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10 Questions to Ask Yourself at Fast Fashion Stores

10 Questions to Ask Yourself at Fast Fashion Stores

Shopping at fast fashion stores is fun—it’s affordable, trendy, and feels like a reasonable splurge. Make it a habit though, and you’ve got fast fashion problems on your hands (and in your closet, under your bed, all over your floor—not to mention on your credit card statement). Before you hit the mall, here’s what you need to ask yourself to avoid a shopping hangover.

1. Why am I here in the first place?

Gossip Girl Blair Waldorf

    Do you actually need something, or are you just looking? And if you’re just looking, what led you there in the first place? Sure, maybe you’re just killing time on your lunch break, but if you find that your default activity is hitting the stores, think about what makes you go there. Are you bored, stressed out, or unhappy? Shopping, especially when you feel like you’re getting a deal, gives you a quick mood boost. That said, it doesn’t last—and it definitely doesn’t solve your actual problem (plus spend too much money, and you’ve created a new one). Next time you find yourself wanting to go wander through Forever 21, try to get in touch with what you’re really feeling first, and think about what you need to do to actually tackle the issue.

    2. Do I already have something just like this?

    Rachel Zoe self restraint

      We all have certain styles that we absolutely love, or everyday basics that we can’t get enough of. But if the main reason you like a fast fashion item is because you already own something just like it, you probably don’t need two of them! (Or ten, or twelve.) If the answer to your question is yes, but it’s ripped-stained-pilled-etc. and you actually need a replacement, fine. But if the answer’s yes, I can add it to my pile, skip it. Clothes aren’t Pokémon—you don’t need to catch ’em all.

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      3. Do I need something else to go with it?

      Clueless Cher Horowitz Closet

        You found a silky asymmetrical jacket you absolutely love. Okay, great—what are you going to wear it with? If the answer can’t already be found in your closet, you’re going to need to buy something else to make it work. That mean your inexpensive fast fashion find just cost you more money. This isn’t always an easy question to answer (though there are definitely apps that claim to be like the closet computer from Clueless), but if you’re really scratching your head, you’re probably better off leaving it on the rack.

        4. Does it actually fit?

        blind-side-wear-this

          Especially when clothes are inexpensive (getting a deal!), it can be really tempting to buy something that doesn’t quite fit. After all, it’s not like you’re going to flag down one of the H&M salespeople and ask them to find that skirt in your size—if it’s not there, it’s not there. But if it doesn’t fit you, it’s not worth it. If you’re looking for a bargain in the first place, you’re probably not going to pay to have a too-big piece tailored down to your size. If it’s too small, don’t tell yourself you’re buying it for after your diet or workout plan, or as motivation to lose weight or get in shape. Only buy clothes for the life (and body!) you have now.

          5. Am I going to be able to wear this more than once?

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          Mean Girls Regina George

             

            Fast fashion can feel like a wedding season savior: if you can’t repeat the dress, you don’t want to drop a wad of cash on it. That said, if it’s just going to wind up at the Salvation Army, maybe you shouldn’t be spending money on it in the first place. If it’s a one-time item—whether for a formal event or for a costume party—why not see what your friends have first? Shopping each other’s closets is a fun excuse to hang out, and you get all the gratification of a trip to the mall without spending money.

            6. Do I just want this because it’s on sale?

            Honey Boo Boo Coupon Queen

              Fast fashion stores are already inexpensive, but once stuff goes on sale, it’s easy to get into the “I can’t afford not to buy this” mentality. Here’s the thing: You can. It’s one thing if something you actually need, or one piece you’ve been ogling for a month, goes on sale. It’s another thing if the sale rack is just stuff that’s marked down. Ignore the price tag and ask yourself: Is this in season? Is it in style? Do I even look good in yellow? It’s hard to resist the siren song of the sale rack, but if you do you’ll avoid drawers that are stuffed with “amazing deals” you never actually wear.

              7. Is this trend going to last?

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              Beverly Hills 90210 uggs

                There’s a reason fast fashion is called fast. These stores are able to jump on any trend and get it into stores virtually immediately, as opposed to the old six-months-ahead fashion show cycle (which does, strangely, still persist). Just because an item’s trendy right now doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you. If you aren’t going to love that lace crop top in six weeks or six months—let alone six years—it’s probably not worth it. The exception: If something you’ve always loved becomes an “in” thing, go for it. Then it’s more about your personal style than about what’s hot at the moment.

