I was a little bit nervous about wearing this top to the office because of all the lace. But while I was chatting with the President of the company in the morning, he said "By the way, I really like your outfit". So I guess if it has the Presidential seal of approval, I'm good!
Now as promised- some insight into how this blog led to my current job.
+ JOB TALK +
Before we get started talking about where I am now, you need to know that I've worked really hard to get to where I am. This includes school and pursuing just about every avenue available to me to find something that would fit. From the time that I started searching until I landed the job I'm in now, it took 2 years. It was NOT an overnight thing.
I started this blog in August 2011. At the time I was working at an insurance company and I was incredibly miserable. The job wasn't challenging, I felt that I had wasted all of my time getting a bachelor's and a master's degree and I wasn't on the track I wanted to be. So I started this blog to have some kind of creative outlet and to still be in touch with the fashion industry that I loved. I had no idea at the time that blogs could lead you to careers so it wasn't the original intent here.
When my blog took off and became somewhat of a success, I started receiving emails from nearby magazines asking if I wanted to write for them, or participate in blogger events. Shortly after that while talking with my friend Kassi I decided to contact my local paper. They didn't have any fashion writers at the time, so I thought maybe they'd be interested in incorporating that. Just a couple days after contacting them, I received a call from the Director of New Media at the paper asking me to come in and chat. During the chat I learned that they were very interested in bringing me on board because they liked what I had to say, how I write, and thought that I'd be able to bring them a new, younger audience. I've been writing for the paper for about a year and a half now.
So I had the paper, I was writing for local magazines, and this blog but I still wasn't professionally fulfilled because every day I had to get up and work for a company that I hated in a job that was going nowhere. I continued to search for other job opportunities but was continually told that I was either too qualified (because of my Master's degree), or not qualified enough (for higher up positions). Every time I wanted to give up and just settle for a life of being miserable professionally (after all, how many people love their jobs?), I kept telling myself that I deserved more- and the things that I was doing outside of my job proved that. So I searched the job boards DAILY, constantly sent out emails, tried to network and make new contacts, etc.
I've always had a love of interior design and architecture and so as I branched out from sending resumes to strictly fashion companies, I learned about an architecture firm that was in our town- only 10 minutes down the road from me. I obviously knew I wasn't qualified to be an architect or interior designer, but I thought maybe they'd have a receptionist job available and at that point, I'd have taken just about anything. So, I sent an email to the address that was listed on their website stating that I was interested in seeing if they had any entry-level, reception positions available. I didn't say much about my experience but asked if there was someone I could send my resume to.
Just a day or two later, I received an email back asking me to send in my resume, which I quickly did. That same day I received a call from a guy at the firm. We talked a bit more about what I was looking for and what experience I had. He had taken the time to look at my writing here on the blog and with the newspaper. He told me that they had just recently been talking about hiring someone who had the knowledge and experience that I had- that I was showing by running this blog. He was impressed by the success of this blog, with my writing for other outlets, and my handle of social media. Shortly thereafter I was asked to come in for an interview and tell them a little bit more about me.
When I went in for the interview, I brought with me samples of my popular blog posts, some of my newspaper articles, examples of my social media statistics, and a list of things I was currently training myself in- such as Photoshop and photography. At the interview I met with the President and Vice-President of the company and the Operations Manager (who was the guy that originally called me). They told me they were looking to fill a role that would be administrative assistant with some marketing thrown in as well and asked if I'd be interested in a mixed role like that. I said of course. After that, they had me meet for another interview where I met with the other two Principals of the company and again with the Operations Manager. I learned at that point just how much they had looked into what I've been doing online. They all were impressed with my "online portfolio" and what I had to offer. At that meeting they offered me a job.
So, that is my story with how I got to be where I am now. I VERY strongly believe that had I never started this blog, I wouldn't be where I am now. I wouldn't have had an online portfolio to show what I can really do- where my talents really lie. Instead, I was able to show my writing, social media and marketing abilities- really without me even having to point it out. With how online the world is now, just having a paper resume doesn't seem to be helpful. Have an online resume so you can show what you're really good at. But you also need to keep in mind that BECAUSE you have an online portfolio, you need to pay attention to what you're putting out there. If you're applying for a job, chances are the recruiter is going to Google you. Be sure that when they do, they're finding positive things.
I know this was very long- so if you made it to the end, I applaud you. And I hope that this helps if you're hoping to use your blog (or anything similar) to get you where you want to go. You need to be willing to go the extra mile, put yourself out there, and try any avenues that you can think of. Get creative. You never know which one is going to open the door that you're looking for. Feel free to leave me a comment or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any personal questions, or need advice.