Subject: Meet, Shakaila Forbes-Bell, Content Marketing Assistant and founder of Fashion Psychology
At 25, Shakaila Forbes-Bell sure has her shit together. She has interned, started a blog, occasionally freelance writes, works for a successful company and has time to give you guys career advice. We can all learn from people like Shakaila, whether you want to follow her path into content marketing or you want to venture into something different, her advice is transferable and something not to be ignored.
Meet Shakaila Forbes-Bell
Name: Shakaila Forbes-Bell
Job Title: Content Marketing Assistant
Main job responsibilities: Developing marketing communication materials; writing press releases, posts and white papers.
How did the Fashion Psychology blog come about? I was one of the first cohort of students in the world to earn a master’s degree in Psychology, for Fashion Professionals. Every time I spoke to someone about it they were so interested in the subject and the studies that I was learning so, I felt compelled to share what I know. Research into Fashion Psychology is very limited and the work that does exist is often at best, hard to digest and at worst fabricated by individuals without a psychological background. I wanted to create a place that showcases research into Fashion Psychology that is grounded in science, can be easily understood and is accessible to all people.
Did you intern? if so where, if not, what was your first job? My first internship was at Lulu Guinness as the Global PR and Marketing Intern. I got the internship straight after I handed in my final assignment. I was interning and working at the same time and it was extremely difficult, but it was a huge blessing for me considering the fact that my degree was so new and at the time, a lot of people didn't see how my degree translated to the fashion industry. The experience I got from that internship gave me a great head start in my career.
What advice would you give to someone who doesn't know what they want to do? Find out what you don't like to do! It's such an underrated skill but knowing what you don't want to do can help to filter out roles which you won’t enjoy and get you one step closer to the ones that you will. Also, utilise your career advisor at your university, even if you're an alumnus ask to book in time with them to help you figure things out.
What advice would you give someone wanting to get into Marketing in fashion? Stay up-to date with the latest news in marketing which is easy to do if you subscribe to magazines like Marketing Week.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to get into freelance writing? Start your own blog! It can be time consuming but it's the best way to showcase and hone your writing skills.
How do you pitch article ideas to publications? I've been lucky enough that publications have seen my work on my blog and have reached out to me to write for them. I've only recently started pitching ideas and it’s definitely a skill that requires a lot of work. My best advice would be not to get deterred by no response, always follow up.
Any lessons learned from your career so far? Put yourself first! If you're in a job that is negatively impacting your mental wellbeing don't suffer in silence, it will only impact your performance and make everything worse. Evaluate the situation, speak to a trusted colleague and take some time. I used to think that my career and identity were one, but it wasn't until I took a break from working to evaluate what I really wanted from life and sought a job that fit into that vision instead of the other way around that I became happy with my career journey.
Favourite outfit to wear to work? Leather ankle boots, black trousers from H&M that fit my frame and a thick polo neck jumper (every office I've ever worked in has always been so cold!). Anything that makes me feel comfortable helps me to project confidence and work smarter.
Where can people find you?