It is unrealistic to expect me to have all the answers you need - especially in regards to financial advice, visas and immigration, and career counselling or recruiting insights.
If Fashion sounds like an impossible dream to you, I highly recommend you diversify your research.
The Fashion dream vs the industry reality:
- The most beautiful job in the world: lifting the veil on the Fashion industry, by Giulia Mensitieri (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020)
- TL;DR - No money in their Prada purse by Aya Noel (1Granary issue 6, June 2020)
Career goals & job search:
- 'What Colour is your Parachute?' series: very handy book with the sort of "timeless advice" many self-paced online courses claim to provide - except the book is much cheaper and updated yearly.
Maybe you don't need "more skills", but if you do, the exercises in the book can help you slow down and make a better assessment of your existing qualifications vs. what you ultimately want to achieve.
- Wishcraft - How to get what you really want, by Barbara Sher, aka. the godmother of life coaching: pretty good book to get started, emphasizes building a support network instead of glorifying hustle culture or regurgitating Instagrammable quotes.
The digital version is free.
- Many people like The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron. Not my cup of tea, but should be easy to find a free PDF if you want to have a look.
- Reddit support groups: r/jobs, r/recruitinghell, r/LinkedInLunatics
Because no, your Fashion school will most likely not help you with the seemingly obvious task of writing an appropriate CV. Much less teach you about healthy boundaries in the workplace, or how to spot red flags in a job ad.
What if you keep running into the same toxic environments?
- The Narcissist in Your Life: Recognizing the Patterns and Learning to Break Free by Julie L. Hall (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2019)
- The Narcissist Family Files blog: https://narcissistfamilyfiles.com/
I urge you to read her book/ blog if you gaslight yourself like this:
"When you work with someone as brilliant as he is, there's always a form of abuse, because people like him have such incredible vision, that no one else understand, and they get really frustrated if what they've thought of doesn't get done."
Quote from The most beautiful job in the world: lifting the veil on the Fashion industry by Giulia Mensitieri (chapter 10, pg. 231).
Resources that helped me get out of my mental health rabbit hole
If you do find yourself in a never-ending loop of self-defeating thoughts and behaviours despite your best intentions to make it in Fashion or otherwise: please DO look for support to address these issues!
DO NOT assume they'll be gone if only you can get into that Fashion school, or get a job at that brand, or start your own brand etc etc etc.
- Patrick Teahan LICSW: YouTube channel with excellent content on Toxic Positivity (one of my biggest pet peeves), Codependency, Drama Triangles and Toxic systems (related to families, but also applicable to toxic workplaces etc)
- TheraminTrees: YouTube channel exploring issues around abuse, manipulation, dogma and systems of undue influence.
Cause you gotta be a little brainwashed to fork out £17,000 on a Fashion course where you'll be yelled at like a bratty child...
- Pete Walker's resources on Complex PTSD: being diagnosed with CPTSD allowed me to finally take charge of my life, after almost 2 decades of being hijacked by my underlying anxiety, hopelessness and unmanageable mood swings (courtesy of my suppressed anger at the chaos happening externally in my life, not a by-product of my supposed treatment-resistant depression or because of character flaws)
- Reddit also have amazing mental health support groups
- Avoid any kind of New Age-y spirituality and religion like the plague: it was immensely harmful to be immersed in ideologies that promoted that my issues were a lack of faith or lack of alignment with the right thoughts/ vibrations