Hello Stranger! I have been the worst blogger ever lately! My apologies to my loyal readers (meaning you mom and dad). Between starting a new job, and, furthermore, waiting to launch this pretty little layout, posting wasn’t my top priority; and also not something that could really be done well until launching this fab new design! A big thank you to Amanda O’Brien (my fabulous website developer, I highly recommend! Check out some of her other blogs on the sites of my friends Lex and Elena!) for putting together this amazeballs new layout which reflects my aesthetic so much better than the old design did!
I am so excited to share the brand new site with everyone! (So much so that sorry, I am not sorry for the excessive use of exclamation marks in this post thus far! ! !) This website revamp comes at a particularly good time for me, as I am kind of rounding off a whole personal revamp as well…as such…it is about to get a little personal here on The Stylephile. Furthermore, I am going to sneakily insert some professional tips that came from some personal tribulations.
Blogging began as a way for me to explore the journey I took as a naive and newly-minted New Yorker, hitting the streets of the city to cover topics of
hard journalism fashion, eating, drinking, dating, and makeup. I fell in love with writing; and, subsequently took a big leap of faith by dropping out of the graduate school program that I had been planning to pursue for basically my entire undergraduate career to see if I could really follow my dreams. (That is what New York is about, amiright?)
glamorously laboriously developed my personal portfolio (which you can now see a lot of here on the new site, hooray!) I worked 5 or 6 random odd jobs at all hours of the day and night and wrote for free on sites like Joonbug, Elite Daily, and 20Something in an effort to develop the kind of clout that would land me an actual job. I was hilariously optimistic that I would be doing this for all of three months or so, and then magically I expected to land some kind of high-paying, fabulous, glossy editorial job that would skyrocket me to journalistic superstardom.
When that didn’t happen, I continued to work (as a hostess, babysitter, dog walker, tutor, personal assistant, intern, academic editor, freelance copywriter, digital consultant, personal stylist, failed entrepreneur, retail associate, beer promoter, and probably several other things which I am forgetting) for what has essentially comprised the past 2 years of my life.
Though I did not have the traditional background of a journalist or digital content creator, I cut my teeth in the industry by providing free labor in exchange for on-the-job-training and exposure. I did not take “no” for an answer, and was so obnoxiously tenacious and unapologetically optimistic, that basically I think I just tried at it for so long that something eventually clicked.
What is the point of this overtly peppy ramble? Well, basically, though I wouldn’t say I have exactly “made it,” because I have a lot of untapped ambitions toward which I am working, I would say that I have managed to establish a career in my dream industry in New York via old-fashioned hard work and dedication.
And this was not accomplished without a seriously hefty dose of self doubt, minor bouts of depression, self medicating with bottles of wine, and a lot of complaining. This new website design, and my new job, are a testament that continually manifesting your destiny does work. Breaking into an industry that is over saturated and not very welcoming is not easy, but it is worth it if you can literally cannot imagine yourself doing anything else.
I picked this road because the prospect of spending my life behind a desk doing something else seemed like one giant missed opportunity. And so I relentlessly sought experiences that would help me meet the right people, be in the right places, and develop the right skills. And so, no, I am not an expert, but the bow are my top tips for developing a professional network without an obvious in.
1.Be nice to everybody. You never know who they work for, or who they know. Being genuinely interested in people’s passions will help you become a better communicator. It will make people respect you and want to work with you. It is the most powerful networking skill you can possess.
2. Be flexible. Say yes and attend as many networking and social events as you can. Life is busy, but you never know who you will meet, and I have never regretted showing up to something, even if it was just because I got free wine.
3. Diversify your skill set. So you want to be a stylist, blogger, writer, or x,y,z creative? There are other things you need to make people want to work with you today. Learn about social media, basic HTML, perfect your administrative skills, and be well-informed about cutting edge news in your industry.
4. Be an expert. Be the person your friends think of when they are talking about your industry to a friend. Referrals are powerful tools, and people respect you when you really know what you are talking about.
5. Don’t be shy. Send someone you admire an e-mail, and ask them if they need help on a project o how they got their start. Meet other friends in the industry for coffee. Listen to their advice and really use it in your life.
6. Ask questions. The worst thing you can say in a job interview is to answer the interviewers “Do you have any questions for me?” with, “No, I think you covered it.” Ask people about their visions for a company, department, brand, or project. Get people talking, it will make them like you.
7. Invest the time. We are all tired. A lot of times following your dreams means working the extra hours, or squeezing in the space in your life to pursue those goals. Maybe that means skipping out on something else. That’s okay, it will be worth it.
8. Don’t give up! Seriously, don’t. I almost did. I thought I had tried for so long that it was tie to try something else. I wallowed in self pity for about a month and ate my weight in peanut butter to cope. But I kept applying, and it paid off.
9. Write down your goals. Refer back. Check off when accomplished.
10. Be fabulous. Show up in something that makes you feel good (like the outfit in this post). And don’t let anyone make you feel like you aren’t the fiercest bitch in the city.
Stay tuned friends, and thanks for following along!
Photos by Anabella V Photography