In our career we are often involved with the same category we start with. When recruiters are looking for TD with experience in specific category and you have that experience, you kind of stick with it.
How do we learn another category? The easiest way would be to start your career in a smaller company, where there is no differentiation between the categories, and you have to do them all. But how to do a category in which you don’t have any experience, which you simply don’t know.
I’ve seeing questions on the LinkedIn discussions about haw to do sweaters for example. So, LinkedIn would be the one source of the knowledge where you can ask questions and get answers from the fellow group members.
Another source would be the technical design association.
The reason we created the association is to give technical designers a platform to learn and share knowledge. On our website www.technicaldesign.org Blog page you can ask any question related to the field. There are seminars organized by ATDA that you can attend and improve your skills as well.
One more source is to learn within your company if it offers different product. For example, if you don’t have any experience in swimwear, you can make this your goal for the year. The way you going to learn is by attending the fittings of your swimwear technical department and learn from them.
You need to understand that all technical design is based on the same basic process, take the style and transform its fit to salable garment. This is across all categories. See what does not work on the body and make suggestions to the factory how to improve the fit. If you don’t know how sweaters work, you can also ask for help from the factory.
After successfully improving fit of one garment this way, you will know the next time and apply the same techniques for another garment.
Any suggestions on how to break away from the same category?