I guess that I had this fairy tale image of myself graduating from college with the red carpet rolled ahead of me, perfect dream job, and the whole world in my hands. Lord knows, I was completely wrong.

I graduated from college on cloud nine because it was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever accomplished, had so many interviews back home in Washington, D.C., that it was insane and made my mom and family so proud that I was the first person to graduate in my immediate family.

I thought that by interning, having a job as a public relations assistant, being a copy-editor, and being an advertising director all while in college would surely help me land a job, but again, I was nothing but completely wrong. I was not interested in any of the marketing jobs that were being offered to me as PR jobs, so I didn’t accept any of the offers.

In January, after graduating in December 2016, I decided to create my own public relations company in order to gain experience because companies would not hire me without it. I gained clients and created a successful campaign for a company, but finding clients who were willing to pay for services began to become an issue. Many of my clients were people that were just starting their businesses and were trying to get them of the ground, which means they had little funds to offer to pay me for services. No business that already had a successful company wanted to hire me because I was new in the industry and they had money to go to companies that had years worth of experience and were reputable. Long story short, I couldn’t compete with these other companies, or at least not yet.

The depression in my life became real and my dreams of success became unreal for me, due to me being impatient. I started giving up on myself and doubting myself, but then there was a shift in my attitude. At my lowest moment in my adult life, where I was confused, feeling alone, and working a job that I was not passionate about, I managed to still grasp a part of light within me and hold on to it for dear life to pull me up from the darkness. I fought my doubts with every inch of me, and that was the hardest thing to do over all. Doubt is the number one killer of dreams and your chance of success.

After applying for more than 50 plus jobs and being rejected by many, I decided to befriend many PR professionals on LinkedIn in order to expand my professional connections. Many accepted my request and continued on with their lives, but one saw my effort, and decided to reach out to me without me having to ask for help or advice. She basically read me my last six months from the palm of her hand and told me that the reason I was not seeing results was because I was going after what I wanted completely wrong. She told me that there was no point in going back to get a masters degree in order to get a job because I would find myself in the same situation, no professional experience, so a degree with no job. She told me to find a job in PR through interning and then go for a job that will pay for me to go back to school to save me from putting myself in more debt. Thank you Ms. Serena Garcia.

After pulling myself back together, I decided to get back out there and try again, this time shifting my options. I am now leaving little old Savannah, GA, and coming back home to Washington, D.C., after my trip to Costa Rica in late June. D.C. has many PR opportunities and I am going to try my hardest to break into this industry while being surrounded by the love of my family who are all up in D.C. as well. I am only 23 years old, so life is not over for me yet… it’s just begun and I chose to not give up easily.

So through sharing my story and struggle on this journey with achieving success with you all, I am hoping that you all can relate and not give up on your dream as easily as well. Battle your mind when you are being turned away left and right, and crush those doubts that have formed in your head!

Blessings to all and good luck on your road to success!

Success is your only option.

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I am a Savannah State University grad with a bachelors in Public Relations and Advertising with a minor in Entrepreneurship. I was born in New Orleans, LA, but raised in Washington, DC, where my family are natives. Since the age of 14, I am able to say that I have worked at over 12 different companies, which led me to knowing that I am good with working with people and in communications. I love writing (when I have the time) and run two businesses on top of a full-time career in public relations. When I have free time, you can find me plotting on my next business ventures, visiting different hole-in-the-wall restaurants, spending time with family and friends, or catching up on my favorite television shows that I rarely have time to watch. Follow me on Instagram & Twitter: @queenshalaya

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