I was very skeptical about writing this because I do not like sharing personal details of my life, I find it scary. One of my good friends said my story gave her hope in pursuing her own goals, and hoped I would consider writing it as my next blog post.
If you want to read something a little more lighthearted check out, 10 things I’ve learned during my first year in New York City.
Here it goes…
When I moved to New York in September 2015 I kind of had an idea of what I wanted to be. What I did know, was that I wanted to break into the advertising world.
I moved into my grandmas place in Brighton beach until I found my own place. I could not afford to live on my own so my Mom and I agreed to live together. My Mom was living with my brother in Florida at the time and they were in the process of moving my brother to Arizona – so the timing couldn’t have been better.
I have been living on my own for a few years in London so I didn’t know what to expect. I also felt embarrassed to have my Mom as a roommate. We ended up getting an apartment in Queens and I couldn’t be happier. I quickly got over my embarrassment and realized it was a Blessing.
Something that helped me immensely was reading Refinery29’s Money Diary series. Just because I was living with my mom didn’t mean I wasn’t paying rent. My mom is my roommate and we split the rent, bills and all.
I had a market research job secured before I moved to New York. However, it was in New Jersey and I was looking for something in Manhattan. I applied to jobs everywhere and had multiple interviews every week while traveling back and forth to New Jersey for work.
The first few months adapting in NYC was tough. I was going through the motions of if I was going to realistically get a stable job and stay in NYC. I was overthinking everything. It affected my mood and energy. The next logical step in my head was to adopt an animal. I adopted a cat from the ASPCA to lift my spirits and to prevent me from going insane. It worked. My cat, Jiji (inspired by Kiki’s delivery Service), was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I didn’t land a job in Manhattan until January….(three months later). Good thing I kept hold of the full-time job in NJ. Apparently that’s normal in NYC, not getting a job for a while. I spoke to many other graduates with impressive degrees and they all went through a similar scenario. That’s when you develop thick skin here, you do not give up no matter what. It was mind blowing to me because I didn’t think finding a job in NYC would be harder than when I was looking for jobs in Shanghai.
So what happened?
I got an incredible job at an artificial intelligence startup that was located in Columbia University’s startup incubator in Soho. I worked for multiple startups before, so this felt like a natural fit.
During my time at the incubator, I met extremely intelligent inspiring people and made strong friendships. The learning experience was priceless.
However, six months later at the end of July 2016, the startup couldn’t continue to fund itself and had to let go of it’s staff – including myself.
As sad as it was, life goes on. I was confident that everything would be okay. I had to trust what I have gained throughout this experience. I had to evaluate my transferable skills and rewrite my resume a few times.
I quickly found a job at a law firm that needed some help with their marketing. The firm understood that I was looking for a job in the advertising space. The firm was very understanding which is very hard to come by. That law job paid my bills for the time being.
For the months of August and September 2016 I was on the job hunt. Aim: Advertising
The challenge began once again. I was going on interviews and completing interview assignments for various companies simultaneously. I put my heart and soul into these assignments.
Then one day in Mid-September, it suddenly felt like Christmas. I got multiple job offers from various Ad agencies and my heart stopped.
By the end of the day I was on the floor and crying of happiness.
It was one of those moments in life when I realized I Did It.
At the beginning of October, I will be proudly joining an incredible post advertising agency.
This opportunity means everything to me.
One thing I always kept saying to myself was ‘You got this’.
There isn’t a secret recipe to landing a job. There were plenty of times where I felt lost, but it was important to regroup and remind yourself what you want.
One tip that did help me organize myself was having a passion planner. I buy one every year and helps me stay on track of everything.
Thank you for reading.