Over the years I've blogged numerous times about getting what you want, especially when it comes to pursuing something you love. (If you want to learn more about how to follow your dreams and live your passion, I cover this in detail in my second minimalist book, Zen Life.)
Since I've already shared my story, I've asked HH intern turned team member, Jamee, to write about how she got the job she wanted through hard work and determination. (If you've ever emailed support about a meal plan, etc. Jamee was likely the person helping you out!)
Hopefully it will inspire you to go after what you want :)
I'll let Jamee take it away...
During my sophomore year of college, I was enrolled in a class on writing for new media and internet journalism. One day we had a competition focused on who could take the information our professor gave us and distribute it among the various social media platforms most quickly and effectively. I kept winning. Even better, the dean of my college picked that day to drop in and observe the class. He looked at me and said, “Whatever you do…it’s going to be on the Internet.”
It was such a short phrase, and arguably more of a statement than a compliment, but I always decided to be proud of it. After this experience, you’d think I wouldn’t have been surprised when I found out I’d gotten an internship with Happy Herbivore last year. But I was! (In case you missed it, I wrote about my internship and just how excited I was here.)
While interning at HH, I was also working at Whole Foods Market, and I’ll never forget this phrase I picked up from them: “Run it like you own it!” The idea behind the phrase is to take your job (no matter how small or “low on the totem pole” it may be) seriously and be the expert at whatever your assigned tasks are.
As an intern, my primary job was managing the recipe-testing group for Lindsay’s upcoming cookbook Happy Herbivore Holidays & Gatherings (Hi, testers!). I decided immediately that I would take a page from WFM and run the testing group like I owned it! I made myself available at all hours of the day to answer questions, and was always checking in with the group to see if there was anything I could do to help. I re-evaluated my tactics every day to find out what could be improved about the process.
My efforts paid off when Lindsay asked me if I’d be interested in working for HH after my internship ended! I was thrilled. It felt like all of my hard work – not just during my internship, but also throughout college and leading up to that – had paid off. If I hadn’t have been enrolled in college, honing a specific skill set, I wouldn’t have gotten the internship at HH. Without the internship, I wouldn’t have been offered a job!
Everything was coming together, and I knew working for Lindsay and the entire Happy Herbivore team was what I wanted my next step to be. So when the end of my internship didn’t line up with an open assistant position, that didn’t stop me from expressing my intention to work for HH when the time was right. It ended up being only a few short months before an email from Lindsay popped up in my inbox, asking me if I wanted to come work. The answer was most definitely yes!
I graduated in May with my bachelor’s degree in health communication, and I had my job with HH before I even put on the cap and gown. I’m 22 years old, have an entry-level position in a field I love, and am finally at the point where I feel like anything is really possible. You just have to set your sights on a goal, and never take no for an answer when you reach the setbacks. There will always be hurdles and challenges, but that’s when you find out if you really want it badly enough. The path you take may not look exactly like you thought it would, but there’s always a way forward.
So far, the dean and his prediction for my future have been spot on. Without the internet, I wouldn’t be able to sit at my desk in downtown Salt Lake City, doing my part to make Happy Herbivore run smoothly, while Lindsay and the rest of the team work hard at HH Headquarters. In fact, without the internet, there would be no Happy Herbivore at all!
Sure, there’s a sea of wastefulness to be found on the Internet. But amidst that sea, there are lighthouses of wonder and joy that draw people in. Spreading light and love to those who are looking. Happy Herbivore has been one of those beacons of light for me from the moment I first found it. A welcoming, nonjudgmental approach to healthy eating and living, that I now get to be a part of. How does it get any better?