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Should I leave the visual merchandising field?
posted on Sunday, 27 February 2011 01:22

I'm a visual merchandiser at a mid-tier fashion group. I am now 36 and would like to work in an area I really love.

I am considering changing career and working in the art industry or at a gallery, since I hold a BFA in  painting and Master's in design.

I have been in the design and visual merchandising field for more then 10 years and the workload getting much heavier then before. Since last year, I have often had to work for 16-28 hours at a time, and it's starting to affact my health and personal life - I am starting to have bad head aches and am oftn depressed.

Please help.


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Anonymous's picture
Posted Tuesday, 29 March 2011 11:45 AM

Hi nl,

Good of you to try talking to your supervisor although that is of no help. At least you are doing justice to yourself and heaving a load off your chest.

In some companies they have this HR policy known as "grievance policy" where you can bring the matter up to a higher authority for resolution or advice. To attempt this, you must have all facts clearly laid out and best if you can corroborate with your peers who are similarly aggrieved. Note that the committee (normally a few senior staff members) will hear both sides of the story so your supervisor may also offer her side of the story.

No matter what, do not try to disparage your supervisor and be as factual as possible. Give face to your supervisor and do not run her down. Do not say anything personal like "she was sleeping". Talk about your good intention on getting the job done more efficiently.

In case your company does not have such "grievance policy" in place, it may still be possible for you to talk to a higher authority and see if he/she can help you.

Take care and wish you all the best.

Anonymous's picture
Posted Thursday, 10 March 2011 10:49 PM

Hi Bartholomew,

Thanks for your suggestion.

I have talked to my boss about the heavy workload and she doen't think is a problem.

The reason why I have to work 16 to 20 something hrs at a time is because of her "over-confidrence and poor decision making"

She always asks me to take care of the overnight store display arrangement or store display construction projects. Becase of the wrong instructions she gives to the contractor, projects often take much longer than expeccted.

I am one of those people who perfers good planning and proper time mangement. My boss, however, is not.

She always forces everyone to do things her way, even it's wrong.

When I was working at the store supervising and trying to correcy her poor decisions, she was sleeping.

I tried so many time to tell her that her decisions are not correct and that there may be another way to get the job done, but she still forces us to follow her direction.

I also have my family who needs me to spend time with them.

At this age, it's not easy to change career, but I'm still trying to.

Again, thanks for reading my note and offerin me some advise.


Anonymous's picture
Posted Monday, 07 March 2011 11:23 AM

If you are feeling stressed out and depressed, then you must seriously consider a change of your current situation. Do not wait for a total burnt-out.

Since you mentioned that your current work is something that you don't love to do, then any suggestion on time management or having dailogue with your immediate supervisor is not going to help you - at least not for the long term.

In the short term while you are still looking for a more suitable job, you can try talking to your supervisor about the high workload. Tell him the effect it is having on your health and explore with him as to how he can help you. Before you approach your supervisor, look at your own time management first - have you done your work efficiently?

Your health matters more than anything - if paying the bills is not of major concern to you and your supervisor cannot help you, then you may have to consider leaving first and do odd jobs to supplement your income.

Take care and wish you all the best!

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