It Seems Like You're Ready
by Chyann Tull (Guest Writer)
It happened while watching a Jodeci performance from 1995 on YouTube. I decided to read the comments below, and I was scrolling past plea after plea for this group who changed the face of R&B to make a complete comeback. After telling a friend, what I just read, I ended up sharing with her what it would take to bring this band back to the forefront, and it was evident to her that this was not the first time that I played around with the idea of reintroducing some of my favorite underrated music artists to the mainstream. Right then and there on New Years Day 2013, I made the decision to abandon my perfectly laid plans to become a lawyer, and eventually seek a career in the media and entertainment industries.
The next day, I was scheduled to go to a networking event, and I made it my mission to seek out media professionals who could give me insight on how this industry works, and how I can get my foot in the door.
Almost as soon as I made the decision to listen to myself, to let my skills and interests be my guide, everything began to fall into place. I met the wonderful Johanna Salazar (YWSE-Miami, Chapter Co-Founder), who has been a wonderful mentor in helping me think of ways to learn the trades of the industry and to gain exposure. The next day, I met a representative from NBC Universal who, after talking for approximately twenty minutes, insisted that I email her my cover letter and resume to set up an interview for an internship in Advertising Sales, not my department of choice, but a foot in the door is a foot in the door. I did not get that internship, but I began searching for more internships in the media industry. Following the advice of an advisor, (shout out to the SEO College Scholars team!), I applied to be an intern at Viacom, and soon received two interview offers at Nickelodeon in the Advertising Sales department and the Content Management department. I did both interviews in the same day, and within two weeks, I was notified that I was not selected for the Advertising Sales Intern position. I was disappointed, but in a way relieved because I knew in my heart that I'm not interested in advertising sales. After another long wait, I notified that I was selected for the position as a Content Management Intern.
I am by no means a guru at landing jobs and internships, and my journey to finding my calling and discovering my passions are far from over, but I can say that it starts with a few things:
- Be a Good Listener: Listen to yourself. Your own heart and interests will dictate what direction you should be moving in.
- Be Honest: If you lie to yourself by making and keeping plans to pursue something that you do not feel in your heart, then you will waste time being miserable. When you get tired of living that lie you end up going back to the drawing board, when you could have had a fulfilling life doing what you love all along.
- Don't Knock Your Excitement: The things that you are excited to discuss with your friends, but cause them to roll their eyes (i.e. my love of all things R&B from 1990-2005), the things that you spend an unhealthy amount of time googling (i.e. Where is Devante Swing? Why is Jagged Edge so underrated?), the things that have a ridiculous ability to hold your attention (a plethora of television shows) are the clues to your interests. Your job should feel like playing all day with evidence of how much fun you've had.
- Get Good Mentors: I don't know where I would be if people did not take the time to invest in me. I have had teachers who have pushed me to go above and beyond where any student leader has gone before. I have been blessed with a mentor of almost 3 or 4 years who has always encouraged me and pushed me. Even though we no longer share the same career interest, she is still a valuable resource for thinking through my career moves, sounding off about things that bother me, and advice that is transferable across careers and circumstances. I also have a mentor in the media industry who takes her valuable time to show me how to break into the industry and shed light on the things that I may not be as savvy about.
I truly believe that following these few stepping stones will lead any young woman on the right path to figuring out her dream career. I beseech you to take my story and use it to ponder on your interests, obsessions and skills. If your reading this, it must already be on your mind, so try it. It seems like you're ready.
Photo Credit: Google Images
Contact Chyann Tull: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow YWSE on Twitter: @YWSE_hq
Follow Johanna Salazar on Twitter: @_JohannaSalazar
For more about YWSE please visit: http://www.ywse.org/
ABOUT Young Women Social Entrepreneurs (YWSE):
Young women social entrepreneurs have vision and ambition, but are challenged by lack of support from mentors and peers, lack of access to resources, and lack of training in the skills necessary to manage high impact projects and organizations. YWSE provides an environment in which young women social entrepreneurs’ visions and goals areaffirmed, supported, promoted, and propelled.
YWSE is a national organization with chapters in San Francisco, Portland, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City and Washington, DC. YWSE was created and is administered by the women it serves.
YWSE serves women with a socially conscious agenda who are founders and leaders within businesses, non-profits, and government organizations. We use 'young' to describe our target audience of women who are 'young' in their ventures – professionals in development stages of any aspect of their entrepreneurial careers – i.e. everyone is welcome! Hundreds of women are currently participating in the network.
- To bring women to the highest positions of leadership in business, government, and social and environmental work.
- To promote young women social entrepreneurs by providing training and development, access to resources, networking opportunities, and general support for our members.
Our Core Values - Principles that Guide our Work
- Desire and passion lead our decisions and roles.
- We practice full authenticity and honesty with one another and ourselves.
- We listen deeply.
- We value and enjoy the process as well as the product.
- We intend our YWSE experience to serve us every step of the way.
- We are accountable and responsible for our contributions, strengths, and weaknesses as individuals.
- We work in collaboration and consensus, valuing each woman's wisdom.
- We act with integrity, aligning this work with our deepest values.
- We practice intimacy, sisterhood, and respect to stay connected and effective as a team.
- We act for the good of the whole (including ourselves, the Board, YWSE's membership, and the world).
- We trust in one another and ourselves, and in the synergy of opportunities and challenges that arise for us as an organization.
- We believe in the abundance of resources, time, and opportunities.
- We bring levity to our work and have fun!
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