear, designing for British heritage brands such as Crombie, John Smedley and The Lacamanda Group.

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