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Behind the Glamour - Is the World Truly Your Oyster When Working in Luxury?

Debunking the Myth and Unveiling the Reality Covering the Eyes for the Outside World


Working in the luxury industry often conjures up images of lavish lifestyles, glamorous events, and opulent settings. The outside look at it and think, wow, what a dream place to be working in. However, there is a prevalent myth that the working conditions in luxury brands mirror the luxurious products they sell.

Sadly often times than not, the reality is quite different, with many employees facing challenging working conditions behind the dreamy facade. While some companies are actively striving to improve this scenario, others seem to rely solely on the allure of their brand's prestige.


Is working in luxury the dream?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Depends where you work


In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of working in the luxury industry, the perspectives from various stakeholders, and discuss potential solutions and what is being done.


The Pros and Cons of Working in Luxury


On the surface, working in luxury may seem like a dream occupation. There are undoubtedly advantages, including the potential for higher salaries (or base salaries accompanied with commissions that can really be interesting), exposure to high-profile clients, and access to exclusive events. Additionally, working in luxury brands often offers excellent learning opportunities, creative challenges, and career growth prospects. Great if you are a junior starting out but how about for those mid-life professionals who don't need all that?


What attracted you to work in luxury?

  • Salary

  • Exposure to high-profile clients

  • The events

  • Learning opportunities


Behind the scenes, there are several cons that are often ignored by or overlooked by those aspiring to join the industry. These cons include long working hours, immense pressure to meet targets, lack of assistance, and frequently demanding and unrealistic customer expectations not to mention having to do more than one 'official' role to help the company or other colleagues.



Furthermore, employees in luxury brands often face a lack of work-life balance due to the demanding nature of the job. The glitz and glamour may fade away fast when one realizes the sacrifices required to maintain the illusion of luxury.


Does your job allow for good balance between life/work?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Working on making it happen


The Media's Perception


The media tends to focus more on the glamorous aspects of luxury brands, such as fashion shows, red carpet events, and celebrity endorsements. This portrayal creates an illusion of a luxurious work environment that may not reflect reality.


Rarely do we see the hardships faced by the people working in luxury or their less glamorous daily tasks. This perception perpetuates the myth that the working conditions in luxury brands are as luxurious as the products they sell.



Yachting has seen a buzz word for crew and mental-health yet land-based professionals just plough on and the taboo subject of mental health and burnout silenced and hushed behind closed doors of so many going through it silently.



Do you know at least one person who has/is suffering from burnout?

  • Yes

  • Not sure what burnout is so can't tell

  • No


The Perspective from Industry Insiders


For professionals working in the luxury industry, the consensus is that the high-pressure environment and demanding schedules are the norm. Employees often feel their personal lives and well-being are compromised due to unrealistic expectations and relentless workloads.



While some individuals may find the prestige of working for a luxury brand rewarding, many identify the need for change and better work conditions. All the while doing so amongst themselves but god forbid that they speak about it to their peers or HR for fear of being seen as weak or complaining.


Do you think your peers would be understanding about your mental state?

  • Yes absolutely

  • Wouldn't even go there

  • Not at all

  • Next question...


What Can Be Done?


To address the challenges faced by employees in the luxury industry, companies should take proactive steps to create a healthier work environment.


These measures can include implementing reasonable working hours, providing adequate support and resources, and nurturing a culture that prioritises work-life balance.


The simple task of listening to employees would be great too and perhaps revisit the way human resources tackles sensitive issues related to mental health and burnout.


Could companies even perhaps allocate funds to sponsor alternative therapies that can help alleviate the silent suffering and that are not reimbursed by the state or insurances? After all, a happy environment gives for happier workers which results in the positive energy vibrating towards clients and face-to-face professions showing a healthy place and space in aspects of mental and physical.



Companies could also invest in regular employee training, ensuring their teams feel valued and have opportunities for growth along with team-building exercises, fun days out off-season to decompress and allow everyone to just become themselves at a human level and eliminate hierarchy.


What is in your opinion the ratio of men vs women going through mental health issues working in luxury?

  • More men

  • More women

  • Both

  • Unsure



Conclusion


The myth that working in luxury automatically means enjoying a luxurious work environment is far from the truth. The reality is that employees often experience intense pressure, long working hours, and unrealistic expectations.


While some luxury brands recognise the need for change and strive to improve working conditions, others rely solely on the prestige of their brand to attract talent.



Is it high time for the luxury industry to bridge the gap between appearance and reality by prioritising the well-being of their employees? Only by doing so can they truly uphold the image of luxury they strive to sell.


And for anyone who is keen and wishes to embrace an alternative way to encouraging their teams to stay motivated and decompress, I invite you to send an email to contact@myth-vs-reality.com and if you have time, do go and support this new initiative too specifically going ahead to help those working in luxury to find themselves and time to put themselves first: www.luxuryrecharge.com and why not help by paying a few coffees to help kick start it https://www.buymeacoffee.com/luxuryrecharge.


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I used to say it's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it. Well, I'm joking, but yes, it is way too easy to let the healthy balance slip. When you're young(er), you might feel drawn into the glamour easily. Point in case, though not strictly restricted to the luxury market. I'm sure many of us have already found the point when 'wow, business lounge' becomes 'ah, tedious flying'... And in the end, one day you will learn that you don't live the same life style as your clients. You're just part of theirs. It's better to know that from the beginning, to avoid frustration or the void that comes with late realisation.

That having said, I kind of…

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Well, there is such thing as doing the right job for the wrong reasons and that would not end well. That's why I'm always re-evaluating. Sometimes maybe overthinking, but in general I'm happy when I can say 'yes, this is still the perfect match'

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