If someone asks me what I’m doing with my life again…

My life is 100% unlike what I thought it would be a year ago and I’m still working on deciding if I’m OK with this. 

I spent the summer of 2007 in New York City interning with Universal Music Group. Besides having a fabulous internship and learing about an industry that I absolutely love, I was living “on my own” in the city. By living on my own, of course, I mean I was housed at Columbia University with about 400 interns from all over the country (clearly, a recipe for an amazing summer).

At the end of that summer and throughout my senior year in college, I was determined to move back to the city. New York City embodied a mix of the diverse cultures I had experienced throughout my childhood while living and traveling overseas and throughout America. New York offered a geographic location that was indpendent of my family, but still only four hours away. New York, as they say, offered coutless opprotunities. Come spring semester of my senior year, my resume and cover letters were polished, I was ready to get a job in New York.

….and then I realized how “hard” it was, and that I really didn’t know what I wanted to do.

I love the music and entertainment industry. Throughtout my life, I’ve graced the stage numerous times, in various capacities. When on stage, you experience an amazing feeling that cannot be described and my ideal job would consist of helping people obtain that feeling…but where do I start?

Do I return to a record label, despite the ups and downs happening in the industry now?
Do I get a job at a PR firm, hoping to be given an account that deals with entertainment?

After graduation in May, I ended up getting a summer internship with Live Nation, the worlds largest concert promoter. This was definitely a great opprotunity to learn about the concert production aspect of the music industry. I had hoped that I would work there for the summer, live at home and save up enough money to afford to move to New York by the end of August.  

That plan seemed so realistic in my head, but when I began to break it down, things weren’t so clear:

While this internship was paid, I wasn’t being paid enough.
Yes, I was living at home, but I didn’t do a good job budgeting my non-income.
Anyone who looks at my resume will tell me “You have great experience!” but most PR agencies or record labels will start a fresh grad in an “assistant” position, with a salary that is reasonable for any place other than NYC.

So, here we are now. Labor Day has come and gone, and even if the calendar doesn’t agree, summer is over and I have some choices to make.

A common factor in any decision I make, is that it will revolve around the Washington D.C. area. I am going to join the 77% of my fellow 2008 grads and live at home. Though I have very limited expenses, I have learned that saving money and being financially responsible is at the top of my priorities. If I live at home, I can put away a big chunk of money and be prepared for when I do make “the big move” somewhere. 

Now, do I spend this year “starting my career” (whatever that means) or do I work a “fun/random/exciting job” to make money? I’m kind of torn between the two, but I’m leaning towards “fun/random/exciting job.” I recently took a weekend trip to Los Angeles, and I was really debating if it was worth the money to do it, but my parents persuaded me to go, saying, “You’re young, you’ll never be this free again.”

“…you’ll never be this free again.”

I think this is the part where I attempt to bring everything full circle, and make a grand decision about what the next step in my post-undergrad life will be. Honestly, the truth is, I have absolutely no idea what I will do next. My internship ends on Friday, and after that, who knows. Waitress, substitute teacher, barista, professional dog walker, personal assistant….or public relations associate, marketing assistant, entry-level [fill in the blank here].

The only certainty: an adventure is sure to follow.

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5 thoughts on “If someone asks me what I’m doing with my life again…”

  1. I recommend you seek employment at the USO. Or look into working with the Army’s MWR (Morale, Welfare, Recreation) program. You can get the entertainment experience you want; and a stable and competitive salary you deserve. If you’re willing to live in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, etc…you will make so much money you can buy your own house when you return. That’s my $0.02

  2. My contract is supposedly expanding, where everyone we would hire would be entry-level. (YouTube uploading anyone?) I’ll keep you updated. Alsoooo, bartending? Orrr you could learn a lesson from our friends the Pirates and panhandle for picture-taking tips. I don’t really know how that would fly in D.C. – you could dress up as monument maybe? heh…heh? 🙂 Get it girl.

  3. I only wish I took advantage of the opportunities you’ve been given when I was in college. Ten years ago, my heart and dream was to work in the music industry. However the industry is so competitive and as you mentioned reality sets in and its all about choices. Growing up in New York and attending school in Virginia, I made the choice to return to the city for better job opportunities. It turns out my professional career path ended up in the financial services industry…a far cry from the music industry. My advice to you would be stay at home with your parents as long as you can (something I didn’t do), save your money, live life & have fun. Follow your heart and make that BIG move when your think your ready! Good Luck Girlie 🙂

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