OK peeps. In this article, we're going to explore 11 simple ways that you can develop yourself at little or no cost.
There is no point in investing in your future if you have no idea of where you are headed in that future. So figure out what that future looks like and set yourself some goals. We recommend creating a personal vision statement and producing a personal development plan. Sounds boring right? But actually, it's something I bet you'll enjoy doing and get a lot out of. You can sign up here for free and take the course. We give you everything you need to know how to do these.
Don't be afraid of failing. Learn to try new stuff out and accept you will fail. Then review what happened and then try it again. Review how that went and then change something based upon what you learned and then do it again. Keep repeating it until you master it. That's the essence of learning.
So fail quickly because that way you waste less time and can get started on improving next time. failing should be seen as a celebration that you tried something new from which you can learn.
Choose one book a month at least to read that will help you on your journey to your future. You are spoilt for choice in finding reading material. Simply look at your personal development plan and search for books that are going to help you complete that plan. Amazon is the only resource you'll ever need and if you can't afford new then buy used as they're almost as good as new. I never buy new, always new and I can never tell the difference.
Books expand your knowledge base. They give you new insights, new ideas, they can solve problems you have and they can serve to motivate you. One tip I will pass on is that I never read them cover to cover in one go. I take a month or so to complete it and I might have two books on the go at any one time.
If you think you don't have time then only read when you are wasting time. Spend less time on Facebook or Instagram. I once read an entire book in three-minute chunks which I show long it took to zap a microwave meal. I set eh timer and read for three minutes until the meal was done and the bell rang.
There is so much valuable information available online 24/7 waiting for you to tap into that there has never been a better or easier way to learn in the entire human history. And yet most people take it for granted. Instead, borrow insights from these sources and make the most of the free opportunities
These bite-size micro-learning inputs can do wonders for your knowledge base. Here's an example where Designer Jessi Arrington packed nothing for TEDActive but 7 pairs of undies, buying the rest of her clothes in thrift stores around LA.
Do a search for local exhibitions, shows, and museums and see what is worth attending. Museums often having visiting collections or art and costume so keep your eyes open for these. Trade shows might be more difficult for you to get into if still at college but you may be able to get along as a guest with local businesses if you approach them. Find out who is presenting at the exhibitions or shows and see if there is anyone who is speaking and has a presentation you can attend.
You can learn a lot from the biographies and autobiographies of well-known figures in the field of fashion and business. So these should be part of your reading list. But better still is to connect with a mentor who has experience in the field of fashion you are interested in and learn from them. Ask them about their journey to reach their current position. How did they get started, how did they overcome the challenges and setbacks they experienced, and what did they learn from their failures. The answers to these questions will help you to learn some practical approaches to the challenges you will also face on your journey.
Following leadership and business coaches will also give you insights that can help build your pesectives, open your eveys to what leads to success and generally provide you with a broader understanding of the business world and careers. For example watch this short video lip from leadership expet Simon Sinek.
Take as many short online and classroom-based courses as you can. All of these will expand your skills and knowledge and prepare you for the business of fashion, whichever role you pursue. The Fashion Student Hub is adding more material throughout the year to its portfolio so make sure that you are on our mailing list to receive news of course releases and to benefit from pre-launch offers and coupons for early bird students. You can sign up using the red button at the bottom of this page.
Facebook and LinkedIn are two great platforms for developing your professional network. These are used by people for training, brainstorming, sharing ideas, getting feedback, finding support and general networking.We would love to see you in either of our groups so follow the links to join us.
Even if means volunteering or working for zero pay, working with brands great or small can do wonders for your self-esteem, skills. knowledge and confidence. Reach out to retail stores in your town, do a search for young designers just starting out in business and contact them and offer to help them for free a few hours a week. It may be that all you get to do is make the tea, or stack boxes or sweep the floor or pack products. But in doing so you'll learn more, you'll have conversations with people in business, you'll see opportunities and your experience will grow.
If you haven't already signed up to our free course on an advice for a career in fashion design then do so now. We'll guide you through the important steps for completing your vision for your career and life and how to create a personal development plan (sounds boring but it's really, really useful.) Sign up here.
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