Diary of A Young Pro: Jen Glantz
2) How old are you?
3) What is your job title?
I’m a copywriter for an awesome startup (by day) and at night and on weekends, I run the website: thethingsilearnedfrom.com and tweet real time awkward comments on twitter.
4) How has the transition been from backpack to briefcase (college to adulthood)?
It was rough, sea-sickness rough. I’m hardly exaggerating. I graduated from college and felt abandoned. I had no game plan, no graduate school to attend, no internship to work 40 hours a week at. My resume looked like a family of 4’s grocery list. I slowly (after moving back home to my parent’s house) pulled my life together in the same way one scatters their clean laundry out on their bed before they begin to fold and put each piece away in its place.
5) When you were in school, did you imagine your life the way that it is?
I think it’s impossible to – no matter what your next step is post-grad, it’s rare to follow a linear path. Most of us will take an entry level job at this place or that and then 3 years later, find ourselves working at a total different kind of company. I think that’s the best part of growing up – not being able to predict your “5 year plan”
6) What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced during these transitional years?
I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve stayed at horrible jobs with terrible bosses for longer than I should have. I didn’t speak up when I knew I deserved a raise or to be treated with more respect. But with each job I learned how and when and the right way to say things and do things and I’ve been able to carry those lessons with me throughout my budding career.
7) What is the best advice you have received from a mentor about adulthood and/or careers?
I don’t think anyone has directly said something that’s kicked me in the butt. But I’ve learned a lot by watching how others have succeeded. I admire people who have landed their dream jobs by working really hard and accessorizing their actions with persistence. I’ve learned through them that if there’s something you want or someone you’d like to meet – figure out a way to get their attention.
8) What advice would you give a young professional?
Think outside the box. Toss out your boring resume and dry cover letter. When I was applying for 1,000 jobs over the course of 3 months and getting rejected from all of them – I decided to be bold with my personal branding and sent out resumes and cover letters that made people laugh and pick up the phone to call me just so they could tell me they enjoyed reading my material.
9) What is next for you and the next 12 months? Do you have any goals you would like to accomplish? How are you going to accomplish them?
Gosh, I can’t even decide what I want to eat for lunch today – let alone plan out my next year. It’s not good to plan too far ahead. Every time I do I end up going off course and them something remarkably wonderful happens. Sure, I have goals – but one thing I’ve learned is it’s super important to get out and enjoy the time you have right now and not spend too much of your time planning for the future.
10) What makes you special?
Nothing. Really and truly. I’m just like you – except I probably eat more pizza than you and owe more money to the library than you’d ever allow yourself to owe. I write about my experiences, my embarrassing moments, my regrets and my rejections because I know you (yes you!) can relate. We’re all human, we’re all unsure about who or what we want to be when we grow up and that’s okay. I just want everyone to know that’s totally okay!
Jen Glantz is the author of All My Friends Are Engaged, a book of dating disaster stories. She’s the heart behind the website The Things I Learned From and the biggest supporter of the NYC pizza industry. She’d love you to say hello:@tthingsilearned ortheth