Millennials, Don't Wait For Graduation To Start Your Career
Career Development

Don't Wait For A Four-Year Degree To Start Your Career, Get Started Now

When you start your career is up to you, not when you graduate, or when someone grants you permission.

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Mya Weatherby

Since I was a little girl, I wanted to be in the fashion world. My desire for a long time was to become a fashion designer because I loved to sketch clothes and put different outfits together. For that time, that made sense to me. As I got older, I realized how much work it would take to design clothes on a daily basis, being one to two seasons ahead of the world, that just seemed too far of a dream. I am now attending college to receive a fashion merchandising degree to pursue a career in fashion. This decision, I can say is one of the best and most challenging decisions I've made in my life, but definitely worth it.

Growing up I didn't have a lot growing up and I learned the value of appreciating what you have instead of focusing on what you didn't. I was raised with an understanding that having big dreams is a great thing and if there is something that I was passionate about, especially for a career, then I need to make sure to do everything I can to get where I needed and desired to be in the future. I applied this to my dream of becoming a part of the fashion industry. All my life it has been the only thing I've ever truly wanted. I believed and still believe I will/am a part of what is known as the fashion Industry.

As social media grew into what it is today, I soon began to realize that there are so many other people going after the same thing I am, and I started to question if I was even good enough to want this all for myself. I questioned if I could ever stand out and be someone in this giant business. My mom always tried to tell me how I should've started earlier and younger so I would have that go for me because there were so many kids doing exactly what I had been dreaming to do already. But I eventually made a conscious decision to push through and find my voice in the industry, believing in the goals I had for myself and my life.

With these goals in mind, I knew it meant I had to work towards them and that is exactly what I started to do. As silly as it may sound, I began to watch "Project Runway" and "America's Next Top Model." Yes, they are reality shows but I took the time and still do, to gather information and educate myself on what is happening in the industry with keeping up with the world of modeling, social media, photography, film, acting, and so much more, just so I can be the best I can be in the world of fashion.

Starting at 16 years old, I was working in retail to build up work experience early giving me more time to prepare for what was ahead of me. Starting my first job and being in retail, really opened my eyes to how the business works on a day to day level. when it comes to just the general idea of customer service and how important it is to have great customer service so you can create a great bond with people which then creates a sense of loyalty between the customer and the brand. My first job gave me an idea of all of the hard work it takes to just keep a store up to date and all of the responsibilities that come with being a salesperson.

Then, after graduating from high school, I moved to a different store remaining in retail, where now it was learning about the branding of a store and who there overall target market was, and that was a great period of growth and education of the everyday movement of fashion. There is became about presenting myself as the brand and showing the customers the brand experience when they walked into the store just by the way I may greet them or the clothes I was wearing. This was all again costumer focused of course. Understanding the consumer is one of the biggest things I have learned through my retail experience and that will not be true. Throughout the time at being at that particular store, I grew a voice in the brand itself, they wanted me to stay and work my way up in the business.

That showed me not only what you know, but who you know, is very valuable when trying to up and forward.

Now headed to college as a freshman, I had some experience under my belt and felt I had a good foundation, possibly enough to really have a chance to stand out. Let's just say I was wrong. After my first semester, I realized I honestly really wasn't pushing myself in the industry. I wasn't applying my knowledge. Something I will never forget that most fashion people say is that "you need to make a name for yourself before you need a name for yourself" and it all clicked for me. I needed to start doing things and using what I know to make a name for myself and help me have my voice in this world. So, I went straight to social media and youtube to figure out how to brand myself and how to get into the business of becoming an influencer.

I am now closing in on my second year of being a fashion student and I have learned more about the fashion industry than I could've ever imagined. I have started a youtube channel, branded myself as a fashion and lifestyle influencer on social media, I communicate with brands and fashion experts for advice and opportunity. Every day I am doing something in preparation for when I do graduate and to promote my career right now, because that kind of thinking can actually be what gets you that job you want right after you do get that degree in my case.

What you do now and the early stages of life can and will affect your career path in some way and how you go about it and when you start that path is up to you and no one else. I chose to take my first steps into my career because my career is not in the future, it's right now. Instead of being reactive with our careers, we should be proactive to prepare for what is ahead.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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