Photos of me taken by Chandler Grace
A question I get a lot is “soooooo…what do you do for a living?” And honestly, fair enough. I spent a year and a half post-grad starting a company with my mom, which meant a lot of odd jobs here and there to pay rent. Therefore, what I did changed all the time.
But the main thing I was doing was running a freaking awesome company with April Roark. It was called Rush Delivery, and we sat down with sorority leaders all over the south to custom design their recruitment wear for rush week. It was truly a dream job. We worked harder than I’ve ever worked in my entire life, and it was so worth it.
However, in March of 2018, the governing body over sororities nationwide mandated that sororities are no longer allowed to ask their members to purchase matching or coordinating outfits for recruitment. That decision effectively ended our company. I’ll be honest, it was absolutely heartbreaking.
I was doing what everyone dreamed of doing: creating my perfect job with my best friend. And then, all the sudden, I wasn’t. To top it all off, it didn’t even end because we didn’t work hard enough or because we did something wrong. It ended because our service was literally no longer needed. We got incredible feedback from our customers and had the time of our lives working with some inspiring women. We explored making a plus size line to make all sorority members feel comfortable during recruitment, we watched our designs go from drawings on printer paper to samples in our hands, and we traveled to some of the most prestigious universities in the south. But it was time to close that chapter of our lives. (To see photos from drawn designs to our clients wearing the pieces, click HERE to go to the spread of our journey on my blog.)
Rush Delivery ending meant a lot of unknowns for me. Since I didn’t spend my first few years out of college building up entry-level experience, I was afraid of what interviewing would look like for me…mostly because I qualified for nothing but entry-level. I just couldn’t wrap my head around going from CEO to coffee run girl. I already felt completely knocked down multiple pegs, I wasn’t ready to be humbled again.
I was running out of what little savings I had left, but was nowhere near emotionally ready to start sending out resumes and fielding rejection. That’s when I got a voicemail out of nowhere from someone in my church I’d never even had a conversation with, but who had heard I needed a job. He offered me a part time job at his non-profit organization, Forerunner Mentoring, and it was a massive blessing. We mutually understood this wasn’t my final destination, but it was such an important pit stop along the way.
A few months later, I was finally ready to start sending out my resume. I prayed for the right job to come along, and then I started networking with family and friends. But again, God stepped in and prepared a way for me that my resume never could. Another random message came through from a friend of a friend who heard I was looking for a job asking if I could come interview for a position at her company. I dropped everything and showed up for that interview, and I’ve been with the Living Company ever since.
I am now a Project Manager over the product development and production of custom furniture lines for hotel chains. When I interviewed for this position, I could tell that I didn’t technically have the years of experience required for the job. But when I told my now boss about my product development and production experience with my own company, she was highly impressed by something she valued more than technical years of experience: problem solving. I was able to tell her all about how we figured out design and production with absolutely no experience. And at the end of the day, that’s really what it takes to be a project manager: the unwillingness to give up on a project.
My new job is extremely hard. From the second I sit down to the second my supervisor pushes me out the door at 5 PM (cause she’s awesome), I am going 100 mph. My brain is constantly having to fire on all cylinders and I absolutely love it. It’s the same professional high I got with Rush Delivery, and I constantly feel so blessed to have been given a seat at this table.
If you’re looking for a job or about to graduate and don’t know what next step to take, here is my best advice for you:
Always have a resume ready to go. When applying for jobs, it’s the first thing everyone will ask you for, and it is your first impression. Keep it updated often and have a graphic design friend, a grammar queen, and an unbiased third party look over it for you constantly. I would even ask employers at the end of interviews to tell me how they would improve my resume based on our interview, their professional experience, etc.
Interview. Interview. Interview. Like everything else in life, practice will help you improve. Even if you aren’t 100% you want the job, do your best to get the interview. You can always go over your pro and con list with a glass of wine once the offer has come in.
At the end of the day, even though I did all of those things and I think they absolutely helped me get to where I am, this next tip, and a whole lot of grace from Jesus, is how I got this job:
Tell anyone who will listen that you are looking for a job, and tell them often. You won’t get the dream job through a job portal, you won’t find the amazing opportunity on LinkedIn, you’ll find it through a friend of a friend who heard you were looking for a job.
Here’s to the next chapter of professionalism and to being a 9-5 queen 5 days a week! Thank you to everyone who has helped me on my job journey, I appreciate the ladder you’ve helped me build more than you know.
Side note: Because we discontinued our Rush Delivery private line, I am now able to sell our limited stock at near cost. Please email me HERE if you’d like to purchase one of our custom pieces! To get a better look at the pieces HERE.