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Sunday, March 15, 2020

"I WORK NOW": PART III

It's about time I add another part to this series, which some of you may notice I've renamed to "I Work Now." I realized I really like writing about my experience going from early graduate to intern to now regular person in the workforce, and it's probably a whole lot easier to have a cohesive series name. The big news for this post I've already mentioned... but I was hired! Back in December I went from intern to coordinator on the same team I've been on, and since then it's been nonstop learning and adjusting. Keep reading for how that's been going and also my advice to others who want to break into the beauty industry too!



Click HERE for Part I
Click HERE for Part II

Thank you to my friend David for shooting this picture, visit his other work HERE!

I was just reading over my first post, which was written almost exactly a year ago. It's really unbelievable to see how much can change over the course of a year, at that point I was just getting used to not going to classes and working on homework all the time. Suddenly, I was feeling a little lost without working towards an educational finale as I had been since age three. No more graduations and moving onto the next type of school, just figuring out what I want to do next that can support myself and make me feel happy and fulfilled. You can browse through the pervious two parts of my series above, for this post, I'm going to focus on what I've learned since becoming officially full time.

I received the amazing offer about mid-November of last year to join the team I had been on for 1.5 terms as an intern now as a coordinator. I work with a really incredible, world-class team of individuals who are dedicated, passionate, and experienced at what they do and was so lucky and thankful to have this opportunity- one that I had been wishing for from the start! Beginning of December I started on in my new role, and between adjusting to new responsibilities and being in the thick of the holiday season (very busy for PR), things were feeling pretty crazy. It was actually a big learning process and took me a minute to get into a good swing of things, plenty of times I was feeling overwhelmed but all of that was just stuff that comes with being a full time employee. It's always times like these that I find myself growing the most, and I have so many new insights that let me understand myself professionally from them. 

Though I'm still in no way an expert on work life or in a position where I can advise anyone on any major career moves, I do love sharing my experiences with anyone else who is interested in beauty and/or PR/influencer marketing. One of the weirdest things has been other young people contacting me for advice because I feel like I still have so much to learn as well. Still, though I feel like I was just in their shoes when I look back to that first post in this series I wrote I see just how much more I know now than back then. See below for some of my biggest professional lessons:

The best thing you can be is organized
It's so easy to lose track of things that need to get done, there are big projects but also tiny to-do's that can get lost if you try to keep it all in your head. I'm the type of person who HAS to write down a to-do list, and through the day I'll scribble out and add as needed. In the spirit of journaling, I always make the top title a little fun and inviting with a swipe of marker, then neatly write out everything I need to do below. I also get a TON of emails per day and it can become really overwhelming to see unread and unsorted messages, so I file them into one of my dozen of folders immediately. I also make a point to quickly read each one, even if it doesn't really pertain to me directly in that message, to stay current. If the message has something I need to do, it doesn't get moved out of my inbox until it's done!

Messing up is part of the process
I still have so much to learn about my job and about my field, but one thing I have definitely learned to accept is that mistakes along the way are inevitable. They used to feel like the WORST, and talking to my other friends we agree that making a mistake at work can make you feel like the biggest buffoon in the world. The fact of the matter is that mistakes will happen and the best thing to do is to learn from it so it doesn't become a repeated mistake. Also, when a mistake does happen acknowledge it and propose a way to fix it. I've never been able to not point out a mistake because I think it's way scarier to not tell anyone about it, but I have become a lot better of finding a way to fix things on my own and that's something I'm really proud of.

You should love what you do
One thing my friends my age and I always talk about (we're all new to the workforce) is how much of our lives ARE our work now. Whether for better or worse, what I've realized is you really need to love what you do because that's most likely going to be most of what you do now (depending on the job). I consider myself very lucky because I work in the same area of my major interest- beauty! It's never felt like a chore to keep up with beauty products and learn more about them. I also fall more in love with PR the more I learn about it, but I know if I were to pursue a job doing something related to my major, international affairs, things would be a lot different. That's something I loved learning about but knew by the time I graduated that it wasn't what I wanted to do for a living.

Finding a full time job is one of the most daunting things ever
Finishing up school and coming out here to find a real full time job is THE WORST. I had so much anxiety about finding full time work it was crazy! How can you not? I'm blessed that it worked out with my internship that I could be hired into a full time role, but I've been in a position where that wasn't the case before. My advice is to keep your LinkedIn as current and curated as possible, and that includes creating posts and sharing what you're up to. Connect with people who have gone to the same school, in the industry/positions you want to be in, and actually read your feed daily. People post about openings all the time and it's a great way to get that insider kind of tip that there's something available. I was never the type to mass apply to tens of job openings, but the ones that I did I made sure were an actual good fit and placed a lot of care into the application.

Find your professional confidence
I think it's really easy and natural when you're first starting out in the working world to not really put yourself out there and stay a little reserved. What I've seen in myself over the past year, is the more familiar and confident in the work I produce becomes the more I feel overall confident and secure in myself at work. It's really such a process and just needs time and experience to foster it, but once you find that rhythm and pattern for success it is really so satisfying. I've had days and nights where I feel so anxious about something work related and it's usually just because it's new and feels intimidating, but once it's over it's like what was there even to get so worried about? That feeling has become less and less of an occurrence and I can attribute it to just being more comfortable in my own stuff. We love professional growth!

If you're looking to break into the beauty industry and PR/influencer marketing, keep up with industry news!
As I've already mentioned, something really unbelievable has started happening to me recently... other people trying to break into the came industry have started reaching out to me on LinkedIn for advice! That's the most amazing feeling in the world, but also kind of weird because I'm still so new to everything too. I think when it comes to finding a job, one of the best things to do is keep up with industry updates. For that, I recommend the classic WWD and also Daily Front Row (which publishes a list of media moves each week). Look at those media moves and make sure you also follow all those companies on LinkedIn to keep up, if you're looking for a job it's a great way to stay in the loop for openings.

Part IV to come... in the meantime, keep up with me on LinkedIn by clicking HERE :)