Fashion is everywhere. From the clothes on the racks of Walmart to Nordstrom, everyone interacts with fashion in some way. Yet despite this widespread consumerism, there is still a judgment cast on those wanting to pursue fashion as a career. As someone who has hesitated to admit I wanted to work in fashion, I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t apologize for wanting a non-traditional career.
I knew I wanted to work in fashion when I was 11-years-old. I was sitting on the couch with my mom watching cycle five of America’s Next Top Model. I remember watching the models working at a photoshoot thinking ‘I want to do that’.
Since then, fashion has always been in my life even when I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with it. I thought I wanted to be a designer and went so far as applying for a fashion program at The Art Institute. Then I realized I hated sewing. When I found out that fashion journalism was a legitimate career path, everything clicked into place.
My family and friends supported my serious interest in fashion, but I have had my fair share of experience with people who were dismissive of my career aspirations. That’s partly why I decided to create fashion blogs in secret.
It’s this dismissiveness, and worse, lack of support of creative jobs and industries, that result in people not pursuing their passion. Society has an uncanny way of telling us what is and isn’t okay in a set of rules that haven’t changed since the 50s. It’s okay for us to work creatively outside of nine to five hours, but that’s it.
Why should we sacrifice our happiness for a society that is unsupportive of our dreams?
Creative fields like fashion, movies, books, and art are very successful in widespread popular communities, and economically. Yet this success is completely overlooked by anyone not interested in these fields.
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If you have a passion for something, there is a strong likelihood that you can turn that into a successful business and career. There are so many examples from Alexander McQueen to Edgar Allen Poe who had nothing, were ridiculed for their work, and are now consider legends in their respective fields.
Never, ever apologize for wanting to pursue a non-traditional career. Society is quick to take us down early on and then celebrate our success when we finally make it. You are the only one that will have to live with your career choice. What you choose to do in this part of your life will not directly impact your friends or family.
By apologizing or being hesitant to admit you want a non-traditional career, you are apologizing for being yourself. There are so many people working a dead-end job because they believed the status quo when it told them their hobbies would never be anything more than that.
Anyone that has a passion for something knows the burning desire you get to create something. If this creative side is shut down, so is part of your happiness. All you need is this passion and motivation to succeed in anything you set your mind to.
I know the path towards your end goal is not always clear and that is scary. But the magic is in your journey.
If the path to your creative or non-traditional job isn’t clear-cut, make your own and prove everyone wrong in the process. It’s time we fiercely supported jobs in creative fields and stop apologizing for wanting to be one of the lucky ones in that position. Society isn’t worth sacrificed dreams.