Burnout is sadly common place in the fashion industry. Some would even say it is at epidemic levels. The industry has unique pressures that can often negatively effect the talented, creative professionals who work in it. But this need not be the case and the more information and the support there is will enable people to prevent it happening to them.
About Kate - From burnt out designer to successful board director
Having always dreamt of being a fashion designer it was a massive leap from being a student to landing my first job. From day one my workload was enormous. It was a great opportunity to demonstrate my value to the company. As I was ambitious I gave it my all. I so wanted to succeed and I worked ridiculously long hours to fulfil and exceed the CEO's expectations. Only later did I realise how naive and inexperienced I had been. Trying to achieve unrealistic deadlines with few resources and in a working environment with virtually no support.
Onset of my burnout symptoms
I struggled along for a couple of years but I was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. I started to lose confidence and began to doubt my ability. Subsequently I began to be plagued by recurrent sore throats and headaches. At the time I knew nothing about burnout or the symptoms. Instead I carried on pushing myself until I couldn't carry on. I began to feel increasingly detached and isolated from my work, my family and friends and also myself.
As a result of ignoring the early signs the anxiety grew and led to panic attacks. What was happening to me? I felt I couldn't ask for help as I thought I'd look weak and scared I might risk losing my job. In desperation I knew I had to seek help or I would be unable to function, let alone do my job. Finding the courage to ask for help and support wasn't easy but it was the first step in my journey to reclaim my health and wellbeing.
Asking for help and support made all the difference
There was no support at work, no HR or anyone responsible for the wellbeing of the staff. In those days burnout and mental health was not discussed openly and I felt very isolated. Asking for help wasn't easy to do but I knew I had no alternative. I was getting desperate.
Finding the right support was transformative. Having burnout explained to me made a huge difference. From the get go I began to see positive changes which gradually over time benefitted all aspects of my life. I knew there would be no quick fix but every step was moving me towards a healthier, more confident and resilient me.
Making the decision to invest in and commit time and money to my mental wellbeing was transformational. I learnt how I could change the way I responded to challenging and difficult situations. Learning practical strategies that enabled me to become mentally stronger and much happier. I regained my confidence, motivation and energy. It was more resilient, able to persevere and progress in my career to achieve my goals. Burnout didn't stop me attaining my goals. Overcoming burnout I became successful, valued for my skills and financially well rewarded. Moreover I was able to enjoy my life again and to love my work.
Why I want to help you to prevent or recover from burnout
I love the fashion industry and that's why I choose to specialise in helping women creative professionals in the fashion industry to understand burnout, what it is and how they can prevent and recover from it. They too can thrive and succeed in the industry they love and be well rewarded for the work they do. There will inevitably be stress, and that's not all bad, but burnout does not have to happen to anyone.
Although personally suffering burnout was a horrendous experience as a result I learnt so much about it. Particularly the misunderstandings and myths that surround it. Most importantly how you can prevent burnout and that you can recover from it.
I felt very alone and isolated in my recovery from burnout and although now it is more openly talked about, I know that having someone to support and guide you through it is invaluable. Especially someone who has been through it themselves.
My coaching background
There is an epidemic of burnout amongst creatives in the fashion industry. That's why after 25 years in fashion I choose to qualify as an accredited coach so that I could use my experience and knowledge to help others. Over the years I had worked with many designers, and entrepreneurs who ran their own businesses, who have talked about how they had also experienced burnout. Sadly some had even left their jobs as a result. This doesn't have to happen.
I qualified to post graduate level as a business and personal coach with one of the UK’s leading training institutions, Barefoot Coaching. I continued to study with experts in burnout, stress management and resilience to offer my clients the best service I can.
I also attend regular CPD and professional supervision.
I have been practicing as a resilience and wellbeing coach, focusing on burnout, for over 10 years in my own practice, www.finerthinking.com
My mission is to equip creatives with the knowledge and support to enable them to prevent burnout happening to them.
How I Coach
It is very important to me that my coaching practice echoes my own values which are honesty, respect, integrity, self development, commitment, accountability and kindness.
Coaching offers a safe space, is confidential, non-judgemental, supportive and transformational.
I prefer to coach 1:1 and either in person or on zoom.
To provide my clients with the best service, as well as regular coaching sessions ,I also provide email or WhatsApp support between coaching sessions as part of my coaching packages.
Coaching Packages and Fees
I offer coaching packages of varying lengths tailored to suit my clients needs.
To find out more please contact me at email@example.com
Having many years experience in the fashion business I am often asked to mentor clients in addition to coaching and I am very happy to discuss mentoring sessions as well.
I give talks about my own experience of overcoming burnout and the importance of building resilience.
I write articles on burnout, stress management, resilience and wellbeing that are featured in Psychologies online magazine. https://lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk/users/179171-katherine-darbyshire-evans/content
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