                8. Can I afford this?

                Confessions of a Shopaholic Isla Fisher

                  Remember: cheap isn’t free. Even buy-one, get-ones add up, because after all, you’re still buying one. If you’re even remotely close to owing money on your credit card, put that pencil skirt down! Paying interest on lots of little purchases means that for each of those mini-splurges, you’re paying more. Don’t have the cash? Then it’s not coming home with you. That kind of discipline doesn’t always come easy, but having a healthy bottom line is more important than a fashionably-clad bottom.

                  9. Do I actually like this or am I just paying for the name?

                  Ex-Porn Stars Manolo Blahnik

                    Ever since Target and H&M started doing designer collaborations nearly a decade ago, high fashion names regularly cycle through the fast fashion world. The premise is that it’s exciting (and come on, it is), and that it makes these designers styles more accessible and affordable to everyday people. That said, these collections tend to be much lower quality than the designer’s actual pieces, and they’re highly recognizable—no one’s going to mistake your Rodarte for Target for legit Rodarte. The sense of scarcity and getting a designer deal means these collaborations regularly sell out, but they tend to hit the Goodwill just as fast as they leave the store racks—in the calm, clear world where you haven’t just waited in line to get Kate Moss for TopShop, you may find you’re just not that into it. If you really love a particular designer, why not save up so that you can have a real splurge? Being able to choose something that’s better quality and that you’ll wear way more is worth the price.

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                    10. Am I really going to regret not buying this?

                    Parks and Recreation Donna Treat Yo' Self

                      It’s not like every piece you pick up at a fast fashion retailer is going to be a no-go. Some stuff you just plain love, and you know what? If you absolutely adore it and you can say with certainty that you’ll regret leaving it in the store much more than you would buying it, go ahead. Every once in a while, it’s okay to treat yo’ self.

                      Featured photo credit: Paramount Pictures via mashable.com

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                      Published on November 8, 2018

                      How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

                      How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

                      After a few months of hard work and dozens of phone calls later, you finally land a job opportunity.

                      But then, you’re asked about your salary requirements and your mind goes blank. So, you offer a lower salary believing this will increase your odds at getting hired.

                      Unfortunately, this is the wrong approach.

                      Your salary requirements can make or break your odds at getting hired. But only if you’re not prepared.

                      Ask for a salary too high with no room for negotiation and your potential employer will not be able to afford you. Aim too low and employers will perceive as you offering low value. The trick is to aim as high as possible while keeping both parties feel happy.

                      Of course, you can’t command a high price without bringing value.

                      The good news is that learning how to be a high-value employee is possible. You have to work on the right tasks to grow in the right areas. Here are a few tactics to negotiate your salary requirements with confidence.

                      1. Hack time to accomplish more than most

                      Do you want to get paid well for your hard work? Of course you do. I hate to break it to you, but so do most people.

                      With so much competition, this won’t be an easy task to achieve. That’s why you need to become a pro at time management.

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                      Do you know how much free time you have? Not the free time during your lunch break or after you’ve finished working at your day job. Rather, the free time when you’re looking at your phone or watching your favorite TV show.

                      Data from 2017 shows that Americans spend roughly 3 hours watching TV. This is time poorly spent if you’re not happy with your current lifestyle. Instead, focus on working on your goals whenever you have free time.

                      For example, if your commute to/from work is 1 hour, listen to an educational Podcast. If your lunch break is 30 minutes, read for 10 to 15 minutes. And if you have a busy life with only 30–60 minutes to spare after work, use this time to work on your personal goals.

                      Create a morning routine that will set you up for success every day. Start waking up 1 to 2 hours earlier to have more time to work on your most important tasks. Use tools like ATracker to break down which activities you’re spending the most time in.

                      It won’t be easy to analyze your entire day, so set boundaries. For example, if you have 4 hours of free time each day, spend at least 2 of these hours working on important tasks.

                      2. Set your own boundaries

                      Having a successful career isn’t always about the money. According to Gallup, about 70% of employees aren’t satisfied with their current jobs.[1]

                      Earning more money isn’t a bad thing, but choosing a higher salary over the traits that are the most important to you is. For example, if you enjoy spending time with your family, reject job offers requiring a lot of travel.

