Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Staying professional

It’s not always easy to stay professional in a less than professional industry. Yes, there are certain apparel companies where professionalism is expected. These are usually the bigger, more corporate type firms. In most fashion companies however, you can easily be lured into unprofessional behavior such as gossip, tardiness, cliques, and even harassment. I’m not sure why the fashion industry is prone to this type of behavior.  The social norms of many corporate environs don’t follow suit for fashionistas. Very rarely will you find business attire or proper email etiquette. Even non-creative roles in fashion work in a more fluid style.

So, how can you remain professional in a mostly unprofessional industry? First, understand your goals. How does participating in gossip move you closer or further away from your goals?  What about lateness? If you are in a divisive company where cliques are prevalent, how would you choose which clique to associate with? Better yet, how could you get your job done and not associate with a clique? What would the benefit to you be to remain neutral and steer clear of the clique behavior?  Whatever the unprofessional behavior, understand who and what you want to be before following along.

While it may not be easy, it is possible to remain professional in an unprofessional industry. Keeping a clear target for both your career and life goals will help you find your way.

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