Despite securing her dream job at Burberry straight out of uni, Pepper Your Talk’s founder Dior Bediako realised there was very little support for graduates, so she decided to set up Pepper Your Talk to help out entry level professionals secure their future. Throughout her talk, Bediako reiterated that confidence is key when it comes to breaking into the fashion industry.

“You have to completely self promote” was one of her main takeaways, noting that it’s often easy to discuss your favourite traits of your best friend, but not your own. No one likes to self promote, she points out, but standing up and saying out loud what you’re proud of or what you’ve achieved makes you start to believe it.

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There were several helpful tips for improving your confidence, and one of the most important ones is “Learn about different cultures”. Educating yourself about different outlooks, ways of life and history, gives you the confidence to be able to speak to anyone in the workplace. It’s also important to remember that your first job is unlikely to be your dream job. Instead, they suggest “putting a foot in the industry” and learning how it works, which will give you the confidence needed to go for your dream job and land it.

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Without confidence, you can’t enjoy your life and since around 56 hours a week of your life is spent at work, finding confidence and enjoying your career is important to a happy life. According to Bediako, 77% of our “brain talk” is negative, meaning we don’t take full advantage of a situation. When networking, for example, so many of our thoughts are occupied with worrying about whether we are making the right impression, you can’t focus on promoting yourself and your achievements. One of her favourite points to make is that it takes as much energy to be negative as it does to be positive, yet investing that energy into a confident and positive thought will help you put your best self forward in the industry.

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Written by Faith Richardson

Photography by Nicholas Kristiansen