Wow. Wow. Wow. A year ago life looked totally different. I cannot believe I’ve been at my current job for a year.
February 10th, 2020.
I remember waking up like a little kid on Christmas. Probably more excited now that I think about it.
That Monday was the day I started a brand new chapter. I was starting a role at Lou & Grey.
why lou & grey?
I remember when my sister and I went into LOFT years ago (I think in like 2014), and she told me about this cool sub-brand called Lou & Grey. The styles were casual and comfortable. My sister was a BIG fan, so I remember stealing the pieces she bought.
Fast forward to 2020, and I began working for the company. At the time when I started, Lou & Grey was its own, freestanding brand. We had 10+ locations and we were the ultimate shop for the cool girl. In my head, I’m 1000000% the Lou & Grey customer. I always have been. Now, we’re back at LOFT and working on truly separating the Lou & Grey girl from everyone else. Let me tell you about Lou & Grey.
Our brand is built on neutrals with pops of color that are fun, appropriate, and exciting. “Lou” just has such a cool/tomboy feel to it, and “Grey” is soft, welcoming. At Lou & Grey we PRIDE ourselves on the FEEL of our clothes. We love giving you those cool girl styles with touches of femininity sprinkled in. So in reality, our name is just perfect for what we produce. Our Lou & Grey girl can be ANYONE. I think we’re all about the feeling and mindset…we want you to approach life the way YOU want. We want you to be stylish, but also super cool and relaxed. Age ain’t nothin’ but a number to us.
how i landed my role
I was feeling REAL stuck in my job at Free People. I wasn’t doing anything I loved, and I was being severely affected by the toxic work environment. Seriously, I was just an angry human ALL. OF. THE. TIME because of it.
Then, I remember on January 1st, 2020, I went to a yoga and intention setting class at Pure Yoga.
I had been all over the Internet trying to find ANYTHING. I applied to all sorts of brands, had a couple of interviews, but nothing really stuck. At the end of the day, I wasn’t super upset because I still had a job. Then, one day I saw an opening at ANN INC. A friend of mine worked for the company, so I reached out to her to see if she could pass along my resume while I applied. A few days later, I had heard back from HR letting me know that the position was for Lou & Grey.
I think my heart actually skipped a beat. I went through the interview process and found out I got the job a week or two later.
If you’re job searching, I’ve realized that it’s truly about CONNECTIONS. Sure, things happen randomly or through usual application process, but I landed all three of my jobs via connections. That’s my BIGGEST takeaway and biggest piece of advice. Make connections with everyone and anyone. You just never know when something will come from it.
doing your job in a pandemic
A big part of my job is collaboratively creating an assortment with a million different teams. So that was pretty much stripped away from me only 1 month into starting my job. I’ll be honest, the first few months were hard because I had NO idea what I was doing. I felt very useless, and almost guilty that I wasn’t furloughed. It was definitely a strange time. Overall, I think I just had to learn how to do my job quicker than normal. I had to rely on myself and ask any questions that came to mind. Of course, that sounds totally normal when you’re in your typical setting. But unfortunately, with WFH, I had to either set up calls with people, and it’s just a lengthier process.
While it’s nice to feel like you’re learning on your own, I’d MUCH rather have learned in my office. I would have been able to TRULY get to know our product and the teams I work with. It’s definitely a bummer, but it was cool to realize that I can STILL do my job while working from home. I can STILL learn. I can STILL be good at my job.
Working from home almost made me work harder, in a way. I felt like I had more to prove. And a year later, I am still learning. I remember my first boss ever told me that it really does take a full year to start feeling comfortable in your role. And that’s held true for every role I’ve had.
when you’re stuck in your job
When I was at Free People, I was doing something I really, really did not love. I’m pretty sure I started to look for new jobs three weeks after I started there. I ultimately decided to stick it out until AT LEAST a year (which was a blessing, obviously).
If you’re feeling stuck in your current job, or just know you’re looking for something else, here are my biggest pieces of advice:
- Find someone to lean on I was VERY fortunate that I had two amazing coworkers that got me through a rough time. Now, you definitely need to be careful about who you trust with work information, but I will just say that I would have NOT survived if it weren’t for the two of them. We were on the same team, so we had the same experiences. We leaned on each other when there was BS, annoying instances, and just overall unhappiness. We actually all ended up getting out within three months of each other. If you’re stuck or unhappy — lean on your best friend, parent, mentor, or even an old coworker.
- Do NOT give up on finding your dream job Sure, we all have different paths. Your dream job doesn’t happen overnight. It took me six years to find my dream job. At the end of the day, every experience that leads you to your dream job happens for a reason. While I didn’t love what I was doing at Free People, I still learned a lot of things that I utilize in my job today.
- It’s OK if your dream changes I think we harp so much on being consistent. I think we want to follow through SO badly, that we’re afraid to change our minds. I think as we get older and as our experiences happen, it’s fair for our dreams to change.