I'm an Everygirl and... I changed career paths.
I distinctly remember the first time editors Alaina Kaczmarski and Danielle Moss announced that they were launching The Everygirl. I remember reading these words:
"Whether she is searching for her dream job or a new city to call home;
is saving up for a down payment or a trip to Europe;
is learning to cook or speak another language,
she wants a little guidance. She wants to be inspired.
She is The Everygirl.
This is for her."
I had spent the year prior to the launch agonizing over a career path, desperate to feel like I was accomplishing something worthwhile, full of inspiration but no clue where to start. I can literally remember calling my mom almost every day near tears because I felt so lost after I moved on from my intended career path in theater. Even though I was counting down the days until the site launched, I could never have predicted the impact it's had on my life.
I applied for an internship at The Everygirl soon after they launched and didn't hear back. But after I blogged a photo of my kitchen and mentioned The Everygirl in a tweet, Alaina sent me a message asking for more photos of my little home for a potential apartment feature. I squealed and did leaps down the hallway. And then I called my mom and we squealed together. And then I did some more leaps. I immediately followed up, and then stalked them politely and asked more than a few times if they were still looking for interns.
It seemed like a million years later, but eventually, I signed on to work with The Everygirl and Jess LC all in one summer. I was unbelievably thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to work with all of these women and their businesses that I admire so much.
Before I even came to Chicago, I started doing work for The Everygirl through telecommuting. Being a part of a new business so early in the process (I started working with them in April, and they had launched in February) was such a special, crazy, valuable experience. I'll never forget the late nights on gchat with them scouting budget finds, putting together copy for the newsletter, and writing questions for the upcoming features. Even though there were some nights when we didn't finish until midnight, I went to bed in awe that I was a part of something that felt so close to my heart.
I took the Megabus into Chicago for The Everygirl event at BHLDN to kick off Wedding Week with Danielle and Alaina and help them get things in order. Lord, I remember that like it was yesterday. I was so nervous. I was in charge of bringing these tags that we placed throughout the BHLDN store as "The Everygirl's Picks," and I spent about a zillion hours cutting them out of cardstock to perfection, retying the pink ribbon over and over until it was just right and over-analyzing the size of the hole punches.
Finally, the bus arrived in Chicago, and I went straight to Danielle's apartment. She immediately welcomed me with big hug and zipped outside to let Buddy (her rescue pup) use the bathroom. I tried to be calm and collected but inside I was honestly freaking out. She proceeded to take about ten hours to get ready/leave the house (something I would later learn is the norm for her), and we took the el over to Alaina's neck of the woods. AHHH. Alaina. Live Creating Yourself was the first lifestyle blog I ever remember reading, and it will always, always have a special place in my heart. I remember her driving along and pointing out all of the places she loved to go in the Southport Corridor, but I was so distracted by trying to look normal and calm that I couldn't process anything she was saying.
Fast forward to now. October 29th. While I haven't been on a regular schedule with TEG since the end of September, I've stayed involved here and there with occasional ideas and meetings, simply because the site means a lot to me. It's pushed me to new heights, taught me to dream without limits or expiration dates, and expanded my horizons. In so many ways, I feel like this incredible website and I grew up together this last year, striving to reach our full potential month after month.
But now begins a new chapter.
I'm so excited to tell you guys that on October 24th, I began my new (full-time) role as Social Media Maven at Skirt PR.
This new phase in my life feels very full circle, actually. So much of my experience at The Everygirl directly correlates with the kind of work I'll be taking on at Skirt, and for that reason, I am so thankful that I've had the opportunity this past year to grow my writing and social media capabilities. It is through the career features on TEG that I've had enough faith to take chances, and go for the things I really want out of life, rather than settling for what I think I can get. Skirt PR's career profile has been one of my favorites since it went up, and I am truly grateful, honored (and yeah, a little terrified) to have the opportunity to work with such an accomplished team.
I know this new road will be full of twists and turns, and I know I have a ton to learn. I'm comforted knowing that I have amazing mentors, friends, family, my boyfriend, and the brilliant words of women featured daily on The Everygirl to coach me through the rough patches, cheer me on through successes, and inspire me to work harder and go further every day.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, whatever you want to do, do not give up. Do not count yourself out. You have just as much right to live out your goals and dreams as anyone else. And if you don't know what they are yet? Don't worry. They will find you.