20something profile: Lauren
I never really understood what the phrase “hindsight is 20/20” meant until I graduated college. I spent four fabulous years at Syracuse University, where I graduated with a Broadcast Journalism degree.
Though I wouldn’t trade my time at SU for anything, I wish that I had taken a more diverse range of classes instead of just focusing on my Broadcast Journalism courses; then I might have figured out that I love writing. However, I discovered my passion in a roundabout way, and it worked out. No complaints here.
After college I started working at my dad’s radio company. I knew I didn’t want to do radio for the rest of my life, but I didn’t really know what I’d rather be doing. I was living in the city where I went to college, but suddenly it looked like a much different place since all my friends had dispersed for their own jobs. I found myself with a lot of free time on my hands, which is how I started my blog Life with Lauren.
What started as a hobby quickly became my love. In addition to my own blog, I began writing for other sites including USA Today College, Lifetime, and a magazine in my town. It became like a second job at night and on the weekends.
Eventually I realized that I wasn’t going to be happy unless I was spending my day writing too. After some searching, I found a job opportunity at a company called Grammar Chic, Inc. based in South Carolina. It was a copywriter and editor job, and it involved writing websites, press releases, blogs and other materials for businesses from a variety of industries.
Though my company’s in South Carolina, I work from home in Syracuse. I communicate with my bosses over Skype and use Dropbox to turn in my work. It sounds very Jetsons-like, but it works well. It was scary to leave the comfort (not to mention job security) of my dad’s company, but well worth it to be writing for a living.
It’s no secret that it’s not easy to get a job you like, that pays well, and is in a desirable city. If I’ve learned anything throughout the job search process, it’s this:
1.) Don’t be too picky, but don’t completely settle either: These statements sound like they contradict each other, but hear me out. If you’re only willing to be a reporter in California, it’s going to be tough to get a job. However, if you’re willing to be a reporter for any TV station, or are willing to take any TV job in California, then your chances of getting a job you like are better.Some flexibility is important for job satisfaction.
At the same time, you don’t need to take a job you hate because you’re scared you won’t find something else. If you’re willing to work at Starbucks for a little bit, you can wait until something you might like comes along. I’ve learned that enjoying your job is important. You spend a lot of time there.
2.) Don’t take everyone’s advice: During the job search process, you’re going to get advice from your boyfriend, your roommate, your aunt, and your 7th grade gym teacher. Take what you want to take, but trust your own instinct. Sometimes the people who love you are trying to help you but don’t always know what’s best for you. Trust your gut.
3.) Network: I used to think networking was fake and gross, but I’ve realized it’s actually the only way to get anywhere. If your school has an alumni network, use it. Be honest and polite and build connections in your desired industry.
I don’t think the gloom and doom outlook on the job market is completely accurate. Go into your job search with an open mind and a willingness to meet people, and it’s easier than you may think to find something that will make you feel good about how you spend the majority of your day.