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Graduation is an incredibly exciting and liberating time, which is often followed by a wave of anxiety — now it’s time to find a job and start your career in fashion. It’s not uncommon to spend the first year or two following university finding the job that’s right for you, or any job at all. It can become increasingly frustrating the longer you spend writing cover letters, interviewing, and getting rejected.

We’ve teamed up with Kate Hogan, a therapist and coach who spent over a decade working in fashion recruitment before turning her focus to helping creative professionals overcome imposter syndrome, creative block, lack of confidence and procrastination. Below, Kate shares her advice on how to stay sane while you’re unemployed and searching for a job.

Remember: it’s going to take time!

Kate Hogan

Kate Hogan

“More often that not, a job search can take months, not weeks. While it might be the biggest concern for you as an applicant, recruitment often goes to the bottom of the importance pile for busy companies. Understand this means learning to be patient and don’t lose heart if you don’t hear back about your applications straight away.”

Develop a system, staying organised will keep you calm

“I’d recommend a spreadsheet documenting the jobs and companies you’ve applied for and when you follow up, include dates and the name and email of the contact if there is one. Developing a system that works for you will help you to keep track of where you’ve applied, and help you to visualise your progress.”

Have a routine, find your balance

“It’s a good idea to divide your time between applying for jobs, spending time with friends, and also feeding your creativity too. Dedicate two hours each morning — when you are most productive – and be strict with yourself. Importantly, don’t get consumed by the job hunt! You can’t apply for jobs 24/7 so have some down time and don’t feel guilty about it. Make a list of cheap or free things you can do in your spare time – for example, most UK galleries and museums are free — to keep your creative juices flowing.”

After interviews: reflect, extract lessons and improve for next time

“Sometimes you will get feedback, sometimes you won’t, that’s just how it works depending on the size of the company you’re applying to, and how many interviewees there were. It’s crucial to be objective in your own appraisal of your interview performance — what could you have answered more effectively? What information did you forget to mention?”

“When thinking about your portfolio, look at it as a constant work in progress, not a static thing. They can quickly become outdated if not refreshed, so spend some time each month to curate your portfolio and add or remove as you see fit. It will serve you well!”

Make networking your friend!

“Or rather, make friends while you network! Connecting with people in your industry is an investment of your time and social skills — you never know where connections will get you! Get in contact with your old tutors, anyone you’ve interned for, friends of friends, alumni from your college. Attending industry events will not only keep you up to date with developments in your sector or speciality, but you never know who you’ll meet.”

As an exclusive offer for the GFW audience, Kate is offering 25% off therapy and coaching sessions. Email Kate at kate@katehogan.co.uk and mention “GFW” in the subject line for more information.