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East CEO Erica Vilkauls' three rules for starting out in fashion

East CEO Erica Vilkauls shares some of her tips for success in the fashion industry.

Speaking at today’s Drapers Next Generation, East CEO Erica Vilkauls gave delegates three simple but important rules for career success.

1 Be dogged and determined

Vilkauls stressed the importance of being determined to be successful in today’s tough fashion industry. Everyone gets rejected, she said, recalling a time when she was turned down for an early role and was left wondering whether she should consider an alternative career. The same kind of grit is needed to progress. Vilkauls described becoming a director as one of the hardest parts of her career, using her experience in many roles in the industry to stay ahead of the competition.

2 Protect your personal brand

Social media is increasingly important for retailers – in more ways than one. Vilkauls urged those just starting out, or even those looking for a new job, to careful about how they use social media and what they post. It is tempting to share everything with your friends, but don’t forget who else might be looking. Vilkauls said that all retailers will Google prospective employees and urged delegates to think about what they post on social media and make sure platforms such as Linkedin project the right image.

3 Don’t just follow the money

How often you should change jobs was a popular question from the audience at the Drapers Next Generation. Pay rises are always tempting, but Vilkauls was clear that there must be more behind a career move than money. Making the decision to move on from a job is a big one, and needs to be thought about carefully, she said.


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