Northwest Job search
November 16, 2008 10:31 PM   Subscribe

How do I get my friend a high level job in fashion in the northwest? Must earn at least $200k.
posted by emberm to Work & Money (13 answers total)
1. Ensure friend has a skill set that would be needed in the fashion world
2. Have friend narrow down more - design, product manager, developer, contract manager, marketing, colorist, customer service, sales, support services
3. Have friend go to school and network and intern and work for years at less thsn $200k jobs.
4. Encourage friend to use her contacts from 3 to get job.
5. Make sure that friend is visible so that a headhunter (likely at the $200k level) can find her/him.
posted by k8t at 10:41 PM on November 16, 2008

What are his or her qualifications? I know someone with a degree in Fashion Design degree from Parsons and she only makes $40k working in a fabric store. And that's in NYC.

Most jobs in that range are found through networking.
posted by delmoi at 10:43 PM on November 16, 2008

You could get a job as CEO of some kind of fashion business, then hire your friend.

Honestly, much more detail is needed for anyone to give you real information, I think. And even then, there might not be much help to offer.
posted by amtho at 10:46 PM on November 16, 2008

if your friend was qualified to be earning $200k in pretty much every industry, especially creative ones, your friend would a) probably already have a good network and b) headhunters would already have their name. it's one of those things where if you have to ask how to do it, it's probably not an option anywhere in the near future.
posted by lia at 10:50 PM on November 16, 2008 [5 favorites]

k8t's step 3 is pretty much the answer:

3. Have friend go to school and network and intern and work for years at less thsn $200k jobs.

At that level, you are probably looking at finding jobs via personal contacts, insider knowledge, or via elite recruiters/placement agencies. The first two can only be obtained by working your way up through the industry, and the latter aren't the sort of people you just send your resume into. They target and woo the people they are interested in, generally with very specific positions already in mind. (Their process, as I understand it, works like this: BigCorp goes to them in order to fill a high-level vacancy; the recruiter researches the industry and comes up with a list of possible candidates; candidates are approached discreetly and interest is gauged; interested candidates are vetted and interviewed; finally a placement is made.)

If this is a long-term life coaching project, where I think I'd start out is by researching some of the people already in jobs that interest your friend. Find out where they worked previously, or at least where they went to school — many people in visible positions will have that much in an official bio; not much digging required. I suspect that if you start looking at bios or resumes, you'll start seeing commonalities. Although it's dangerous to think that anything can be a blueprint for success, that would at least be a starting point.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:15 PM on November 16, 2008

As someone who works fixing computers at a fashion based company, I can say that none of them are in the position to risk $200k on someone in the current environment who does not have a very impressive style and resume.

Most companies are not hiring on new staff right now, and if they were, it would be as a result of turnover, and the search would be conducted by other creatives in the company throwing leads to HR. Most folks I have seen who are in any position to get paid 200K or more were brought on by reputation and connections (as in: this person used to work for XYZ in this position, we need them here).

Many places do have contractors who they hire on for in-determinate lengths of time, and some they pay a lot of money for, but again, these are positions that require more than a good cover letter and a nice resume. Even contractors are pulled in from a social network basis. I've run across old clients from other jobs who closed down their own companies and worked as freelancers getting work because they went to highschool with one of the employees at my current office.

So your answer is: if you need to ask, it probably is not going to happen.
posted by mrzarquon at 11:39 PM on November 16, 2008

Which northwest? The Pacific Northwest? Have you seen us here? I'd be very surprised if anybody were making $200k in fashion here. So, my answer: marry into Microsoft money, and dabble in fashion.
posted by hades at 11:42 PM on November 16, 2008 [2 favorites]

I don't know a lot of people here in Seattle that are making $200K, and the ones who are are college deans, lawyers, doctors, and higher ups at MSFT. So I have a hard time seeing how someone in fashion here is going to crack $200K.

As well, the Seattle fashion industry is Eddie Bauer, Nordstrom, and (in its specialized way) REI. EB is struggling to stay afloat, Nordstrom is probably going to have to cut back, and fashion at REI is all about retailoring Gor-Tex. I don't think Portland is much better.

Pretty much what mrzarquon said -- if she has the reputation, then the headhunter will call. But even then, I'd be surprised to see her get an offer out here; I think the $200K jobs are going to be in NY or LA.
posted by dw at 12:00 AM on November 17, 2008

Your friend might have to start his/her own company.
posted by paperzach at 12:11 AM on November 17, 2008

As someone in the apparel / fashion industry I would echo what others have said above concerning networking and qualifications. If your friend is in that salary bracket then they already have the name of any prospective employers in their cell-phone address book.

They would also know that players in that league are thin on the ground in the NW and that very few folks are making any moves in this climate.
posted by Umhlangan at 5:22 AM on November 17, 2008

we know nothing about your friends qualifications, age, previous employment history, which usually suggests there isn't any. in that case the chances are close to nothing.

if 200k is what you require your friend to make, date someone else.
posted by krautland at 5:48 AM on November 17, 2008

I think we could use some detail here, especially in terms of the "Must earn at least $200k". Why is that? Does she or he have a family member in need of 24-hour care or enormous debts? In that case I think your friend needs to look for alternative care options or refinance the debts in order to get lower monthly payments, because the odds of him or her landing a job at that salary level are virtually nil.

In job seeking one absolutely must have a realistic sense of market values and his or her own relative worth. Naivete and/or a sense of entitlement doesn't go over well in job interviews. A friend of mine used to go on in a lofty way about how it "wasn't worth her while" to switch jobs for less than $10K more and she didn't want to have to work anywhere that required more than a (20 minute public) transit commute. She told headhunters, "$10K more and downtown, or don't call me." So they didn't call her. Most people don't get huge pay increases when they change jobs, and sometimes it takes several lateral moves before you can get a promotion.
posted by orange swan at 6:19 AM on November 17, 2008

When I was younger making big money in the "fashion industry as a "model"was a euphemism for making money as "a call girl with rich clients". See everyone above - not exactly the fashion hub of anywhere (unless you count MEC and REI)!
posted by Country Dick Montana at 7:17 PM on November 17, 2008

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