As someone who runs a platform that’s dedicated to sharing stories, it’s probably weird that I haven’t shared my own. But it’s finally time! Here is a little bit about my story and what led me to start Movers + Makers.
A few years ago, I embarked on the journey that new college grads find themselves on: the inevitable job search. I had received my degree in Mass Communications (go Bobcats!), had three PR internships throughout my college career, and was set on landing a PR or marketing position in Austin’s communication industry. I set out with the goal of getting an entry-level job, working my way up while getting to work with creative clients along the way, and eventually starting a company of my own. I had done everything I was supposed to do–the classes, the internships, the networking–and had a goal for my future. I had it all figured out!
Yet, one year after graduating I found myself without a full-time job and living at my parent’s house.
That first year was a tough one. I applied for a TON of jobs, interviewed at a handful of companies, and was ultimately either ghosted or rejected by every opportunity. Meanwhile, I picked up a lot of odd jobs in between searching for a full-time job. I worked a retail pop-up, handed out drink samples as a brand representative, worked the door at large events, and even tried getting some freelance work to keep me afloat. Thankfully, I was able move back in with my parents (I grew up in Round Rock) which I am forever grateful for, but it was definitely not part of the plan.
A little more than a year after graduating, I finally landed a job with a local marketing agency. It was part-time, I was one of three employees–including the founder–and we worked out of a coffee shop. (Side note: I HATED coffee prior to this, but working out of a coffee shop every other day forced me to give in to its wonders. Looking back, I don’t know how I survived college without it!) The job was definitely not what I had pictured my first post-grad job to look like, but boy was I thankful to have it.
I eventually started picking up more part-time jobs to supplement my income (and figure out what I really wanted to do), including doing admin and fulfillment for a jewelry designer, writing for a local magazine, and picking up a couple writing and marketing gigs here and there. Through all of these jobs and experiences, I began to discover new interests and skills–ones that I never thought about a few years prior.
What I learned
I learned a lot about myself during this period of discovery. I had gone through college with the sole intention of landing a “dream job” after graduating. I valued myself based on my career path, and landing that dream job after graduating would’ve been the ultimate mark of success in my mind. I thought it would define me. So going without a full-time job for an entire year made me seriously doubt myself and my abilities. I felt like a failure! Looking back, it feels silly to say considering there are worse things that I could’ve been going through. I also had an amazing support system that made the entire process more bearable. But it really was a tough time period that challenged me and made me realize what I truly wanted out of my career (and life).
While each of my part-time jobs were seemingly different from one another there was one common denominator, and that was that I worked for entrepreneurs. Each of my bosses taught me different skills and gave me career experiences that I know will stick with me for life. What I truly learned from all of them though was that, while it may be challenging at times, it’s entirely possible to work for yourself and to create something of your own.
I realized that I was not cutout for (nor did I want to be) a corporate job. I eventually even had a couple opportunities to pursue a full-time office job, but I chose to continue working part-time jobs. I believed that if I continued to follow my curiosities, I would eventually discover what I should pursue next. I loved having the freedom to create, the scrappiness that comes along with small businesses, and the fulfillment that comes from working for a small business owner or for yourself. Even if it meant having four jobs at once, as long as I was doing things I enjoyed and picking up new skills that could help me grow as a creative, I was happy.
A new chapter: Movers + Makers
Throughout college, and especially throughout that stressful first year post-grad, I found myself reading up on founder stories almost daily. I found inspiration and hope in their stories of overcoming obstacles, veering off of their original path, and finding themselves on the journey of entrepreneurship. Working for small business owners here in Austin solidified my interest in entrepreneurship and sparked my curiosity to further explore the creative community.
In January of 2017, I set out to build a platform where stories could be shared and a small community centered around creative entrepreneurship could form. In May of that year, Movers + Makers officially launched!
My hope for Movers + Makers is that sharing the stories of creative entrepreneurs will inspire and offer guidance for those who are also pursuing a creative life. With all of the stories we’ve shared so far, it’s been apparent that there’s no one way to forge a path or make a career for yourself. I wish I knew this when I was struggling and beating myself up for not having the full-time “dream job” I always longed for. But what I know now is that it’s okay for plans to change and for new dreams and career goals to form.
Movers + Makers has been such an incredible experience so far. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with like-minded women, learn about their stories, and witness small businesses grow and pursue their goals. I’m excited for what’s to come this year; I’m officially a full-time freelancer and I’m more dedicated than ever to grow Movers + Makers into the inspiring and resourceful platform I know it can be. I hope what others can take away from the stories we share and events we host is that you can pursue the life you want to have, and the community around you will be there to support you along the way.