WLHQ: Creating Your Dream Job

Posted by Jodi on 4/17/13 in Inspiration

~ By Jodi Blea, Director of Partnerships & Special Projects

 I’m the master of the timeline. I love a good spreadsheet and get a thrill out of managing deadlines. So why is it that I’ve requested to postpone my contribution to the Wanderlust blog not once, but twice?  For months I’ve struggled with creating content that is worthy of my sharing it with thousands of mindful yogis, already living inspired lives.

1372 My first idea was to speak to the delicate balance of motherhood and a career. First off, I’m not sure I’ve quite achieved this balance and what could I possibly add to Sheryl Sandberg’s, Facebook COO, commentary in "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead"?  

Next, I thought of using my post to shine some light ONE (pictured, right), a non-profit organization founded by Bono, that is fighting the battle of extreme poverty and doing amazing work. I encourage you to go to their website, spend five minutes and become a member. 

Then, it finally came to me after reading Elaine Pofeldt’s brilliant article in Forbes, “Don’t Lean In, Walk Out”. Elaine expresses her frustration of how we are framing the entire discussion of women in the workforce. “Why are we still talking about women’s careers as if working for a big corporation, big government or big institution is the only possible way to achieve anything of value–and that the only alternative for women who can’t make that lifestyle work is dropping out of the workforce? It’s time that we give more attention to self employment as a route for women to succeed and make a difference”.

1366 Just over three years ago, after years in the corporate world of ad agencies and publishing, I put my experience and contacts to work and built my own business of event and brand management.  In year one, I secured clients including Russell Simmons, The New York City Wine & Food Festival, Flavorpill, MLB and finally Wanderlust. In 2013, my favorite client, Wanderlust, soon became my only client and I now work for Wanderlust full time as the Director of Partnerships and Special Projects.  I love my job. Yes, I travel the world managing a yoga & music festival, hello?  But it’s more than that. I am deeply fulfilled by what I do; creating experiences that transform lives.  

Back to the task at hand. What actual wisdom and insight do I have to share? This can hardly be considered ‘wisdom’, however, I do have some tips to share that were instrumental for me in creating the dream job.

Chuck the resume and build a portfolio. Okay, do keep an updated resume on hand just in case, however, invest your time in a presentation that includes images and examples of your work. Add links to videos, press clips, anything that can illustrate your accomplishments. I use powerpoint, but there are many options, i.e., Carbonmade.

1362 Build a website {or blog}. After years of working for WIRED magazine, you’d think I’d be a bit more tech savvy. I can hold my own, but htmlwha?  There are a lot free and simple blog sites now like Tumblr and Blogger that are incredibly simple. To the right, you'll see my blog that got me started, and you can explore The Strategyshop blog here.

Network. Be careful, as the saying goes, ‘Networking’ is one letter away from ‘Not working’. However, make an effort to go out as much as possible to functions where there may be opportunities. Browse EventBrite, sign up on email lists for organizations you like or want to be a part of, read the local equivalent of New York Magazine and get out there! Sidebar: Limit yourself to two drinks. I made the mistake of enjoying the Ketel One ice tower martinis (poured from an entire floor above though a tunnel of ice!!!) at the Grey company holiday party, one of the best and biggest ad agencies, and literally fell off the couch. Good Times.

Read. Push yourself to know what’s happening in the world around you. I recommend: The Atlantic, WIRED, Fast Company, NY Times, Huffington Post and TED.  I dare you to not find something interesting here that will advance you.

Don’t have too many good ideas. This may sound odd, but the 99% Conference was a game changer for me. Long before the 99% became famous for Occupy Wall Street. The 99% Conference taught that 1% of a good idea is having it. The other 99% is the effort of executing it.  Yes, it is great to be inspired, but learn how make good ideas happen and follow-through. Since Occupy Wall Street, The 99% Conference has now changed it’s name to “99U”, I recommend attending if you live in NYC.  As well as The Feast.

1373 Meet for coffee. Don't request a meeting to pitch an idea or ask for a job. Rather, email your contact and ask if they have 15 minutes to step out for a quick coffee so you can pick their brain about. Explain that you are starting a new project and you are looking for ideas, advice, etc… Not only will you probably get some good ideas and advice, they will now know that you are in this area of expertise.

Make more time in your day. So often women are too busy to devote time to what inspires them.  Take a good look at your daily routine and cut the fat. Do you really need to stay up late watching back to back episodes of Mad Men on Netflix? Ok, bad example, but don't make a habit of it. Rather, go to bed and get up an hour our two early. I love waking up a few days a week at 5am before my husband and 9 yr. old start their days. I catch up on things in the darkness of the silent morning, refreshed and focused with a big cup of Stumptown. In fact, it’s during this precious window that I’m finally writing this.  

1364 In the end, every job has its ups and downs. There are deadlines, spreadsheets, conference calls and stressful situations, even in the business of yoga. However, I love what I do, and most importantly, I have great deal of respect for my colleagues and the co-founders of Wanderlust, Schuyler Grant, Sean Hoess and Jeff Krasno (pictured, right). We have found a career in what we love and the line between work and passion has been erased.  Here’s to finding your eraser. 


Jodi Blea, Director of Partnerships & Special Projects

Tags: advice, career, jobs, jodi, WLHQ

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