20something profile: Candice
My entire life I had everything figured out. I worked hard in grade school to get into a great college, moved across the country to California to study public relations at a small, liberal arts university, participated in every extracurricular imaginable, and spent endless hours working unpaid internships to boost my résumé. Every life stage had attainable goals and timelines, all of which I trained myself to strive toward and ultimately found extreme comfort in.
Every class, networking opportunity, and volunteer commitment had a dual purpose: to enhance my life’s experiences and to increase my options after college. Confident that I wanted to pursue a career at a public relations agency, I felt that my résumé would certainly stand out among the hundreds of other job applicants I completed against in the Orange County/Los Angeles job market.
After 200 applications, 12 interviews with separate companies, and everything imaginable going wrong, I turned my faith over to the universe. I ended up accepting a PR internship opportunity back home in Cleveland and reluctantly packed up my Southern California life and headed home. For someone who took a lot of pride in proactively preparing for post-college employment, it was an embarrassing admittance of defeat (and unfortunate reality of tough economic times) to crawl back and live in the state I had so gleefully left behind.
While living back home, I completed a four-day, 328 mile bike ride and ran my first half marathon. I do not consider myself an athlete, but I think the drive, determination, and sense of accomplishment directly impacted my confidence to pursue new career aspirations.
After two years of a rough quarter-life crisis, I now live in San Francisco in the heart of tech start-ups. My dream is to follow my entrepreneurial drive to create the lifestyle and work environment I desire, and the stars have aligned to do so. I work full-time, side hustle as a PR pro, blog about my adventures as a twenty-something, and am building my website design startup in the meantime.
Two years ago, if someone would have told me I would complete a 300+ mile bike ride, move to San Francisco with the man of my dreams, and start my own company, I would have told them they were crazy. I learned the hard way that to move forward you have to get uncomfortable and let go of the set plans you may have once had in place. Let go of the expectations, the perfectionism, and the nonsensical idea of living the life society dictates.
While envisioning the future by setting goals and dreams is incredibly important, equally so is challenging yourself to make decisions when you feel paralyzed, take risks, and face the possibility of failure. You will achieve more than you ever knew possible.