We are super excited to feature a question and answer post our new team member Alisha Miranda. Alisha is helping us build our business in new ways, and in particular by tapping into new young professional communities across the digital world so we can help even more people achieve their professional dreams.
For those of you who don’t know the background, Alisha and I met on Twitter through Job Hunt Chat. It’s been a social media success story for both of us! Here is Alisha’s Q&A.
Q: Why did you decide to go freelance instead of find a corporate job when you graduated from college?
A: I graduated college and quickly (and luckily) found a full-time job in the music industry, as I wanted. But a few months into that job, I realized it was not what I truly wanted. It was a typical 9-5 setting with bosses who declined open ideas from their employees and were manipulative with tasks, so after six months I quit and moved on to a new opportunity. It wasn’t until I started working in marketing for a travel start-up that I learned what was really conducive to a productive working environment for me, and that my work style is very different from what corporate America expects and demands. Having the freedom to manage my own projects, at my own pace, and pitch ideas to an enthusiastic team was what really got me excited. I was able to develop my own network from there and begin freelancing projects on the side. Once I was able to experience my own independent success, I refused to go back to a corporate job.
Q. What do you think is the biggest challenge today’s young professionals struggle with when looking for work?
A. I find a few big challenges for young professionals on the job hunt today. Personally, I’ve seen and experienced discouraging employment opportunities due to the economy. For example, some companies are taking advantage of free labor and blaming it on a bad recession, encouraging an uber-competitive market for internships where young professionals are basically doing all the work for little or no compensation, or even credit. There’s also a sense of devalued work and confidence in young professionals these days because of a lack of full-time employment: fair salary, vacation days, benefits, etc and high turnover and downsizing among companies. So the challenge is to remain positive, know your worth, and pitch yourself as a “customized package” to fit into different employment opportunities.
Q. Can you recommend a book that everyone should read?
A. Though its related to the restaurant industry, I’d say “Medium Raw” by Anthony Bourdain. It’s a book that I think young people should read because he discusses all the highs and lows, the struggles, the drama, the crappy pay and gigs, and sometimes dream-crushing moments you’ll have to endure to become a person you’ve always wanted – but if you manage to get through all of it, the results are rewarding and priceless. It’s the same with any other profession that people dream to own – if you can put on your realism hat and get through all the bumps along the way, you’ll end up a winner.
Q. Best. Twitter. Story.
A. I don’t have one best story about my Twitter experiences but I will say that to enter a room and have people come up to me shouting “Hey, makeshiftalisha! I love your work!” on a regular basis is pretty fantastic. It’s not about the number of followers or web stats to me, it’s about the connections I’ve made and the brand I’ve been creating that keeps people remembering and supporting me.