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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

[BizCareers] Career U-turn

This week we look at how to make a complete change in your career direction for the better, and notice period obligations without the signing of an employment contract.
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I currently am working as a financial analyst for a family business and before that I worked at a boutique investment bank doing the same thing. Along the way I've discovered that my true passion lies in something more creative, like design or fashion. The fashion sector is very broad ranging from marketing and PR, publishing, buying, retailing to name a few. My current skill set is different from that of the career I want to pursue.

Could you please advise on the following:

1. How does one select a good place to launch a career in fashion that will allow me to get an overview on the sector?
2. How do I write up my CV such that it's considered, even though I have no experience in the required job?

Any additional advice will be appreciated - N

Hi N,

Thank you so much for your question and well done to you for making this brave decision! You are about to embark on a substantial career change, which can be both daunting and rewarding.

So to answer your two questions:

1. You haven't mentioned whether you have studied anything towards fashion and design and I would suggest doing this as your first port of call. You can do a course or diploma full- or part-time through LISOF. Find which niche you would ideally like to specialise in and focus on that. You may then have access through the school to various job opportunities as they will be very connected in the industry.

An alternative is to find a financial role within a design/fashion company. This way you will be able to network within the industry but you will have used your existing experience to get the job. Make a list of companies you would like to work for in this industry and perhaps approach their financial departments directly, or keep an eye out for any roles on the various job portals and recruitment agency websites.

2. I am sure your CV is currently very corporate and focused on financial institutions and highlighting your skills in this area. You will therefore need to have at least some sort of studies towards the fashion industry to be considered as you unfortunately don't have the experience and your chances are very limited by having neither. To help with this you could try and find weekend or part-time work in the industry just to bump up your experience a little. Once you have these you can use them as focus points on your CV and write a strong motivational page as to why you're passionate about the industry and what skills you have.

I hope the above will help you find your dream job! Please keep me posted on your journey.

No contract, no notice period

Please could you let me know what the termination period is if you have not signed a letter of employment, nor contract? I have been employed for one year one month, and have received a job offer which is to my benefit. Since my employment, I know a contract exists, but my present boss has never brought it for me to see or sign. I need to hand in my resignation, but not sure what I am bound to. I look forward to hearing back from you soon. - Debbie

Hi Debbie

Thank you for your question.

If you never signed a contract then legally you are not bound to anything. Usually the standard is a two-week notice period during the first three months and thereafter its either 30 days or one calendar month.

The worst case scenario would be a calendar month, but as mentioned since you have not signed a contract your current employer cannot force you to stay.

It is your decision whether you want to give them the benefit of the doubt and serve a notice period to finish things off and thereby not burn any bridges, or leave immediately. I would advise the first option if this is possible.

Best of luck and I hope that helps.

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About Juliette Attwell

Juliette Attwell is Head of Marketing & Operations at Recruitgroup. Recruitgroup has won Careerjunction Recruiter of the Year in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 as well as Fast Growth Business of the Year at the National Business Awards 2014. Juliette holds a Bcom Honours in Marketing Management and is the resident "agony aunt" on the BizCareers Column, she was also a finalist in the Top Young Executive at the National Business Awards 2014.