the good life

I have a dream.

All I want is the good life.

See, I already have it pretty good. I have the good boyfriend, the good studio, the good family. The last piece of the puzzle is the good job.

I don’t care about prestigious job titles, big fancy companies, or even what category of sewn products I work in. I don’t want to move away to London or New York and work for some famous designer for nothing, and have to give up my beautiful studio to live in a matchbox.

I don’t care about having the “cool” job. Being a designer is not my top priority at this point.

I just want a steady job at an established sewn products company, a boss I respect, a clean working environment, and a short commute. I want to gain a practical understanding of how the apparel industry does business. I want a steady paycheck for a few years so I can pay off my student loans. I want to be treated well.

Is this really so unusual? When I express these things I get the gamut of reactions from disbelief to disappointment that I will be wasting my potential. I don’t get why my dream seems so hard to understand.

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11 thoughts on “the good life”

  1. it isn’t so unusual. as i am in roughly the same boat in terms of what one wants out of life, when you don’t want to power job/title/ridiculous salary; people look at you as if you have a lack of ambition. a lack of drive. which isn’t true. what drives a person or where their ambitions lie may not be where everyone else finds it… i don’t think it’s so strange to want something that others do not understand. it isn’t for them, it’s for you…

  2. I can totally understand where you are coming from. People have expected a lot of me my whole life. They always say, “oh you’re going to be some big fashion designer someday” and I say, “but what if that isn’t what I want??”

    They don’t really get it. But, I say, just keep working towards your dreams, because the most natural human emotion is to want to be safe and happy. AND whatever that means to you, however you see it happening, is what is right for you.

    I don’t want to move far away either. People talk about that “certain company” that everyone thinks will offer me a job in LA. And if they did? Would I really want to uproot my life to move all the way across North America? Would that mean that I am not taking the “big risks” to become “great” in my field? I don’t know and I don’t care.

    Right now, I love my situation. I would like a bigger apartment, maybe to make a little more cash, but I have the best boyfriend in the world, and my family is relatively closeby.

    I guess what I am trying to say is your situation is very understandable… and that you will be amazingly successful when you realize your personal dreams, and not everyone elses.

  3. I totally understand where you are coming from Danielle. My dream isn’t working for a big design company where I work a million hours a week and I am stressed to the limit. I just want to work for a decent company and gain some experience and be paid reasonably well, and eventually own a little shop of my own. I also want to stay right here in Ontario. My boyfriend and I recently almost had to make a decision to move to California. He was going through an interview process with Google and after weeks of interviews we both knew that we didn’t really want to move far away. We like it here close to family and friends. We both want careers that treat us well and pay us reasonably well but also give us time to enjoy life. Money isn’t everything…..and doesn’t always lead to happiness.

  4. I actually find myself in the exact same boat as you are, and wanting the exact same thing. I think it’s more important that we get what *we* want rather than what will make others happy, since after all, we’re the ones who have to live the life. With the fashion industry in particular, people who aren’t in the industry often think there are only two careers: designers and sweatshop workers. When I was a production coordinator at a manufacturer of baby clothing, everyone always asked me if I worked in a sweatshop. Nothing could be further from the truth, but I think people pitied me anyway.

  5. ok, keep in mind that i am totally ambitious, with all the crazy short term and long term goals to follow, but i totally agree with all these amazing comments, especially with what Christy said. I actually wish that I would be able to relax, unwind, de-stress from my constant to-do list and I think that you are probably more normal to want a steady job, and to of course work with great people. so, I in fact think that you really if your happy that’s all that truly matters and I still think that no matter what your talent will be noticed and you’ll for sure be successful in any endeavour you undertake.

  6. coming from a completely different industry, i totally understand. i chose to go work someplace where i could respect the people i was working for and be respected, instead of the firm with the biggest name. Accordingly, I had a fabulous summer there and am looking forward to returning after my clerkship ends.

    Jobs are not life. Thats something I’ve learned and I’m not that old. I think the fact that you are putting real life first says much about what a good person you are.

  7. Well, ok. I agree with your post and applaud it…in theory.

    But it seems to me not perfectly honest. Are you distinguishing between what your full desires are and what you think you could realistically achieve and would be content with? Are you not pursuing these opportunities because you’re completely not interested or because you’re afraid to take the risk and potentially be unsuccessful?

    I mean, a second interview does not a job offer make…

  8. Hi Girl,

    My stated goal is to gain production and manufacturing experience. As it is I am potentially unsuccessful at achieving that, though I persist. My interest is piqued re: this second interview. What second interview was are referring to?? Just tell me when and where and I’ll be there =D

    What makes you think I haven’t pursued these opportunities?  Maybe what I saw didn’t fill me with desire…

    My full desire? Someday, when I’m grown up and old, I’d like a big studio in the woods. I’ll be a writer and part of my job is to travel the world researching and the rest is spent in my gorgeous studio, ten times more gorgeous than this, writing and illustrating my little heart out to make my daily bread.

    I’ll have a dog, a big porch and a garden.

    Okay, step back. How to get there? I’m young, and I have no money for land or to build a studio. In fact I am in the red.

    I need to work. What am I interested in working at?

    Apparel Manufacturing, Production, Fashion, everything in between.

    One caveat: I do not drive. For this reason many jobs are simply off-limits to me. Though I have much else to offer, this one logistical limit creates some difficulty.

    So I’m looking for a job to suit myself.

    Also I’m kind of partial to companies that seem to have their act together. I’m partial to nicely maintained studios, a sense of order. So much of my experience has been kind of ad-hoc and I’m so tired of having no established standards or ineptly attempting to establish standards myself.

    Reading Kathleen and the people I’ve met through the Fashion-Incubator have really changed the way I look at manufacturing. It’s become something that kind of fascinates me, and I want to learn more. In a way it’s kind of difficult to find due to trends… but I find when I’m in that milieu there’s so few young people and the knowledge is not really being passed along… so naturally I’m very curious.

    I love any element of verticality. If the design and the development are happening in the same place, I love that. I’m especially interested in working with production patterns. I find that pattern drafters are not often young, either. This is something else I’m fascinated in learning about.

    I spent a lot of time in school doing fashion design and I feel like it’s something I’ve learned, but as for the technical and business sides I feel that I am lacking. So in my first job, I’d like to develop those abilities more.

    I want to pursue illustration, but I’d like to get artier. My current style is so static, and plain. I’d like illustration to be something I just do and don’t worry about getting paid for or not. Just because I want to get really good. And that means a lot of messing around just for fun.

    And I’ll keep blogging about Canadian fashion.

    This isn’t my plan for ever. The big picture is all about that big sunny porch at the end of the rainbow… I’ve given a lot of thought to how I’d like my life to feel… and trust me, it’s no easier to achieve than any other big dream.

  9. Speaking of being perfectly honest, Girl, why not tell me who you are?

    I mean really, why is my integrity being questioned by someone who won’t even sign their real name and leaves a fake email?  I’ve just revealed my whole grand plan for my entire life to the world.  I’ve got nothing to hide.

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