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Directory Blog

Sima Kumar Summer Jobs, Fashion Students...

Summer Retail Temp Benefits

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Image Credit: @belart84 via Unsplash

As the academic year winds down students are excited about some well deserved time off from having their head down in books, projects and final exams. Whilst its natural to dream of wearing cute summer rompers and sitting on sandy beaches watching the waves roll in, the reality is, many students need summer work. If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of students who are staying in the city and need to earn extra cash, temping in fashion retail could be your answer.
 
Traditionally, there have been set out cycles for when was a good time to look for jobs and when wasn’t, now with the changing landscape of work and what employees are looking for out of their professional life means students can take advantage of summer temp work while still being able to get to their favourite music festivals or weekends in the countryside. 
 
More than 1.6 million UK workers are now classified as “temporary”. So what are the benefits to a student by joining this growing sector of professionals? Here we list some of the perks of trading in your backpack for Balenciaga for a few months.
 
 
The number one benefit of temp work is flexibility. As millennials dictate a never before seen shift in professional life, it is now possible to fit work in around your life. The added benefit of signing with a recruitment agency on their temp roster is you get to tell the recruiter when you’re available and they will put forward candidates based on their availability, not the other way around. This allows students to balance summer fun while working.
 
 
Temping in the fashion world equates to gaining experience in a variety of areas key to business. Regardless of what you’re studying, the experience gained during this time becomes invaluable. Directory Temps have been able to secure work year after year once establishing a relationship with the agency. The team directly coaches candidates so they are always putting their best foot forward. Temps who perform at a high level can often go from assisting with inventory to providing support for special events and personal shopping to high profile clients. This directly leads to the next benefit, getting a foot in the door. 
 
As the fashion industry becomes a leading part of the UK economy, the playing field gets tough. The city attracts students from all over the world who aspire to be the next Stella McCartney or Edward Enninful. Whether your dreams lie in design, styling or editorial, everyone starts on the shop floor. Creating meaningful relationships as you build your skills during summer work make lasting impressions on key decision makers. 
 
Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash
 
Try before you buy. It’s not uncommon for students who sign on with Directory to come into the agency adamant they are clear on their career path. Many want to become buyers as they see buyers jet around the world sitting front row at fashion weeks and fulfilling orders. Many forget that math is 80% of the job. Being in the retail environment it’s not uncommon for someone to realise what they really love is merchandising. London is home to some of the most world-renowned department stores in the world. Just one walk by Selfridges and you’ll see that window dressing can lead to a career with world-class awards and accolades. Changing your mind is natural and knowing you can pivot your studies because of work experience, makes going back to school much less stressful.
 
It’s no secret London attracts world-class influencers and celebrities. As the landscape of fashion becomes more married to celebrities due to social media, retailers in London, especially those within the luxury sector, invest heavily in events. As permanent staff and fixed-term contract roles use the summer to book time off, temp staff can leverage this to their advantage. Especially for those looking to get into PR and Events. Whereas a temp worker could be asked to provide customer service presence the day of the event, the briefings required to keep all key staff informed of all the moving parts exposes a student to the complexities on what goes into making an event or celebrity launch a raving success. This isn’t something that can be taught in theory.
 
Lastly, it’s not uncommon for temp roles to continue year to year as students who make lasting positive impressions often create relationships with retail management. This often leads to retailers asking for individuals, thus taking the stress off of having to ‘look for a summer job’. Also, after graduation, oftentimes, this leads to a permanent role. In the UK and Europe, retail is seen and experienced more as a career. Whereas the shop floor can be the stepping stone, the possibilities of the role you can land in and enjoy a meaningful and financially lucrative career, are truly endless.
 
If you would like to explore the benefits of being a retail temp, email info@directory-group.com and ask to speak to one of the team.