In Defense of Having No Idea What to Do with Your Life

Mseng No idea

I’m often told that I have it “all figured out.” I have a career path, I have a blog that I share with my best friend, I live in the best city in the world (such an unbiased statement, I know), and I’m surrounded by friends and family that I care deeply about. It may seem that I’ve checked every box on the list, but I think that’s only if you have a list to begin with. In reality, I’ve just started to conquer the goals and aspirations I had for my life and there is a long adventure ahead of me. Most of the time… I have no idea what I’m doing.

When I applied for college and well into my sophomore year, I had not a hint of what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I wanted to be creative and I knew I wanted to be out of my comfort zone. I knew I wanted to write, but I didn’t want to be stuck in a cubicle or writing about something that didn’t interest or inspire me. That’s very little to go on. All I did know was that I wanted to be in New York and I wanted to be happy. Now that college years are behind me, I’m still trying to figure it all out. I might be more stable than I was just out of college, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my fair share of “soul-searching” ahead of me. And you know what, I’m all for it. I almost welcome the confusion, the curiosity and the jitters that come with not having a clue what to do with your life. And here’s why:

You’re open to every possibility - Those who have a “plan” or a “timeline” are often close minded and have the blinders on. It would be lovely to have your life plotted out for you and to have complete control over what’s going on. Universal truth – we don’t. Almost always things go NOT according to plan and if they do, usually it’s not in the way you expected. So throw that timeline out the window! When you’re open to what could be ahead, some real miracles happen. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s unknown. But with a little hard work you could be getting what you wanted all along, just better.

You are stronger for it – With little idea what to do with your life, you may take some chances or go down a few roads that are just not right. That’s how you learn. In college I had a 5 month stint at an advertising agency that was just not right for me. Never regretted moving away from advertising after that. My first real job after college lasted me 4 months until I jumped ship and found an agency that really worked for me. You may have not taken the pretty path, but you’re wiser now.

You will see opportunity around every turn - So long as you put yourself out there and continue to work hard, you’ll see opportunities  knocking at your door like you never imagined. It may not be a top-five-dream-PR-firm or an up-and-coming-fashion-designer begging you to work for them, but it will be something scrappy or full of new experiences. Maybe it will require some skills that will need to be self-taught. Maybe it’s for a company you never thought you would have an interest in. Try it out! Worst case, you hate it but stick it out for a little bit and you then have the experience to find your dream job. That doesn’t sound so bad.

How about you? Do you have a clue what to do with your life? If not, do you find it to benefit you or hold you back?

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From the Inbox: Do I Go Back to Get My Degree?

Hi Girls!

So I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now and I know without a doubt that PR is a field for me. Now, my only dilemma is should I really go back to school for a formal education in it? My close friend believes in my dream and let me jump into the field as her publicist (she’s a DJ).

I’ve made connections, gotten her features and gigs, but I keep wondering what will happen when I decide I want to work for a firm. Will not going back to school deter a future employer even if I have an impressive rolodex and proven work ethic? Or is hard work and dedication all I truly need?

-Doubtful with a foot in the door.

From the Inbox Foot in the Door

First off, congrats on your success thus far! Getting a degree really depends on what you want out of your future career. If you’re dead set on working on an agency, generally most of them require a bachelor’s degree. It doesn’t have to be in PR, but any sort of degree is important. Don’t quote me on this because it is a case by case basis. Some places wouldn’t focus on your degree – just your experiences.

My advice would be to go back to school and get your degree. It won’t hurt and you might get discouraged if places start to turn you down because you don’t have a degree. Try to get an internship in the meantime just to get yourself some agency experience. Either for pay or for credit. You’ll walk into your internship more prepared than others and it could open a lot of more doors for you.

Best of luck,

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Get the Creative Juices Flowing

I’m very lucky that I am off all next week for a vacation with my family in Georgia. I haven’t had a break since Christmas, and I can’t actually believe that it’s here already! One of my main goals of the trip is to relax COMPLETELY (my phone will be stashed away) and reset the brain. I’ve been feeling a little creatively blocked and there’s nothing like some sunshine to clear out the cobwebs.

If you’re not headed off to an island or don’t have a lounge chair near by, there are still ways you can get your creative juices flowing. Here are a few of my favorites:

Take a walk – Usually when my brain is failing me it’s because I’ve been in the same space for hours on end. One of my favorite things to do is go on a walk to someplace completely new. I’m not talking about 5 minutes around the block. I mean at least a solid 30-45mins by yourself in a new place. I always find new restaurants, new iconic New York locations, a surprise Jazz musician here and there – it’s one of my favorite times.

Or, a run – When I REALLY need help upstairs, I always lace up the running shoes. Even though I’m thinking or day dreaming on my whole run, the euphoria I get once I’m done really helps me channel my goals and tackle the to-do list. Any exercise will work

Tumblr – Pinterest and Instagram are great but I often get distracted. I have a few pretty Tumblr blogs I follow that only contain beautiful photos and ideas for fun occasions. Just looking at pretty photos always seems to put me in a good mood and have me thinking about new adventures I want to take

Read a new book - A completely new point of view and escape from your life is always welcome. Settle into someplace quiet and get into a new life you can visit for a short while

Tackle a project - If there is something you’ve always wanted to do, like paint your bedroom blue or try a new taco recipe, just do it! You’ll feel accomplished, and your brain will be looking for new things to try

How do you get the creative juices flowing?

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Playing it Cool around Celebrities

Meeting and working with celebrities is a part of our job. It’s one of the perks we look forward to entering the industry – whether it’s working an event, coordinating an interview or setting up a photo shoot. Some celebrities make us love our job and some make us hate it, but no matter how many times you meet the stars, there will always be those one or two that leave you star struck.

Fan Girl

One of the most important aspects, especially when you’re starting out in the industry, is to keep calm. Having a fan girl moment in front of your celebrity crush is not only uncomfortable for the celebrity, but also for your coworkers and client. If your dream is to have your picture taken with the celebrity, ask if it’s ok with your manager first. It’s a case by case situation depending on what kind of mood the celebrity is in, what the asks are and how everything is going.

Keeping it cool when you’re on the job isn’t always easy but try to keep professional when you’re interacting with celebrities. Be upbeat, personable and complimentary. At the end of the day your job is to get everything your client needs from a business standpoint. The perfect Instagram picture for yourself is secondary…

What are some of your celebrity stories? Ever have a complete fan girl moment? Not going to lie… I’ve gotten that pit in my stomach, knees weakened, I can’t speak feeling many times.