I’ve worked at Stater Bros. in Long Beach for a little over five years now and my time there has just ended recently. I know it’s time to move on. I have my degree and I have opportunities waiting for me, but I can’t get over the fact that I’ve been working there since I was 16. It was the first job I ever had.
I laugh because I went into journalism thinking I would only work in print for the rest of my life and I swore to myself that I would never work in public relations, a career track that in my mind I connected to customer service and didn’t respect until lately. This new chapter in my life started pretty rapidly, so I’ll just tell the story.
A few weeks ago, I was at Open Sesame Grill on 2nd St. with my best friend. We were eating dinner and talking about social media marketing over a glass of wine. When we were done and had paid but were still sitting and talking, a manager walked up to us and apologetically asked if we would scoot one table over to make room for a large party. We said it was no problem because we were heading out anyway. We left and decided to go to a shop called Sway, which is next door to the restaurant.
Not five minutes later, the manager from earlier, who we later came to find out was Ali, the owner of Open Sesame and Sway, walked in, saw us and offered us a glass of wine. We began talking and my friend quickly turned the conversation to social media by asking if his businesses use any platforms for promotion. He admitted that he needed some help in that area.
I gave him my business card and got his as well. He seemed genuinely interested in what I could offer his company in terms of social media marketing. That was a Friday and on Monday I sent him an email, which I quickly got a reply to the next day by his assistant, Whitney. She wanted to have a meeting with me that Thursday. We did meet, and it went very well.
All in all, they ended up liking the ideas I had and now I’m freelancing not only journalism but also social media marketing, with my first client being Open Sesame. So as nervous as I am to leave the security of my first job, I realize that there are some risks in life that need to be taken and this is one leap I’m ready to make.