Sex, design and big egos.

Hello People!

I just got back from an interview in Spain for an international fashion label, the job vacancy is in their homeware design department.

I was surprised at how little interest they had in my portfolio, most of the interview consisted of them voicing their concerns about people not being serious about moving to Spain for the long term and not fitting in with the team. The head of design was a hard nosed (I think they usually are), no-bullshit woman, this is what she had to say to me: “I am not interested in people coming here to learn. Because of your lack of textile experience, if we took you on, you would be getting more out of it than we would, it takes about a year for newbies to become efficient within our system. If we commit to you, you have to commit to us. I want you to seriously think about wether you are willing to plant roots here”.

Obviously it sucks for managers when good people leave. I understand that this is a big pain for her. But people stay at companies they are happy at, so what is the company doing to cause this fast turnover?

This company churns out a stupid amount of product every season. The hours are long. Somebody who used to work there told me to expect to start at 9:30 am and not leave till 8 pm, almost every day. What do you guys think about this? How long is your working day in-house?

Now for the ego part, they said that what happens is that people come to work there thinking that the’re the cats meow, and refuse to adhere to design studio policy (for lack of a better term) because “oh no, I don’t do it like that because blah, blah…” The company hates this because “none of us are bigger than the company, the wheels are in motion and you can’t slow it down”. I get it. Designers can have huge egos, it not about me and my pride, it about the getting the job done on time. OK, fine.

I was also told that the key to working there is to get along with people. If the boss yells at you don’t take it personally. “People who cannot take criticism do not last here, same for people who think they are Designer of the Year when they get a good review”. And never, ever get political. I feel I’ll be OK in this area, when my married professor caused a scandal by having an affair with a fellow classmate I was the only female student that didn’t shun her socially, and did not engage in gossip. I was unaffected in my interactions with him, and because I wasn’t scared of him I treated him like an equal. He still loves me for this.

The only thing I am really concerned about is not working fast enough, and feeling embarrassed if I get yelled at.

I just had to share the content of this interview, what do you guys think? Does it sound like the company has too much baggage? Does any of this stuff sound familiar to you?

Thank you and best!
Cam.

well to be honest, it sounds like they are preparing you for a not so pleasent work environment. But thats just my spontaneous reaction.

However, maybe the predecessor was just overly-sensative.

There’s a difference between being able to take criticism and being treated like a child. Business is business, if people aren’t working up to par, etc…there are civil ways of dealing with that, not yelling at your designer like they’re a kid. That could be the reason for the turnover. All of us have pride in our work and will normally stay as long as it takes to finish something, but if you have a drill sergeant hawking at you on top of the long hours, etc…that doesn’t sound like a nice place to be.
But then again, some people need/like that type of pressure from a person to keep them going. For me, just the pressure of a tight deadline keeps me going. Getting that from a person just makes you want to get back at that person or leave, which is what they may be experiencing if they’re running things with an iron fist. That tactic doesn’t work well with creative types.