If you love fashion, then you can turn your passion into a flourishing career. It doesn’t just have to be a hobby – it can be much more. For instance, think of options like cosmetology or becoming a fashion designer.

fashion career
Photo by: Ed Gregory

If you know what you would like to do, then go to a specialty school. They can teach you the skills you need to earn a good living. But what if you already have professional skills? Perhaps you’ve already been through a school or you’re self-taught and you’re just looking for a way to break into an industry. All you need is experience. In this case, you might just consider applying for an internship. If you have both knowledge and experience, then you should simply think of getting a job in your field. Let’s take a closer look at these three ways of launching your fashion career:

1. Get a professional education

There is bound to be a school that will teach you what you need to learn. If, for instance, you’re interested in personal grooming — taking care of hair, skins, and nails — then enroll in a cosmetology school.

  • ·  You will learn how to cut and style hair.
  • ·  You will learn how to provide facials and skin care.
  • ·  You will learn how to do manicures and pedicures.
  • ·  You will learn how to do makeup.

But that’s not all: you’ll also learn everything you need to know about to create your own salon business.

Take a similar route if you want to be a fashion designer. Enroll in a fashion design school. You’ll learn all about how to design clothes and how to forge a career.

2. Get an internship

Many people who get a professional education feel frustrated when applying for jobs. Employers routinely turn them down because they don’t have enough experience. This is classical Catch 22 scenario. You need a job to get experience but you can’t get a job because you don’t have any experience. The way to get out of this loop is to get an internship.

Here are some benefits of this approach:

  • It will be much easier than trying to get a job. Because employers have less to risk by not hiring you, there is less resistance.
  • People who are passionate about a field love to teach others. You will learn from assigned mentors and your colleagues.
  • You will learn the best business practices.  The way to understand if something works is to be in the right environment. Many of the things you learned will not be applicable in the real world.
  • You will build up a network of connections in your field.
  • You will learn new things that you didn’t even suspect.
  • You will come across unexpected opportunities. These may even change the trajectory of your career and life.
  • You can leverage your experience to either apply for a job or to create your own business.
  • You will be more inspired to follow your passion when you run across real-life role models.

3. Get a job

The last logical step is to get some experience. Work experience is crucial for your career. It will expose you to the people, opportunities, and connections that you need to make to be successful. Even if you decide to create your own business, you will have a realistic idea about your field. Start meeting people who do what you love so you can focus on doing more of the things you enjoy. 

What If You Don’t Know Where To Start?

If you don’t know where to start, then these three career-building paths may appear meaningless. In this event, first figure out what you’re interested in doing. What are your current business skills and experience? What is it that you would like to be able to do? Once you’re clear about what it is you’re passionate about, you can create a plan of action.

Here are 3 tips to get clear on your goals:

  • #1: Write a list of all the experiences you’ve had so far and then figure out what you liked and what you didn’t like.
  • #2: Write a list of all the knowledge and skills you now have based on those experiences.
  • #3: Write a list of all the things you’re interested in doing in your free time. Perhaps you love to visit Pinterest to look up summer fashion trends. Perhaps you love to share makeup tricks with your friends. Or maybe you love to buy accessories from favorite boutique shops.

Once you get clear on what it is that you want to do, you’re well on your way. Now decide whether you need a professional education, an internship, or a job.

It’s A Trillion Dollar Industry

The fashion industry is a trillion dollar industry made up of many niche businesses. For instance, the garment industry alone is estimated to be around $3 trillion.

So how do you plug yourself into this promising field?

First, know what it is you want—then, get a professional education, an internship, or a job. You may have to go through all three steps or you may be able to leap a few steps because of your background.

Finally, it’s worth repeating that you should go through a career path even if you plan to create your own business. This way, you’ll have industry contacts and a realistic understanding about what to do and what to expect.

miranda priestly | the devil wears prada | teen vogue and parsons online fashion program