At the urging of my assistants, I’ve decided to share more of the personal side of becoming a creative person and working in the fashion industry, versus the usual ads of promotion and marketing of products.
So today let me share with you the many interesting work ethics I observed over the years of those who made it, those who are still in the process of making it, and of those who seem to have made it but not really. What I’m about to say is solely my own personal observation made throughout the years and many situations I experienced. If you do not agree, that’s totally cool. If you agree and would like to share, feel free to comment.
I started out as a fashion intern at 19 and my first gig was working for an ex-Dior model Norine Perreault, who modeled for the real Dior back in the 50’s. Through her and many internships, assistant jobs and more that followed, I noticed that people who are able to hold onto who they are, stick to their moral principles, and be kind to others even if they are wronged or subjected to difficult situations, seem to fly higher than people who are only into their own interests and themselves.
The funny thing about people who are kind, altruistic, and caring of others seem to stumble in the beginning stage of their careers. In fact many are usually mistaken by others as weak, placating, or even indecisive because they seem not to have an opinion of their own and simply go with what others say. Additionally, they do not fight what I call dirty fights with others to gain ahead, albeit it may just be half a foot print in the mud. They do not advance as fast as others and they seem to take a long time to even go anywhere.
Then, somehow something happens and next thing you know they take off with a vengeance, not just as a mere President of a company or GMM of a department. But rather, they become master of their own endeavors, taking over responsibilities that will affect the livelihood of many others. They become the leader of their industry.
For the longest time I couldn’t figure out how people who are ignored or deemed not aggressive or bitchy enough can possibly become the leader of tomorrow, then I realized that’s because they never even bother to play the game according to established rules that don’t work. In fact, they are game changers, and they re-work the game to fit what they consider right, this takes time but patience is usually on their side.
These people make decision base on the grand schema of things, instead of petty office politics or personal interests that fade with time and place. That’s why they do not fight a game not worth fighting for, and they do not fight for an opportunity when they can simply create one themselves. Yes, their intelligence can be lost in their lack of aggression, but in reality what is not said at the moment is not always lost in the long term.
I have the fortune of working with several such people who are at the tip-top most of the fashion pyramid. By working with them closely, I learned that they are kind because they are secure with themselves and do not perceive others as a threat, or thieves who are trying to rob them. They are not afraid to stick to their moral principles because they understand that to make a decision based on – self-interest or money – for a lack of better word- will only get you so far.
You see, people like them have discovered that money is a mere tool whose intrinsic value is what you say it is. But friendship and connections are built and sustained by people who are the masters of money. If you want to move the world, you need to be the master of money not the other way around.
Lastly and most importantly, one of these mentors told me aggression should never be mistaken for assertiveness, and that every man is out there for himself is the biggest misconception that will undermine anyone’s aspiration and career development. The world is inhabited by people and run by people so how long do you think diva-ness will last you or how far will it take you?
A person’s success is not measured by how early and fast he attains certain position, social status, or wealth, but his ability to maintain it till the moment the cascade is sealed.