Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Giveaway & tips for breaking into a fashion career

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ANN INC. for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Only a few months ago, I was a new grad looking for a job. I was fortunate to find a job that I love relatively quickly. But the pain and struggles of job searching are still really fresh, which is why I'm happy to this guide on what worked for my job hunt.


1. Know What You Want

I'm not telling you to know exactly what you want. Have an idea of what industry you want and what you want to do there. If you said, "I want to be in fashion", it's a start, but where in fashion? Are you a designer? Better with customer service? Do you want to work behind the scenes? Would you want to analyze sales numbers? Or create marketing campaigns? All this is just the tip of the iceberg. This way, you have a better idea of which direction to search. 

Don't quite know yet? Why not check out a career resource site like http://www.anncareers.com/corporate. Their job listing tool is easy to use and lists both corporate and store jobs available. Did you know that you could be a R&D Coordinator in Fabrics? Or a Digital User Experience Manager? Yeah, you've got options!



2. Be Realistic and Know Your Worth

Yes, the job search is going to suck a bit. And maybe you need a part-time retail job to weather the storm in the meantime. But you don't have to settle for an absolutely horrible job just because people say you have to "pay your dues" as a stepping stone to a great career. Look at your options. If you can work hard, collaborate with others, and have a great attitude, you deserve to be in a respectful and enjoyable environment with like-minded people. With a simple Google search, you can find plenty of information on what past and current employees have to say about their experiences at a company. Or take it from the experts - in this case, ANN INC. is the only fashion retailer to receive a Gallup Great Workplace Award. I'd say that's a pretty good indicator that it's a great option to strive for.


2. Research

Sometimes, the answer is right in front of you if you look for it. A company mission statement or philosophy can tell you a lot about what kind of person they're looking for and if you'd enjoy the environment. When you already know what a company wants, it's a lot easier to tailor your resume and go into an interview with confidence.



For example, even a quick glance at ANN INC's website tells us that they value confidence, passion, leadership, and bringing forward employees that can help women to feel their best. With such a strong focus on people, there's also good potential that you'd be in a comfortable environment with potential to move up. ANN INC also frequently updates their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with job alerts, tips, and style inspiration so you can stay in the know.

Are you ANN INC.’s next must-have? Start a career with ANN INC. today!

To help kickstart your fashion career, ANN INC is offering you a $25 gift card to its stores (Ann Taylor, The Loft, Lou & Grey). Don't forget that making a great first impression is also important, which is a lot easier when you feel great inside and outside. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter! *Open to US citizens only.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Giveaway: Win eyewear of any style


Let me cut to the chase. My vision is getting terrible and I'm starting to see the reality that I'll need to wear glasses all the time. The only comfort I have is that glasses are more socially acceptable nowadays and that I can pick out a nice pair for everyday use. When I went to see my optometrist to try on some new frames, he pretty much laughed at me for owning a pair that didn't really suit me. So when your optometrist laughs at you, you know it's time to update to a trendier pair. Don't be me...get better glasses.

In the spirit, I'm giving away a free pair of Firmoo glasses. Lots of styles to choose from, and even an option to try the glasses onto a custom photo of yourself to ease your worries of getting a pair online. Even if you already own a pair, I like the idea of having a spare pair to keep around. And of course, it's a great opportunity to experiment with a new look.

The giveaway will run until November 18, then I'll contact the winner, who will have until the end of this month to pick out a new pair. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cherry top

Chevron sweater / Faux leather backpack from Target / Beige skirt from TJ Maxx / Red beanie from Charlotte Russe

I've had the same standard black Jansport backpack since Gr.10. Yeah, you know the one. It got me through high school, university, and college. That's 8 years of schooling with the same backpack. I remember once in university, I ran into a friend on campus at the library. He looked at my backpack and said, "Huh. I didn't think you were a backpack kind of a person. I thought you use like, a big purse to hold stuff." I kind of took offense to that. Sure, I might be a fashion person, but I value my education and posture more than I value an oversized tote. I would know because I tried the whole oversized tote bag thing, but it was no where near as functional as a backpack. 

It's a bit ironic that within the first few months of officially being done with school, I got a new backpack. It definitely doesn't hold as much as my good ol' trusty one, but it does hurt my shoulders less than a tote. Is an adult backpack an oxymoron? Because I'm liking this fashion and function thing. 


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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Modern 90's

Long wool coat / Navy striped shirt from Gap / Floral dress from Sheinside / Tall boots from Le Chateau

90's nostalgia is a weird concept to me. I don't know about you, but I was a 90s kid. And as an 8 year old, I really didn't give a hoot about what was in style during that decade. It was just a few years ago, and still now, that I'm discovering shows from the 90's. And in the same way, I'm just starting to discover fashions that were popular in the 90s. I'm not re-discovering them, nor do they make me feel nostalgic. Instead of going full 90's today, I grabbed one item from the past and mixed it with a more modern look. Complete with boxy shoulder pads, this jacket has been hanging around at home for a while. I thought that it looked drab and unfitted (like a lot of items from the 90s), but paired with a straight dress and a belted t-shirt, it adds a more fitted silhouette to the look. So I guess if we're pulling out a fashion dictionary, this would fall under "90s-inspired". But to me, I call it "too cheap to buy a new coat so I found an old one that I wouldn't normally wear and made it prettier".

