Girls with Goals

Career

“Career Move Mondays” – Building a Business

Buttercream swirls are piped onto the sides of...

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I’ll try not to make this post too cryptic, but since this blog is intended to give us some anonymity, I can’t reveal specific details. Sorry!

Here is the first thing you should know: I decorate cakes.

Here is the second thing you should know: I don’t want to open a bakery.

A few years ago I started taking cake decorating classes. I absolutely fell in love with decorating cakes. Sitting down with some frosting and fondant and creating something beautiful is one of my favorite things to do. I find it both relaxing and challenging–when everything is going right, I get into a groove and out of nowhere 7 hours have gone by, but when everything is going wrong–which is likely to happen when using food to look like it’s not food–it can be hell.

A while after I took the classes I kept making cakes for friends and family to practice, and I eventually became a cake decorating instructor. I absolutely loved my students and seeing what creations they came up with. But there is a little red tape involved in working for not just one, but two companies, and I couldn’t stand that.

I eventually began to develop my own idea for a business, and pursued it particularly after I graduated college last spring. I got the business cards, the website and some marketing materials, I planned the classes I would teach, and even had a small grand opening celebration/test class with family and friends.

Everything went great. All my students thought it was a fantastic idea for a business and they all learned something new. However, not one of them booked a future class. And supposedly they liked it? Seems a little fishy.

Anyway, from the beginning I expected this endeavor to just be a part-time side job, and concentrated on finding a full-time job. Check! So what’s happened to my business? I haven’t done even one paid class. And I didn’t have the momentum to push the business.

Although I didn’t put as much money into my business as many budding entrepreneurs do, I certainly don’t want all the effort I did make to go to waste–plus, I still think I have a good idea on my hands.

So this is the year of my business. I’m giving it a chance.

First of all, I’m reformatting. There had to be a reason I couldn’t even get friends to book a class…money? convenience? difficulty of the material? the types of classes?

So I’m reconsidering everything. Overall, the business model will remain the same. But I’ve already got a few ideas in the works for something new and improved.

But the way I’m really going to push myself is by applying for a student entrepreneurship grant through the university I work for–and technically I’m still a student, so I qualify. Many of the other students I would be competing against really need the seed funding–many of their businesses are highly technological. While some money would be nice, I’m applying for this to receive the guidance and advice from entrepreneurial experts.

Over the next few months I’ll be attending info sessions and submitting a concept proposal in the hopes that someone else sees the value and potential of my business. Wish me luck!

Oh, and by the way, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

We love you!

– Allegra

 

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“Career Move Mondays” – School Daze

One of the best pieces of advice my dad has ever given me is that life is too short to hate going to work every day. 

Now, I am not so disillusioned to think that I will one day have a career that I will excitedly jump out of bed for at 6:00 am on a cold Monday morning, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask for to like what you do, at least just a little bit.

I went to college for elementary education.  I loved college; I loved my classes; I loved student teaching, but when it came to getting my own classroom, the love affair quickly died.  At the risk of sounding like a completely horrible monster, I must admit, I am not a huge fan of kids, well large amounts of them in a confined area, anyway. 

I know, I know, then why would I ever choose elementary education as a career to pursue?  Well, as I found out a few years later sitting at my desk adorned with apple trinkets and papers that needed grading (and completely burned out, I must add), it wasn’t the prospect of working with children that had caused me to want to be a teacher, it was my interest in the curriculum that drew me in.

So, here I am, about to enter my 30’s, back in school for instructional design.  I am currently working on an internship at a textbook/software publishing company, and I feel hopeful.  In my spare time, I thumb through 7th grade biology and 6th grade grammar textbooks, and I honestly really enjoy it.  I am a nerd at heart; a nerd that is not a big fan of large numbers of kids, and I have embraced that.  I will still be shaping the leaders of tomorrow; I will just be doing it from behind the scenes.   And, I am not a monster.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is that there is no need to be discouraged if your career aspirations are not working out the way you expected them to.  At the risk of sounding too cliché, life is a journey, not a destination.  Finding a career that completely suits, challenges, and makes you happy is a journey.  It takes time. 

However, don’t be discouraged if you are never excited about the thought of getting out of bed at 6:00 am on a cold Monday morning.  There are some things we must learn to live with.

Leave a comment and share parts of your career journey to inspire others.  It always helps to know that you’re not alone!

Happy Monday!

*Hope


“Career Move Mondays” – Pigeon-holed

Welcome to the new series we’re starting called “Career Move Mondays.” We are each at the point in our careers where we’re looking to get in on the ground floor, looking to get into a new industry, or just make strides in what we’re doing. So this series will be a forum for our adventures and musings in the world of work–something we can all relate to. So here we go…

I’ve barely started my career (or is this just a job?) and already I can easily see myself becoming pigeon-holed into one industry, unable to try something new in the future because everything requires experience.

Unfortunately, aside from blogging about whatever I want, I can’t think of a paying gig (and this doesn’t even pay) that I can create and mold to encompass all my passions.

I love writing. I love teaching. I love decorating cakes. I love psychology. I love people. I love books. I love interior design. I love organization. I love cheese.

And I’m expected to just pick one???

I can’t viably have a new career every month. So how can I prepare myself to be a competitive candidate wherever I choose to go?

I’m thinking of using my entries in the “Career Move Mondays” series to explore various fields that I’m interested in, with the hopes that we all get something from it? What do you think?

Tell me, friends, how were you able to transition to a new field? Did you have to start from scratch–get a new degree, start at the bottom rung in the industry? How were you able to use your experience as a plus when breaking into a new world?

In other news, you’ll be seeing some re-design going on with the site, so don’t let any changes scare you off! We’re just trying to make this as functional and beautiful as possible! We are also implementing regular posting schedule, as well as some creative ideas for our posts. So make sure you stop by more often!

Freckles