20something profile: TK
Compared to other 20-somethings who are still trying to figure out what they want to do in life, I feel like I’ve had it easy. I’ve known what I wanted to do since middle school: write books. You may think that is a crazy career aspiration, and you are right. The likelihood I will ever make a living writing books is unlikely. I knew that when I was twelve.
I didn’t give up on my dream. Instead, I looked for a practical way to apply my passion for writing. In 2012, I graduated with a major in Journalism and Mass Communication, a major in International Studies with a focus in human rights, and a certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies. With that mouthful, I entered the ‘real world’ looking for a job.
This is where I learned my first hard truth. Working a full-time job to pay rent in my college town was great, but it left me with little time to search for a career. Following a minor breakdown where I realized deferment would end soon and I would have to find a way of affording loan payments, I decided to cut my hours in half. What did my current job matter if it held me back from pursuing a career?
The hard work began. I was at my university’s library from the moment it opened until noon every day. With a Starbucks energy drink in hand, I threw everything I had into that search. What was left of me at noon went to work.
This pursuance lasted two weeks.
In two weeks’ time, after a handful of phone interviews and even fewer in-person interviews, I landed a job. By job, I mean I landed a three month paid internship in the city of my dreams. I wasn’t writing books, and I wasn’t a muckraking journalist. The position I accepted involved social media and marketing for a small web design business.
My excitement was short lived, as I quickly realized that I did not fit in well with this company’s culture. Whenever I had down time, I continued to search for a full-time writing job. I didn’t care what kind of writing they needed. If it involved any form of communication, I was applying.
My best friend during the train ride home became the Indeed.com app. With my résumé already uploaded to my account, I applied to dozens of jobs with the push of a button. Those which required more documentation, such as writing samples and cover letters, I saved for later.
In the end, one of those buttons landed me where I am today. With my journalism major in hand, I accepted a marketing position at a small company looking for someone with diverse writing skills. Today, I write blogs, post to social media, create policies and procedures, and develop marketing material.
I am by no means swimming in cash, but I do make enough to afford my own apartment and make loan payments. My dream still stands. I started a personal blog to expand my writing beyond my day job and still hope to publish a book someday.
The key to achieving your greatest ambitions is not throwing caution to the wind. Instead, I find success follows those who understand the practical steps they can take today to place them closer to their desires tomorrow.
- Prioritize your future career over your current job
- Dedicate a specific amount of time every day to your job search
- Find creative tools, such as phone apps, that simplify the process of applying for jobs
- Be practical about your dreams without abandoning them
- Do something every day that brings you closer to your goals