I have been toying with the idea of writing this post for a few weeks now, and I thought now was a good time to do it.

As the title suggests, I wanted to tell you about why I left my job in fashion as it has been a big part of my life journey and a huge learning curve for me; so I thought it would be good to share it with you guys.

So some of you I know have been following me for years now, since I first established my blog around 4 years ago. Around 9 months into blogging I was offered a job within a very big high street fashion brand which took centre stage in my life for the following two and a half years.

I cannot tell you how excited I was to be offered this position. I never dreamed that in my lifetime I would ever get to work within the fashion industry and in London; let alone within such a popular high street name.  

Within my time there I worked my way up from a studio assistant, being the run around for the in-house photography studios; to an ecommerce stylist, styling the products and models for their website. I will write a blog post about how I got into the industry and what it was like to work within fashion another time, but I can tell you now that it was a really great experience.

So I guess you are all thinking, ‘Well if you loved it so much; why did you leave’?

Well it wasn’t the easiest decision I have made in my life. I spent weeks and weeks thinking about whether to do it or not; and after a few weekends chewing the ears off of my parents about the decision; I concluded that it was time to hand in my notice.

There were a few reasons that culminated together to determine this decision. I am someone who likes to look ahead and plan ahead. I had to live in London in order to work there as it was too far from my home town to commute every day. Reality struck when I got myself to a decent wage but could still only afford to rent a tiny room in a big shared house. I eventually moved a bit further out of London to get more living space for my money, but then I had the extra travel fare so I couldn’t really win. I can write a post about what living in London is like for anyone interested?

I realised that to remain working in fashion, I would have to compensate my living quality for what could be the rest of my life. The cost of living is extortionate. As much as I absolutely adore London, this was not something I was willing to settle for.  The idea of living via my credit card like most people I knew was scary, depressing and never an option I would ever consider myself. I wanted a nice home and a nice car that I owned myself, a couple of holidays every year and I wanted to get my wages at the end of the month and know that I could spend the majority of it on myself and not simply on living. I totally get how people are happy to substitute all of this for life in the big city, because it really is a big social hub and perfect for creative people; but it just wasn’t enough to make me want to stay.

Therefore my decision to leave was inevitable, and I decided to take the skills I had gained from employment to create my own career. It was time to go at it alone and see how far I could go that way!

So here I am, 6 months down the line and I have this blog which is my favourite thing right now. I love blogging and I really missed it in the years I had to give it up. I am also freelance styling which means I am in and out of London all the time and still get to do the same job but working for myself. Styling part-time means I can just do the commute from my home town as its not every day, which is great. I am so grateful for the job I had at such an amazing company and I now have friends for life from there. However my time is now focused on building up my business freelance styling and blogging; and saving for my future.

That’s not to say that everyone in London, working in fashion should leave. London is incredible for anyone wanting to work in the fashion industry as everything is on your doorstep and there are lots of amazing opportunities. If it’s for you, you will know. So many people fall in love with the city and can’t imagine being anywhere else which is great! I felt a little pressured to continue on because others were totally fine living there for life. However you have to listen to your own mind and my mind was telling me it wasn’t right for me and that my goals would be so much harder to achieve whilst living there.

What I wanted to portray in this post is basically that if you are not happy with something then change it. This could be something to do with your job, a relationship, a course at uni; even down to your wardrobe! I had a really glamorous job which killed me to give up, but it was definitely the right decision and I would not go back on that decision now. I have adapted things to work for me. I have created my own job in fashion, working for myself. It is going to take time for things to get on their feet but as long as I work hard, I will get where I want; and that applies to you too! Chase your dreams and don’t settle for anything less.

I am wearing all New Look in this post and have linked an alternative outfit from New Look below as I couldn't find it online, however my outfit is still in stores! (Boots are an old River Island purchase, but they have similar ones at the moment or New Look have a version linked below.)

Charnelle x

Written by charnellegardiner

5 Comments

Karina

So relating to this post right now! I decided to leave London after 3 years of working in fashion. It was really hard at first because I was finally getting to where I wanted to be, networking and getting more opportunities. But I totally burnt myself out… I had no money, I was living on someone else’s sofa and I couldn’t afford any holidays despite working 7 days a week! Now I’m back in my hometown, I’ve bought my own house, have a full-time job and own a car. My goal is to eventually work for myself so I will keep this post in mind when I feel a bit like I failed and should of stuck it all out, thanks for the goals/inspiration! xx

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charnellegardiner

Aw its so nice to hear from someone who has had a similar experience to me, thanks so much for sharing! You are so right, its the land of opportunity but there are also so many barriers that come with them opportunities. Your story has also given me faith that what I am doing is right as you have achieved the things I want to achieve post London lol. Thanks for commenting xx

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Jimi the Phoenix

I loved reading this. I’ve been reading your blog for years now and it’s interesting to learn more about your experience in the fashion industry as it is something that so many people strive for. Well done to you for being brave and making a difficult decision in leaving your job. Also I’ve really been loving your blog lately and am looking forward to your future content 🙂

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charnellegardiner

Thank you! Its so nice to hear from people who are reading my blog, especially those who have followed me for a long time so thank you for commenting! I was a little nervous writing this but the response has been brilliant and I feel better for writing it. So pleased you are enjoying my blog, I am so happy to be blogging again. Looking forward to more chats 🙂 xx

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tbymallano

I would love to read more about life in London Charnelle! It was courageous of you to leave your job. I am at the same stage right now, my work offers me some mediocre comfort, I have to search for a new one and it is so scary. Love following your journey.
Have a great afternoon!
Cheers,
Tatjana
https://tbymallano.com/

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