                      Here are some important traits to consider:

                      • Work and life balance – The last thing you’d want is a job that forces you to work 60+ hours each week. Unless this is the type of environment you’d want. Understand how your potential employer emphasizes work/life balance.
                      • Self-development opportunities – Having the option to grow within your company is important. Once you learn how to do your tasks well, you’ll start becoming less engaged. Choose a company that encourages employee growth.
                      • Company culture – The stereotypical cubicle job where one feels miserable doesn’t have to be your fate. Not all companies are equal in culture. Take, for example, Google, who invests heavily in keeping their employees happy.[2]

                      These are some of the most important traits to look for in a company, but there are others. Make it your mission to rank which traits are important to you. This way you’ll stop applying to the wrong companies and stay focused on what matters to you more.

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                      3. Continuously invest in yourself

                      Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. Cliche I know, but true nonetheless.

                      You’ll grow as a person and gain confidence with the value you’ll be able to bring to others. Investing in yourself doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, you can read books to expand your knowledge in different fields.

                      Don’t get stuck into the habit of reading without a purpose. Instead, choose books that will help you expand in a field you’re looking to grow. At the same time, don’t limit yourself to reading books in one subject–create a healthy balance.

                      Podcasts are also a great medium to learn new subjects from experts in different fields. The best part is they’re free and you can consume them on your commute to/from work.

                      Paid education makes sense if you have little to no debt. If you decide to go back to school, be sure to apply for scholarships and grants to have the least amount of debt. Regardless of which route you take to make it a habit to grow every day.

                      It won’t be easy, but this will work to your advantage. Most people won’t spend most of their free time investing in themselves. This will allow you to grow faster than most, and stand out from your competition.

                      4. Document the value you bring

                      Resumes are a common way companies filter employees through the hiring process. Here’s the big secret: It’s not the only way you can showcase your skills.

                      To request for a higher salary than most, you have to do what most are unwilling to do. Since you’re already investing in yourself, make it a habit to showcase your skills online.

                      A great way to do this is to create your own website. Pick your first and last name as your domain name. If this domain is already taken, get creative and choose one that makes sense.

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                      Here are some ideas:

                      • joesmith.com
                      • joeasmith.com
                      • joesmithprojects.com

                      Nowadays, building a website is easy. Once you have your website setup, begin producing content. For example, if you a developer you can post the applications you’re building.

                      During your interviews, you’ll have an online reference to showcase your accomplishments. You can use your accomplishments to justify your salary requirements. Since most people don’t do this, you’ll have a higher chance of employers accepting your offer

                      5. Hide your salary requirements

                      Avoid giving you salary requirements early in the interview process.

                      But if you get asked early, deflect this question in a non-defensive manner. Explain to the employer that you’d like to understand your role better first. They’ll most likely agree with you; but if they don’t, give them a range.

                      The truth is great employers are more concerned about your skills and the value you bring to the company. They understand that a great employee is an investment, able to earn them more than their salary.

                      Remember that a job interview isn’t only for the employer, it’s also for you. If the employer is more interested in your salary requirements, this may not be a good sign. Use this question to gauge if the company you’re interviewing is worth working for.

                      6. Do just enough research

                      Research average salary compensation in your industry, then wing it.

                      Use tools like Glassdoor to research the average salary compensation for your industry. Then leverage LinkedIn’s company data that’s provided with its Pro membership. You can view a company’s employee growth and the total number of job openings.

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                      Use this information to make informed decisions when deciding on your salary requirements. But don’t limit yourself to the average salary range. Companies will usually pay you more for the value you have.

                      Big companies will often pay more than smaller ones.[3] Whatever your desired salary amount is, always ask for a higher amount. Employers will often reject your initial offer. In fact, offer a salary range that’ll give you and your employer enough room to negotiate.

                      7. Get compensated by your value

                      Asking for the salary you deserve is an art. On one end, you have to constantly invest in yourself to offer massive value. But this isn’t enough. You also have to become a great negotiator.

                      Imagine requesting a high salary and because you bring a lot of value, employers are willing to pay you this. Wouldn’t this be amazing?

                      Most settle for average because they’re not confident with what they have to offer. Most don’t invest in themselves because they’re not dedicated enough. But not you.

                      You know you deserve to get paid well, and you’re willing to put in the work. Yet, you won’t sacrifice your most important values over a higher salary.

                      The bottom line

                      You’ve got what it takes to succeed in your career. Invest in yourself, learn how to negotiate, and do research. The next time you’re asked about your salary requirements, you won’t fumble.

                      You’ll showcase your skills with confidence and get the salary you deserve. What’s holding you back now?

                      Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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