Convincing Parents for a Career in Design
Updated: Jan 4
As much as we board the path of modernism and globalization, our country, India is still navigating its way to acceptance for a few careers. One is a career in design or fashion design. Although things are looking a lot different than what they did years ago, there are still gaps to fill. Today, people are open to considering design jobs as a lucrative career option, which it definitely can be. They are also open to counting it as a good career path as opposed to the olden times, where it was nothing but a ‘hobby’ in many people’s eyes. But, as things change for the fashion industry and in turn, for fashion aspirants, one dilemma still remains to be relevant–convincing parents to support your career choice and direction.
As a country where traditional professions like medicine, finance and engineering thrive and are put on a pedestal, it can get tricky to seek support for unconventional paths like fashion. But, what was once simply considered as a hobby and a career path meant only for people with industry connections and Bollywood, it is now a raging career option for all kinds of people. Age, background, and region no bar!
But, being a slightly non-traditional path with many myths around it, fashion still takes a whole lot of convincing to parents. When we say convincing, we don’t encourage doing so with false facts or baseless conjectures. And, you won’t even need to resort to that because we’ve got fool-proof and strong ways to be certain of your career choice first and then confidently, convincing your parents for it. Here you go!
Source : Danielle Machlnnes on Unsplash 1. Do Your Homework First
Let’s forget the whole ‘convincing parents strategy’ for a moment and let’s truly think. Are you certain that you want to pursue a career in this field? Are you yourself certain that it has a shiny future? Are you willing to go through the rough patches that come with every career, including fashion too? Do you understand the salary and scope of a career in fashion design yourself? Ask yourself these questions. Chances are that you may not have the answers to them, which is okay. But, this just means that you yourself have to be fully prepared and ready with these queries and understand them to be able to convince your parents. Because well, if you aren’t sure of these, how will your parents be?
As much as we hope they would be a little more open-minded about these things, we can’t really blame them for these apprehensions around a fashion career, can we? After all, they do want to make sure you’re headed towards a financially secure and stable career. Now, the good news is that fashion can be a financially advantageous career that is also long-lasting. But, it takes more than just an education in it. So, the takeaway is that you must do your homework first and understand all the different angles of a career in design before you reach out to your parents. Here’s how you can get started!
- Find your niche by exploring various options
Before you head to the parents for permission, make sure you are backed by a concrete plan of sorts. What part of fashion do you want to explore and dive into? Is that career truly resonating with your values, vision, and skills? Are you equipped to delve into it? Make sure you have all these answers ready by exploring your options and narrowing down to a specific career in fashion and a niche too. Read on the fashion careers available to you, research on them, maybe pursue short online workshops/courses on them to identify if your interest really lies in it.
Because more often than not, we may show interest in a particular profession but may not really like the actual workings of it. So, explore your options, research and understand what your shortlisted choices are really about, and then try to identify your niche. Say, you’ve decided you want to get into fashion designing or styling, but what kind of a designer or stylist exactly do you want to be? Though, it is fair to not have these introspective answers handy already because for many of us, these answers may get clear with time. - Reach out and seek guidance from professionals
Once you have some clarity on what direction in fashion you want to take, you can refine that knowledge and understanding with some professional guidance. We’re sure that by now, you’ll probably have a series of doubts and questions ready to be answered. And, not all of them can be answered by the internet. This is where mentors, career counsellors, and other professional figures come into play.
Reach out to a professional who can understand your background, aspirations, financial and other considerations, and then help you fill the gaps. Alternatively, reach out to experts whom you admire and find approachable on platforms like LinkedIn or Instagram. They can help you with hands-on tips and advice to help you make decisions better.
- Read and research on the industry scope and salary
Read books, magazines, research studies, articles, and other materials to understand the scope of your chosen fashion career. Yearly updates on how a career has been expanding and how it is likely to expand is also a great way to estimate its scope. Moreover, it can also be helpful in determining the kind of salary you can expect in a field. Having said that, it is important to understand that for every career, salary starts low and gradually rises based on your performance, work, educational background, and other factors. 2. Introduce Your Parents to the Field
While you do your research and are ready to at least put out the word to your parents about your interest in fashion, you can also start introducing them to the industry. Show them research articles or take them to seminars, or conferences on discussions on a career in fashion design, or even to educational fairs. This will help them at least become familiar with your choice and also help them become open to it as they see the scope in it themselves.
Source: Nick Morrison on Unsplash 3. Craft a Plan for Yourself
Now, it’s finally time to take a step up and get set started with convincing your parents, so you can kick-start your dream fashion career journey. But, for them to really believe in the path that you have chosen like you do, you need to have your facts, research-based statements, and a plan ready. By a plan, we mean carve out a rough blueprint of sorts–what kind of a fashion career you’re thinking of, what kind of a fashion professional you want to become, what’s the scope and salary in that particular field, and how you plan on pursuing that.
This includes your immediate plan, which is what fashion schools and courses are on your mind, what is their fee like, what kind of placement opportunities do they offer, etc. Having these details and the next step carved out for you may not only help you convince your parents but also help them really understand your dream career.
Source: Ian Schneider on Unsplash Final Takeaway
So, to sum it up, your parents can be of great support for your dream career in fashion design but for that to happen, they need to be convinced that it’s the right decision. And, how do you do that? Well, first put your research mode on and deep-dive into some introspection, books, research articles, short online workshops, courses, etc, to understand what exactly you want to do in fashion.
Then, speak to a professional counsellor or a mentor to refine that knowledge and understanding, followed by collecting facts and figures that prove that yes, fashion is a lucrative career. Once you have it all, you can begin to show it all to your parents, maybe even give them a hint into the industry by taking them to educational fairs and seminars. Conclusion? Let the fashion industry win their heart and support for real reasons, and your passion and commitment to it.