Tonight I’ll be the keynote speaker for NY Creative Interns’ Monthly Student/Grad/Professional Mixer for March. It starts at 7 pm and is hosted by the wonderful folks at Taap.it I’ll be presenting a version of Making Moves: A post-grad’s view on opportunity, success, and “safe bets” that I first shared when I spoke at Hofstra Unversity last fall. Almost six months later, the content remains true. When I stopped trying to plan out every single thing in my life and actually started taking risks is when more opportunities presented themselves to me. However, there is one question that I am not sure I can help interns and students answer, since I’m unsure how to solve it myself.
Whenever someone asks me what I’m planning to do in five years, I tend to look at them with a blank face. Working in social media, I can’t predict what will happen in the industry a year from now, let along five. Graduating from undergrad and starting a career during a recession has taught me you can’t rely on strong powerhouse industries or large companies to always be around. I say this thinking about the publishing and media industries and large companies like AOL who have had to rethink their business strategy time and time again. This has left me to really live in the moment when it comes to my career decisions, which I think is a practice everyone should adopt. You never know how the industry will shift, but you can have a gut feeling that a certain business or emerging field will grow into a huge opportunity for you. I think about the year 2008, when I was a dork for being into Twitter and had to explain in every class how it worked. Four years later, that interest has lead me to become a thought leader in social media and employed at one of the most forward-thinking digital agencies around.
I don’t know if it’s plausible to say you want to work at a certain company or have a certain title in a few years, but I think you can decide what you want to accomplish within that time frame, whether in business or in your personal life. It’s more valuable to be aware of what is happening in the world and how you can be a part of it.
There are still tickets available for tonight’s mixer. Whether you are a student, professional, or recent grad, there is always a benefit to meeting like minded people and either sharing or giving advice. Hope to see you there!