Next Stop: Your Magazine Dream Job

The Bold Move That Jump Started Their Media Careers

By Kendall Becker

It’s a fresh decade and almost spring and graduation season. Now’s the time to curate your next chapter to be exactly what you’ve been dreaming about. If you’re as determined to make a splash, look no further for inspiration than these bold professional career moves made by some of the most intelligent and ambitious boss-babes we know.

Austen Tosone, beauty content director at Jumprope and digital creator, Keep Calm & Chiffon (pictured)

Tell us about your bold networking/career move.

I saw that Ed2010 was hosting a networking happy hour for people to meet with Cosmopolitan.com editors and talk about jobs in the industry. I was in college at the time and it was March so I was going to be looking for an internship for the summer and even though the event was clearly for people who were out of college, I decided to attend anyway to network with the editors and anyone else in attendance.

Where did you get the idea?

I think the idea came from how badly I wanted in to the fashion and publishing industries. It occurred to me it might be a little weird if I was the only one there who was still in school but that was a chance I was willing to take. I realized quickly that you don’t get anything unless you ask for it and that sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and be prepared to hear “no” a lot.

Did it pay off?

It 100% ended up paying off! I got the business card for the fashion and beauty assistant at Cosmopolitan.com and I ended up interning there that summer. I got a bunch of bylines, too, and got to help out on set.

Any other advice you’d like to share?

Even if an event seems remotely related to what you want to do, take advantage of any connections you make there to get you where you want to be. I got my very first internship through my friend’s dad’s tutoring student’s mom (seriously, six degrees of separation!), so don’t rule out any possibilities for getting your foot in the door.

Anneke Knot, assistant beauty editor at Health and Real Simple magazines

Tell us about your bold networking/career move.

Before I had this job, I was working in beauty PR. I learned a lot there, but I knew that I wanted to be in media. I didn’t know how I was going to break in, but I knew I needed an in, so I used my media contacts and reached out to a freelance writer I worked with. We had never met in real life, but I reached out to her and asked to sit down and chat about her job. She advised me to look for an assistant staff position and offered to pass my resume along when I found one I was interested in. Her advice was invaluable and I certainly would not be in this career without her.

It really meant a lot that she took the time to meet me. She could’ve easily ignored the email, but her passing my resume along eventually led to me getting my current position. This is one of the many times I had reached out to people whom I admired. Not every time I heard back or got the opportunity to sit down. Bottom line: your network is everything. As long as you are respectful, what is there to lose.

Where did you get the idea?

I knew about informational interviews for awhile. In fact, I had done it plenty of times. Even if nothing comes from it except good advice, that is far better than nothing at all. You never know where a connection will take you, so make sure to keep up with everyone you meet with, and thank them for their time.

Did it pay off?

It definitely paid off. This particular time was definitely the most that it paid off. I owe my entire career in NYC to bold networking. I did not know anyone here when I moved and I had to build my network by sheer cold emailing. I didn’t do everything perfectly. Trust me, I made a million mistakes. I did not always get a response, but when I did, it usually came with great advice or led me to the next person to reach out to.

Any other advice you’d like to share?

Do not be afraid to talk to people. If you are going to events, chances are most people are feeling just as awkward as you are. Be respectful of people’s time. Everyone has so much on their plate and meeting with people can actually be hard to fit in a schedule. Always, always say thank you. Someone who takes time to meet with you is doing a huge favor, and the last thing you should do is make them feel like you are ungrateful.

Britney Turner, founder of Her Style Media, content creator and social media manager, Laura Geller and Julep Beauty

Tell us about your bold networking/career move.

I would say moving to NYC from Chicago was boldest move yet. It was right after I graduated from grad school at Columbia Chicago, and I just knew that if I wanted to make it in the fashion and beauty industry.

Where did you get the idea?

After going on a trip to NYC with my journalism class in college, I just knew I had to find a way to get there. During the trip we toured different media companies, and it was really the first time I felt reassured of the career I wanted to have.

Did it pay off?

Yes! I feel like I grow with each year — in my expertise, connections and my career. I can truly say that taking the leap definitely paid off, and I’m still taking everything that this city has to offer and embracing every moment of the journey.

Any other advice you’d like to share?

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take the risk. It always pays off in the end — especially when you’re looking back and realizing how far you’ve come.

Anhelica Rodriguez, merchandising analyst at Steve Madden

Tell us your bold networking/career move.

About 2 years ago, I was recruiting for fashion corporate and fashion retail companies through a boutique agency. I really enjoyed my job and what I was doing but I was hitting a point that I knew I had to decide if this is what I was going to continue to pursue or if I was ready to begin looking for other opportunities in the fashion industry.

I was already networking and meeting new candidates every day looking for new jobs and I happened to come across a candidate in an entry level-ish role at a really cool shoe company. She began telling me why she was looking to leave and I began thinking her role is something I know I could do and I would do well. I started asking her about the work culture and the responsibilities and eventually caught myself looking online for her role with the company. She eventually left the company (without my help) and I saw her role go up online and went for it. I started the next week!

Where did you get the idea?

Recruiters always hear about new jobs opening up left and right. Some recruiters leave their current jobs for roles that become available. It’s a little sticky with contracts, but it’s a pretty common thing to happen!

Did it pay off?

I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. I have always had a passion for shoes, but now I feel like I’ve found my niche, and this company provides a lot of flexibility for creating new roles and shaping your career.

Any other advice you’d like to share with us?

If you’re not happy in your role, keep searching. There’s something out there that will make you jump out of bed excited to go to work every day. You’ll always have your bad days, but find something really rewarding in your work and you’ll never give it up.

 

This post originally appeared on MakingManhattan.com.

Follow Making Manhattan on Instagram @MakingManhattanOfficial

The founder of Making Manhattan, Caroline Vazzana, is a fashion writer, editor, and stylist living and working in her hometown of New York. She’s worked for Anna Sui, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, and InStyle. She has collaborated with designers including Betsey Johnson and Diane Von Furstenberg, and has styled celebrities for various red carpets like the MTV Video Music Awards and Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. Caroline is currently the Founder & Creative Director of MakingManhattan.com where she hopes to shed light on the industry to the future fashion generation. Make sure to follow her everywhere @cvazzana for an inside look into her day to day in NYC. 

Photo credit: La Times

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