Tag Archives: College

19. Nurture your career early on.

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It took me awhile to find my career path. Remember, it also took me 10 years to graduate from college. So by the time I found out I hwas interested in advertising, I was already 27. My first advertising job was at a big agency in Los Angeles and I started as a senior print traffic manager. Essentially, I ran stuff around all over the place. Anyway, this position allowed me to interact with virtually everyone and every department at the agency. And I knew within the first couple of months that I wanted to be a copywriter. This was not an easy choice – being a copywriter involves putting a portfolio together and praying that some creative director will like it enough to give you a chance. So I immediately started taking portfolio classes in Los Angeles and asked copywriters at the agency to mentor me. Many of them let me sharpen my teeth on some copywriting assignments, which included a TV spot for the Los Angeles Public Library, where I got to work with Stockard Channing. I did all this in addition to my day job, and eventually, I became a copywriter. At some other agency – but that’s another story.

Word to the wise: When it comes to your career, don’t wait. Do everything you can, as early as you can, and you’ll be on the path to success sooner. Better yet, if you graduated college in four years (see post #13, “Don’t Take 10 Years to Get a Four-Year Degree), you’ll have a huge leg up on someone like me. If you’re still trying to figure things out, visit http://www.careerpath.com. They’ve got some great advice and a test you can take to see what best suits your talents.

Was your career path straight and narrow? Did you get to where you want to be early in life? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Should Know.”

13. Don’t take 10 years to get your four-year degree.

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Taking 10 years instead of the requisite four to get your college degree is definitely something I wouldn’t recommend. It’s time consuming and expensive. Especially if you keep switching your major. Case in point: me. I didn’t stick to the major I started with – Theater Arts. Let’s just say my dad wasn’t too thrilled with my ambitions (or prospects) of being an actress. So to appease him, I became a business major. This time, I was the one who wasn’t too thrilled. So I decided to change my major yet again. I chose English Literature, figuring it was practical, yet creative. Finally, at the age of 27, yours truly was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in English. If I’d just stuck to theater arts (and honestly, if you’re a liberal arts major, nobody really cares what your degree is in), I could have had my degree when I was 22. I do have a ton of units, by the way. Although, today some might say getting a four-year degree isn’t worth it. But a recent study says it is:

http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/05/10/what-does-a-college-degree-really-get-you-in-2012/

Word to the wise: Unless you want to be a doctor, lawyer or nuclear physicist, get your degree in four years – even if your major is Home Economics. One of my roommates chose that as her major and ended up being a real-estate appraiser making upward of $175,000 per year (well, the market was good once).

How long did it take you to get your degree and do you think it matters? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in“Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Should Know.”