Let Me help You Find A Job In Fashion, With One Condition
I started my career in London as a recruiter in 2012, and after almost four years in fashion and luxury recruitment, I retreated. They keep saying recruitment is an evil industry to be part of: the machine learning algorithms will spit you out before you even have a chance to speak to a real person in a process; the 'real persons' in the meantime will send hundreds of JDs to irrelevant 'candidates' on their database (John is now a Junior Doctor, Marry, why are you telling him about this excellent opportunity in Real Estate, leave NHS alone!) until they hit the jackpot. The jackpot might or might not be a good candidate for the company long-term, but that is not a recruiter's problem anymore.
For example, I recently changed my title to 'Social Worker' instead of 'Founder & CEO' on my LinkedIn as an experiment. I was quite tired of receiving friendly InMails from fellow entrepreneurs offering their services, sharing their vast network with me (blessed!) and asking to join their closed groups for CEOs (how closed? how much?). The message would start with "As a fellow CEO...". Roger, stop bragging; anyone can call themselves a CEO on LinkedIn. My husband calls himself a Board Member of the Galaxy Milkyway Inc. on LinkedIn. Great husband, my husband.
So, coming back to the 'Social Worker' title change on LinkedIn. I received at least three job offers in more than three months, being a great candidate to progress in my career as a social worker (in a more conventional sense, I guess?). What progress it would be - starting from ground zero. The point is, I get it - nobody likes recruiters, same here. Although I must say this is not what I learned while working at the boutique recruitment agency Style Incorporated years ago - Pat, my Director, is a real deal, and her business is based on genuine relationships. Thanks, Pat, this I learned from you (below, my ex boss Pat alongside me at one of the Fashion Bloc events in London).
It took me over five years to go back to being a recruiter again. It happened organically and much in line with my personal values and my career ambitions. My objective in a current stage of life: work flexible hours, be compensated for my competitive skills and results, work with people and businesses I am proud to represent, be it a consultancy gig or a recruitment project. The main rule of thumb - create a positive impact by helping positive impact businesses and passionate founders of responsible companies. I genuinely believe that a recruitment job is done well when both sides are happy with the result and a long term perspective. When a job-seeker (active or passive) is skilled, talented and value-driven and meets with a compatible role in a positive impact business, they can transform the industry together. Then, there's no need to volunteer at your employer's "mercy" to feel good about yourself.
Since 2019 I have been working with positive impact startups in fashion and beauty and helped build their teams. I felt inspired, I felt good about myself (I didn't have to tell tales to the prospective candidates, I truly believed it's great to work for these companies), and I matched my skills with my values. How proud and happy I felt when receiving an email from an employee I found for a sustainable fragrance and cosmetics brand: "I can't thank you enough for somehow fishing me out of the depths of LinkedIn - this is exactly the right place for me, and it happened at the right time. I finally feel like I really belong". Yes, I still use LinkedIn for recruitment, sometimes. But I have my own ways of "fishing out" people. This is how I found myself in recruitment again and discovered great joy in working directly with founders of ethical, purpose-driven brands and startups.
My new mission in recruitment is revolutionising it, challenging the employers to hire better, matchmaking positive impact businesses with value-driven employees, matching skills and values. So, if you are looking for a career change or secretly hating your job at one of Sir Philip Green's brands (true story) - please get in touch. I want to help you. Likewise, if you are Patagonia (or aspiring Patagonia) looking for talent, I am keen to work with you.
Oh, and about that one condition - you get the idea, right?
(this is a modified version of my LinkedIn article about #positivefashionjobs)
Ieva, a believer in positive fashion
P.S. Please forgive the quality of this photo; it was taken by my 5-year-old personal photographer Alex. Me, being proud to have received this certificate in post.