A Diamond in the Rough

A gorgeous photo that came out of my first engagement shoot!

Working in engagement rings is fascinating business, and I, somehow, just stumbled right into it after college. I wanted to find an industry where I could build my career, and feel like what I did made a big impact on others in a positive way. For most jewelry companies, especially diamond engagement companies, those goals are easily met with each diamond sold. Being a part of someones love story definitely helps check those boxes. If you are like me, you just need to find the right opportunity to sparkle. The industry is tight knit and full of trade secrets, but I’ve learned my fair share. Here’s what I’ve learned as a diamond in the rough that might just help you make the cut in the diamond industry long-term.

Moving the Needle

Firstly, you need to learn what moves the needle. While working in diamonds is glamorous, it is at the end of the day a business. You will likely be doing the day to day business that you could apply across industries. Marketing meetings, sales calls, CRM classes, analytics reporting, etc. Focus on the company aspect of diamond company first, as the better ties to revenue you are the better chance you have of getting your own gems.

So what moves the needle? Go look through the products on your first day or two, and try to correlate them to the last year or so of sales. Learn what you can about the sales cycle of your diamond company, and what they sell best. That way whether you are in sales, marketing, merchandising, or operations, you understand the priorities of the business. Don’t waste time creating sales enablement materials for products that never sell! Your colleagues will be impressed with your work most when it reflects the businesses priorities. I was definitely surprised to learn that some of the pieces I considered the most beautiful were some of our poorest sellers. No accounting for taste I guess!

Learning Your 4C’s

If you are ready to leave the classroom, and you are tired of learning new things, the diamond industry absolutely is not for you. Diamonds require curiosity and a porous mind, as there is a ton of information that you will learn in your first few years that is industry standard. Start with the 4Cs and work from there. Cut, color, clarity, and carat weight are the metrics used to grade diamonds, and you won’t have an easy time selling them without knowing them. You won’t need to grade diamonds by hand most likely, but you will need to explain these characteristics and the grading systems behind them to customers, as well as leverage them to show how much value your diamond really has. Go in depth on your knowledge and you’ll be rewarded!

Here are a few study questions that will help you start your diamond research:

  • What tends to be valued higher, an oval cut diamond or a round cut diamond? Why?
  • What makes it a canary diamond? Are all diamonds like that desirable, or only after a certain grade?
  • What type of lifestyle are low profile engagement rings good for?

Try to Catch the Light

If you’re like me, you’re fairly young and just beginning your career. Whether you’re beginning your career or simply pivoting, don’t be afraid to take on new projects, and put yourself out there. This applies to most new jobs, but if you see an opportunity to show off your skills and sparkle, go for it! The best example of this is leveraging an understanding of social media as a business skill. If you are scrolling TikTok after work and making your own content occasionally, you likely have relevant social media experience on that platform. I’ve used my outside of work knowledge to help my team expand its social media presence, market effectively to non-binary people, and keep up with social media algorithm changes. Use what makes you unique to amp up your presence at work, as you are likely able to provide your team with the keys to new customer demographics.

By trying to catch the light, you are letting your unique sparkle inspire your team. If you don’t want to leverage out of work knowledge necessarily, or you don’t have anything outside of work knowledge that is relevant, try this. Look through the pile of things that needs to get done for your team, and pull a few things off the stack when you have time. Simple, easy, incredibly effective way to sparkle. Whether your catch the light moment is a big reveal or a small pile of paperwork filed away, the point is to add value to your team visibly and take on challenging projects that will help you build new industry skills.

These tips are my way of helping the next person under pressure at their first diamond job turn their first few months into a treasure of success. There is always more to learn and do, but if you grab these tips and push forward with excitement for the next project, you’ll surely find your place among the gems!

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Sophia Huxley

Sophia Huxley

Silly little guy trying to find their way. You lost too?

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