The Unexpected Career Path

maze career path

How did you get into the career path you’re in at this exact moment? Was it through an internship? A college mentor? A referral? A job posting online?

Sometimes its hard to remember exactly how you got to where you are in life now — at least for me can be. It seems like just yesterday I was walking to and from classes at Western New England College with only a vague idea of what I wanted to do post-college. In fact, I recently took a stroll down memory lane by walking around my old campus when I was last in the area.

I guess that’s when it hit me — how did I go from being a wandering freshman in college to owning my own business?

Life moves so fast that it’s hard to think about (and appreciate) all the events that have happened, and people that have come into your life that helped you get to where you are today. Now I’m the one speaking with soon-to-be college graduates or entry-level folks who are looking for advice on how to get into marketing, startups or how to even think about a career path. It’s so fun to give this advice, especially since I’ve learned so much of it from others who mentored me along the way.

My Quick Advice

  • Never be afraid to take risks. It’s scary, but it means you’re doing something that’s worth it and that you believe in. So follow that intuition and go hard after it!
  • Never settle. If you’re in a current career path you’re not satisfied with and not growing from, don’t stick it out just to stick it out. Explore what would truly make you grow in life (personally and professionally)
  • Get out there. Start talking to others who are doing what you’d love to do, research it, go to those industry events and even hop on social media and begin engaging with others in the field.
  • Learn. Aim to learn at least one new thing per day on what you truly want to do. So even if you’re not where you want to be now, you can frame what that job will look like the more you know about it.
  • Test it out. Pick up a side consulting gig or weekend project where you can actually work on some projects related to what you want to do. See if you truly enjoy doing it — and feel it can be a strong point of yours.

In short, it’s all about discovering what it is you really want to do and doing everything you can to get there.

Giving advice like this and reflecting back on the steps I took to get to where I am today does make me stop and think for a humble moment why I made the decisions I did and how that brought me to where I am today. In short, here’s how it all came about:

My Story (in a nutshell)

If I were to narrow it down, my journey started with a work-study opportunity I had in my school’s Marketing department. A year later, it really took off when I landed an internship close to Boston that gave me access to new events to attend and opportunities to meet some pretty great people. After that internship and graduating college, I found myself consulting with several very early stage startups and agencies around Boston who needed content and social media help. This in part is how the founder of Backupify noticed me and brought on as their first marketing hire. I do remember Rob May, Backupify’s founder, telling me about a year into the job that by age thirty, he saw me starting my own business. I vividly remember laughing this off, as I certainly wasn’t ready to envision that at the time. Little did I know…

After three amazing years at Backupify, I decided to join Crashlytics (acquired by Twitter) to be their first marketing hire. My real turning point was after about nine months at Twitter (which, as you know, is a very large company — much different from the small startups I came from) when I started to really crave starting my own thing. I was ready, Rob.

I think that by being surrounded by entrepreneurs like Rob, the founders of Crashlytics, and many more across Boston, I caught the startup bug and started my own company — a marketing consultancy for early stage VC backed startups. I couldn’t be happier. It has been a wild ride so far, but worth every second of pain and glory. That’s the startup roller coaster, right?!

Your Story

Everyone has their own story of how they got from point A to point B, or even from A to B to C to F to Z. And it’s so inspiring to hear the stories others have, as they make me so excited to know that my story as of yet is only the beginning of an even more exciting journey to come — as is yours.

What is your story? Tweet it out, blog about it, or even leave it in the comments below! I’d love to do a follow up post here highlighting a few more stories — not just my own!