My Career & Self-Growth Skyrocketed in Less Than a Year

My professional/career life has revolutionized tremendously this past year. About 12 months ago, I was just a sales associate at my job and a Communications student attending Montclair State University. I had nothing flashy about my resume/LinkedIn profile. I was already halfway done with my sophomore year and really had nothing to turn to; no clubs, organizations… nothing. Today, I’m a Stylist and Social Media Coordinator at my job as well as a writer and Entertainment & News Editor for Her Campus Montclair; here’s how I grew my communications career with the powerful help of top women in the industry!

 

The First Stepping Stone

In November 2018, I attended the NYWICI (New York Women In Communications Inc.) student career conference and a whole new world opened up for me. This was my first taste of the real world and I craved more of it. I took an insane amount of notes during panels; notes filled with inspirational quotes, advice, and of course, steps on maturing my communications career. All of these kind words were provided by the top women killing the industry. Lady bosses from companies like Bustle, Spotify, NBC, Cosmopolitan, Billboard, Forbes and more! These women taught me to face the world head-on and that nothing is impossible to achieve when you set your mind to it.

 

In between the conference panels, I networked with one of my now sweetest gal pals, Stephanie Michaels. She shared her interests and hobbies with me and briefly summarized Her Campus Montclair. After sharing her experience with HCM, I knew I had to get on board. All of my passions finally met at one corner: writing, media and women empowerment.

 

Joining Her Campus Montclair

Although I joined HCM at the end of the Fall 2018 semester, I was so happy to finally be apart of a group of women who had similar interests as me! I was super shy and nervous but knew that being quiet and hiding in the shadows would get me nowhere. I started to participate in every event I could and finally broke out of my comfort zone. I’ve made the sweetest friends and gained so much experience as a writer as well! I worked my butt off pitching my most creative articles and became the Entertainment and News Editor Fall of 2019. Ever since I became an editor, I’ve learned to prioritize and align my values, time management and leadership role. I had way more responsibility and was ready to take on the task. On top of writing and editing, I’m now apart of the media team and create IGTVs every Sunday on the HCM Instagram page! One of the biggest lessons I learned this past semester is to always take on what you receive. People will throw big tasks at you until your plate is completely full; know what you can manage and DO IT! Only set your mind towards things that will make you happy and proud. Don’t ever accept something that will steer you away from what you’re passionate about.

 

 

“Take every opportunity and the world will rise with you.” - Melissa Finney, Spotify Director of Sales, East

 

Becoming a Social Media Coordinator

By January 2019, I was ready to hit the ground running. After attending that powerful conference, I didn’t want to stay in my lane. I wanted to find my interests within my own roles. I noticed my store’s Instagram needed some TLC. Our store is the biggest in the entire state of New Jersey, how was its online presence so boring? I asked my former store manager if I could take over the page. Today, I have doubled the engagement and following in less than a year! Sometimes a task that is meant for a bigger role (in this case, my former store manager’s responsibility) can be a burden; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure... (or in this case, woman)!

 

“Pick up the scraps busy people have leftover.” - Jessica Pels, Cosmopolitan Editor-in-Chief

 

I knew I had to apply my skills and hunger for social media somewhere, and this was perfect and just for me. In less than a year, I was given the privilege to run the district Instagram page as well. This means reposting and connecting with stores all throughout the state! I was also given chances here and there to create content for the regional Instagram (the rest of the tri-state area: NJ, NY, Central Pennsylvania). Like I mentioned earlier, when you apply what you know into what you need to do, it really changes perspective and opens new doors. I applied my skills to what I already had and expanded both my career life and self-growth journey!

 

Growing My Own Instagram

In between all of this success, I took the time out of my schedule to create posts and content I love. I wanted to share my world and love of fashion/lifestyle with everyone through my Instagram posts. I revamped my Instagram and took full advantage of all the cool moments I’ve experienced so far such as Her Conference and modeling for Her Campus College Fashion Week. After listening to Sarah Hamel-Smith and her advice on posting content at the NYWICI conference, I knew I had to let my guard down. Stop thinking about what others will think, stop thinking about what is “good enough to post” and definitely STOP comparing yourself to others. Accept the fact that most, if not all of Instagram is a fantasy world. People post about what they want you to see, not what they are actually going through on a daily basis.

 

If it comes from passion, do it. Give out what you want to do, don’t think about others… it’s your page at the end of the day.”

- Sarah Hamel-Smith, Instagram Influencer & Body Positive Activist

 

My Story Continues

NYWICI has shaped my future; the inspirational women I’ve heard from all different types of backgrounds have been the little voices in my head pushing me to work smarter, not harder. It hasn’t even been a full year since my big career shifts, but it has been a year since the latest career conference. This year I had the pleasure to attend again, this time at Twitter NYC. I can’t express enough how game-changing my life has been since my first conference. Living so close to the city is a blessing!

 

If you’re stuck in a rut and in need of some inspiration, go out and explore. Find any chance that will cause you to network with ladies in the real world, it’s truly gratifying. Keep making friends in your niche and most of all, do what makes YOU happy.