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Basic classics


I've been looking at my closet lately thinking that I have a love-hate relationship with the majority of my wardrobe. I've got coloured jeans, crop tops, military print, wide legged pants, florals, spikes, and other trendy styles that have been deemed popular over the past few years. Now, I love my clothes because I genuinely like them right now, but at the same time, I kind of hate how not all of these items are timeless. And you can give me the "if it makes you happy..." all you want, but let's face it: When some of these items are out, they are really, really tacky and difficult to look at.

That's why I've been obsessing over basics and classic staple pieces lately. Y'know, things that match pretty much everything. Things that will continue being trendy and versatile in years to come. And things that are pretty spiffy on their own too.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Old school charm

Caramel blazer from Le Chateau / Pink sweater & structured bag from Forever 21 / Pleated skirt from TJ Maxx / Combat boots 

A few weeks ago, I was dabbling with the idea of dying my hair a funky colour to embrace my rebel side. Well, this just in: I don't have a rebel side. To commute to work, I have to drive to the bus stop. But yesterday, the parking lot was full. My workplace has a policy where you have to buy coffee for the office if you're late on Tuesday. So I really didn't want to be late. Which is why I recklessly parked in a commercial plaza. Risking a parking ticket? Fine, whatever! Risking a $50 ticket is totally worth not buying $15 worth of coffee! Yeah, that's pretty much when common sense started sinking in. And for the rest of the day, I was freaking out internally with a lumpy feeling in my stomach from my fear and guilt of illegally parking. I suppose I do have *a bit* of a rebel side...I mean, I did duck out of work 10 minutes early because I was that anxious to see my car. 

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

On the rocks

White t-shirt / Long grey cardigan / Denim shorts / Navy Keds

What wonderfully weird weather we're having. It's the end of September and hot enough that I can go out in shorts and a t-shirt. I took advantage by going to the beach over the weekend. As I walked there, I was crunching on freshly fallen leaves, which is a really strange contrast since leaves and beaches usually don't mix. Some people were at the beach running around, eating ice cream, and flying Hello Kitty kites. Instead of using this kind of environment to contemplate things like what I'll do over the weekend or if I should buy some new shiny accessories, I think about things like life. Y'know, careers, success, mortgages, etc, etc. That's normal for a 23 year old, right? 

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Buyer beware

Houndstooth skirt from TJ Maxx / Black blazer / Contrast trim blouse 

Here's a bit of a fun story for you. During my lunchbreak at work, I decided to get my hair cut. I work in kind of a trendy neighbourhood where the average haircut is $50. So I was really happy when I found this little place that said that they did $20 women's haircuts. The place was small and definitely not glamorous, but I'm going for a haircut, not to gawk at nice decor. I told the hairdresser I wanted a haircut ONLY and he told me to sit down to wet my hair. As he started shampooing my hair, I asked him if there was an extra cost. Yup, my "haircut" would now cost $25 because wetting my hair was necessary (though he didn't mention it when I walked in). Otherwise, he suggested that I come into the salon with my hair already wet. So finally, he cuts my hair, but not as short as I wanted it because he insists that long hair will look better on me. But the worst was next. He left my hair wet. Yup, he wouldn't dry it because he said that a "professional blowdry" would cost $10 extra. Dude, I wasn't looking for an intense style & blowdry or anything. I just wanted to be able to walk back to work without wet hair. So instead, I sat there blowdrying my own hair. Needless to say, I won't be going back there. So here's a picture of the neighbourhood instead.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rebellious

via Pinterest

Since high school, I've made sure that I dressed nicely and said things like "oh crackers" instead of swearing so I'd be fully prepared for the work world. But the place I work at now can best be described as anti-corporate. All sorts of language flows freely and I'm thinking about showing up in sweatpants (nicely styled, of course). Since I work somewhere that does't expect me to be in a pencil skirt with hair tied back everyday, I've been tempted to be rebellious since I never went through that stage during my teens. In keeping up with my previous post of subtle badassery, I've been contemplating wildly coloured hair. Except that my rebellious side takes a backseat to my laziness though because I can't be bothered to upkeep hair like this. Oh, and since I'm asian, I risk looking like an anime character. That's a big factor too.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

College dropout

Short black blazer / White corduroy shorts from West49 / Studded bag / Chain necklace 

After being in school for nearly two decades of my life, it's a bit weird that I'm not going back to school this year. After finishing my undergrad, I decided to take another two years at college. I knew that I wanted a job in digital marketing, but I wanted a way to stand out in this competitive market. So I thought that learning how to code and design would give me an edge.

Only one term into college, I had the feeling that it wasn't for me. Sure, I was learning stuff, but it was at a slow pace and I had a feeling that I wouldn't learn enough in two years to make it in the real world. After talking to my profs about these concerns, I got the impression that school politics favoured low failure rates over exceptional success rates. That's not how people get a proper education, which is the point of higher education after all. For the record, my profs were awesome at honestly telling me about the curriculum and guiding me towards a better direction for my goals. That's something I definitely recommend: talking to the right people.

So I spent my second term applying for jobs and sending out resumes. For 4 months. Job hunting while still in college was probably my best move. I said that if I found a good job, I'd stop taking classes. But in the meantime, I would still be learning great skills. At the end of my first year, I ended up finding a great job, so I officially became a proud college dropout. Yes, being a college dropout has a negative connotation. That connotation almost made me feel like I was giving up on education. But I'm proud of dropping out at the right time where I grabbed a few skills and avoided wasting any more time and money.

Not that any of that matters because my workplace hired me because of this blog.

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