News Producer, Beauty Manager, and Marketing Coordinator: My Strange 2016 Career Path and what I learned From It
In December 2015, I graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and a concentration in print journalism. Although my collegiate journey had ended, my job search had begun way before I walked across the stage at the Greensboro Coliseum.
In May of that same year, I decided to return to my hometown and complete my degree through online classes. I thought that I was being proactive. I had been applying for jobs that entire spring semester and was sure that by choosing to finish my degree online, I would be ready to go when a job offer came through.
But the summer came and went, and I still had not received one offer. And to be honest, I had only been invited to one job interview.
After the summer was over, I realized that this was not actually a summer break, and I would not be returning to campus. Reality began to sink in.
Now let's backtrack. Although I was a college student, my resume was pretty impressive. I was even told so by a few employers, although for some reason they didn't see fit to offer me positions. My resume was polished. I had a very nice electronic portfolio. So why couldn't I find a job?
No, I had not formally completed my degree. But I was 2 elective courses away from being finished. Could this be the reason why my luck was low?
Right after worry began to make its way into my mind in August, I had a long, serious, snot and tears conversation with God. And immediately He began to drop into my spirit everything that was going to happen in 2016.
The old Laci probably would have gotten irritated and tried to tell God that I needed it NOW and not in 5 months. But the new Laci was ecstatic. I held on to those promises and carried them in my heart until 2016 arrived.
In February of 2016, after nearly stalking the News Director at my local TV station as well as the EIC of my local newspaper, I received two offers. One, to produce the 6 a.m. morning news at the station, and the other as a full time reporter for our newspaper. I was completely overcome with joy.
I accepted the position with the news station. Although I originally applied to be a reporter, the news director thought that my experience would be better suited as a producer. I did not object. I decided that I could gain valuable information behind the scenes, and one day move into my dream position in front of the camera.
After working at the news station, I quickly decided that the environment and 11pm-7am shift was not for me.
I made the decision to quit.
Some people criticized me for not staying that long (only a few months), and they thought that I was giving up on my dream. But what those same people didn't realize is that being in news was never my ultimate dream, but we'll get to that later.
I decided to make my next move a pretty drastic one. I always wanted to live in Houston, so what did I do? I packed up my Passat, and moved to Houston. I was excited about finally being able to live near some family whom I had not spent much time with.
The day before I left for Houston, I was asked to come in for an interview at Dillard's. I had decided that if I was going to Houston, I was not going to do journalism, at least not immediately. I am pretty obsessed with all things makeup, and was interested in learning more about the art, so I applied for a few cosmetics positions.
I was soon hired as a Business Beauty Manager for Estee Lauder. During my time there, I met so many amazing people and learned so much about myself, running a business, and being a team leader.
One mistake that I will honestly admit that I made, was not being sure that going to Houston was in God's plan for me. Granted, the transition was smooth, but I became unsure of the timing.
I always knew that I had a calling that was specific for North Carolina; Eastern North Carolina to be exact. I've known for quite some time that God was/is going to use me to mentor and touch the lives of girls and young women in my community. But I chose to run from that calling to chase my own agenda.
Which is the reason why I chose to return to NC after a very short time in Houston. Coming back was a hard decision to make. I knew what people would say and think. I didn't want to look like a failure.
I can't even say that the transition back to my home state was easy either. I didn't have that much money saved up this time, so I was unsure how I was going to pay my next couple car payments and insurance bill.
I had an interview scheduled for the day after I returned. Unfortunately, when I walked into the office building, the receptionist told me that position had just been filled. Heartbroken, and becoming unsure of my decision to come back, I held on to my faith and continued to pray and apply.
Two months later, I would start my job as a Marketing Associate Coordinator for a tech company in Cary. With a dream salary that I did not even have to negotiate for, amazing benefits, and a wonderful work culture, I can say that God created this position specifically for me.
So, with all of the moving around and changing of careers that has filled this year, here are my main takeaways:
1. Trust God, trust the process.
I started this year broke, with no job, and living in my hometown with my Granddaddy. I got to work some pretty lit jobs, meet amazing people, and live in one of my favorite cities. On top of that, I brought my first car (by myself), moved into my dream apartment, and I have a great job. None of this came easy. But it all came because I chose to continue to trust God and the promises that He gave me.
2. Be confident in your calling.
When I would tell people what I wanted to do, they didn't think it was a good idea. But I had to realize that it is my calling and my vision. I am going to accomplish it with or without you. Be confident in what you have been called to do. Chasing your dreams takes a lot of gut and is certainly not for the faint of heart.
3. Don't share your dreams with everyone.
God didn't give them your vision for a reason. You can't expect others to wholeheartedly believe in you if they can't see what you see. The bible say's write the vision and make it plain, not say the vision. If you feel the urge to share your aspirations with someone, find someone you can 100% trust, talk to God, or keep a journal.
4. Chase. Those. Dreams.
No matter how crazy they are, how bumpy the road is, or how many people from your squad fall off, keep going. It will be so worth it in the end. If you can dream it, you can achieve. You just need to put in work.
What have your recent career moves taught you? Do you have any stories of how people tried to discourage you? I'd love to hear from you!