It's the question we've all been asked since we were children. It is a magical thought as a child to think about becoming an astronaut, firefighter, teacher, doctor etc. There are always a handful of dreamers who say something completely outrageous like a mermaid, unicorn, bag of cheetos haha I wish I was kidding but I was recently talking to my baby niece who had to answer the question in her school yearbook, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
It's cute when you're five years old but then it becomes a little more real when you get to high school preparing for colleges to attend. It's a bit even more real when you hit college graduation and then it's the MOST real when you're in your mid 20's in a dead end job that you hate and want a 180 degree career change with no clue on what it is that you want but you know it's not working at Nordstrom lingerie department or tech recruiting. That's where I was in my life at 24 years old! Some people have it all figured out and there I was with a college degree working in retail. For me, I felt like I was completely lost.
It's completely courageous and a humbling experience when you decide to change careers because you need to start at square one and that can really intimidate people when they've worked so hard to get to where they are RIGHT NOW. But, if you're unhappy in your current situation, you NEED to switch it up. Millennial's have such an advantage to do this because we are innovators, dreamers, creatives and not as judgy as the baby boomer crew that always bitches about our avocado toast addictions. Not to say my aunt and uncle who make up this crew of baby boomers are awful humans because I love them beyond belief BUT I don't think that they are as accepting of me NOT finding a regular 9-5 office job now that will allow me to retire when I'm in my 60-70's. Side note; the thought of that makes me want to throw up. As I've been told, it's not my job to make them happy, (although I try) it's my job to make myself happy so... there I was at 24 working a retail job after working my absolute hardest to get my college degree.
My career changes so far...
I feel as though I've lived a dozen different lives and I'm not even 30 HAHA I'm not telling you it's the most responsible decision that I've ever made because it was really rocky for all of my 20's BUT I'm making strides to figuring out what I want to do with my life and what I don't want so I guess that's cool?! I'll give you a run down on my job situation because it's way more in depth than the conversations I have in interviews. I was 21 years old, fresh out of college and I took a paid internship as an event coordinator at the San Francisco convention center. It was my dream job to plan, coordinate and execute large scale events for the tech industry in a large metro city near my hometown. I felt like I was on the right road that made sense to my family, my degree and the trajectory of my life. WELP... the internship ended and they had no open position for me. I had informational interviews with everyone and anyone in SF who would take the time to talk to me. I put me resume out there for just about any job I was kind of qualified for but I still needed to work in general so I went back to my bartending/serving job from college to make extra cash. Mind you, this was also 2013 when the recession hit and NO ONE could get a job let alone a new college grad. I ended up becoming a manager of a small italian restaurant and they wanted to move me to the South Bay to help open a new store. I knew I didn't want that for my life so I respectfully declined. I was only in the restaurant industry to make ends meet but if I kept going along with it, I felt like I'd be stuck.
I'll speed through the rest of it but I had a bad break up and wanted to get away so I moved to Anaheim and worked as a server. I wanted to be an actress and thought moving close to LA was the key but I didn't have the networking part down. I got really medically sick and had to move home. I went to recruiting agencies to get random office jobs, then worked at Nordstrom because I wanted to launch my fashion blog and thought, "oh yeah a fashion blog is the way to go so I'll surround myself with like minded people who like fashion". That also didn't pay the bills so I kept looking for more work. I'm sure I'll make a separate post about this but I saw a radio station hiring on Craigslist for street team members and I jumped on the opportunity. I got the job, worked my ass off, took a tech recruiting job full-time to get benefits and just kept my creative side hustle going strong. I'm sure I'll go into more depth but this job eventually led my to making the move to New York City.
If you haven't caught on, I'm a dreamer, a creative and heavily motivated to find my passion early in life. Why are you such a work-aholic, Kastania? GREAT QUESTION! I've always watched my Mom work so hard my entire life. I took that as; 'okay work my ass off now so I don't have to later in life'. We never took family vacations, never wore designer clothes, we never ate out at restaurants or had family outings together because it wasn't in our budget and that's okay. I didn't want that type of a relationship with money as an adult but yet, here I am... with that type of a relationship with money BUT at the least, I did figure out what I love and don't love within a work environment and I'm following that dream. I love being creative, I love working collaboratively with like-minded people and having a small foot in the door into the music industry even if it doesn't mean much on the big scale of things. It does give me butterflies when I'm at a live show and I assist in any way possible. I love the production, the fans cheering and that is something magical that I want to recreate forever. (hence why I'm a self-proclaimed concert junkie)
So maybe I'm not answering the daunting questions...
Oh I KNNNOOOOWW I'm not answering the daunting question; what do you want to be when you grow up? I still have no idea BUT I know I'm in the right industry, in the right city, on the right track after a number of failures and career changes. For that reason alone, I'm happy. My family and friends are not. I moved 3000 miles away from people who I've known and loved my entire life, my comfort of knowing where places are in my hometown, my security blanket that kept me warm and FOR WHAT?! Yes... to live my dream. I don't even really know what that is but that gut feeling in my stomach that felt empty before is now filled and I'm in a good place. If this resonates with you then I challenge you to follow that "dream" or "gut feeling" whatever you call it because in the long run, you'll be happier that you took the leap now. KK that's all, thanks for reading along this far!