Tuesday, January 31, 2012

new series: leap of faith

Today I start a new series titled, Leap of Faith. I was feeling so inspired by people in the blogosphere, that I wanted to learn more. 

I'm your typical 20-something who is overly ambitious, and won't settle for anything less than fabulous. My post-grad career hasn't been quite what I expected yet, but I remain optimistic and know that through these crazy #postgradproblems (yes I just hashtagged a post), I WILL figure it out. 

My Pinterest boards are filled with words of wisdom, and I keep this quote on my desk as a daily reminder to never settle, and continue to dream big. One of my reasons for starting this blog was to find inspiration to keep me driven and optimistic while battling the 9-5(mostly 7pm) blues.

I start this series with Alex, from Things that Sparkle, who as you may know, was my neighbor growing up. We're four years a part, so we weren't close back in the day. However, this crazy blog world has allowed us to be good friends, and I was even her first e-design client. I'm so inspired by her ambition and courage, that I wanted to dive a little deeper. She took this leap of faith not too long ago, and has never looked back. 

Hi all, I am Alex from Things That Sparkle and I am so honored that Julia asked me to be a part of this exciting new series.

What did you major in college/what was your first job out of college? 
I majored in Communication at University of Colorado. Within 3 days of graduation I started my job at OgilvyAction as an Assistant Account Executive. 

How long did it take to realize it wasn't for you? What were the initial signs of "help! get me out of here!"?
I think I realized more quickly than I was willing to admit that it wasn't the right fit for me. It really had been my "dream job", or at least I thought. There were components of the job I loved. The client interaction and the team environment, but overall, I wasn't fulfilled. It wasn't the dream job I thought it would be. But I also thought, "well that's reality things aren't always perfect, keep pushing through". A month shy of my two month anniversary, it clicked. I couldn't do it anymore. I was crying in conference rooms and telling myself it was normal. So I left. Got up one morning and quit.

What was the first thing you did after you left your job? scream? cry? take a trip?
All of the above. Seriously. Thankfully, I had already booked a trip to Mexico with my girlfriends. So that was a nice escape. But I was really lost. I left my job thinking I was taking another job in the same industry and while in Mexico I realized that was SO not what I wanted to be doing.

What sort of "homework" did you do before turning your passion into a career? (masters program, networking, online research etc)?
I met with some people who had gone through the same post-graduate program I was looking into. I got an internship in the interior design field. And then enrolled in the associates program at Harrington College of Design. I also worked really hard at expanding my blog during this time as I quickly realized what an amazing asset it would be for me. 

How long have you been working for yourself?
About 5 months! Very new still.

What is the scariest thing about doing what you did?
Everything. Leaving the job security, benefits and a salary. I mean, really, what was I thinking??

Do you ever regret leaving your day job?
Not for one minute. I know it was the best thing I have ever done for myself. 

What is your #1 piece of advice to people scared to follow their dreams in fear of failure?
It is scary. You should be scared. But I really, really, deeply believe that if you are 100% invested in something you can find a way to make it work. Maybe not in the exact way you envisioned, but it will come together.  I think it is important to be realistic, understand your industry but still be optimistic. It is well worth it.

all images via

I hope you're all feeling as inspired as I am. Thank you, thank you Alex!

P.S. I'm over at A Simple Affair sharing my favorite things that start with the letter "J". There are some serious goodies, so be sure to show Carly some love! 


Carly {a simple affair} said...

This has to be my favorite series that I have seen. I absolutely LOVE it! And wait what?? I had no clue you grew up right next door to each other. Too good. Alex is seriously inspiring, and her work continues to impress me. Feeling ready to tackle the day now. Thanks again for sharing your J favorite--I'm obviously obsessed with them all! I'm also apparently loving -ly adverbs this morning. Can't help that they portray how I feel xo

LifestyleBohemia said...

So glad I just came across your blog! This is an amazing series and will hopefully inspire others to pursue what they were really destined to do, and what makes them happy. I too left my job in corporate america 3 years ago to start my own business and have not looked back since!
Have a great day!

Kim @ keller-creative said...

What an awesome series. I plan to someday leave the corporate world (I thought I had gotten out of it but I've been sucked back in) this series is going to be great for me and so many others who want to take that leap of faith and start thier own thing.

Julia {Pawleys Island Posh} said...

love Alex and so glad she led me your blog! This series is awesome. I've been slowly growing my photography business and am looking forward to reading other women's journeys!

Alex {Things That Sparkle} said...

Thank you so much for including me today J. This is such an exciting series, and exciting time for you :) xoxo

Liz {Sequins And Stripes} said...

Such an inspiring new series, and love that Alex was the first feature! Can't wait to read more from the amazing women out there!

Wendy (SpikesnSparkles) said...

I'm so excited for this series as I've long been dreaming of moving beyond my corporate career to something that is more fulfilling! Looking forward to seeing the other posts and reading other inspiring stories!

GiGi Reed said...

This is great inspiration. I just love the entire idea of this series and can't wait to see what's to come! :)


Stephanie Leann said...

It's so refreshing to hear other ladies talking about this openly. This is a great series! I'm looking forward to hearing more on this topic.

sampenner said...

Julia I am so glad you did this! I can SO relate to what you wrote in the heading. That's why I started a blog myself- I needed inspiration to get through my days at work and this series is going to be so helpful for me. Thanks for sharing!



Sara said...

This is such a great series Julia!

Viviana said...

BRILLIANT series! I love learning more about our fellow bloggers and how their careers have developed into what they are today.

One Stylish Day at a Time said...

Such an inspiring series! I'm currently working at my first job and about to graduate with my masters. It's funny because I work in finance which is so numbers based and I think I like it but am not sure I love it. Sometimes I get crazy thoughts going through my head like quitting my day job and blogging full time. Maybe one day!

Adding the finishing touch said...

This is such a great series! I'm new to your blog and will definitely be back!

The Now said...

This is a great series! I am trying to take a "leap of faith" myself...we'll see if I can do it! xoxo

Patty [PRETTYGROUNDED] said...

Love hearing Alex's story. Im in the middle of a mini career meltdown. What's next? what's next? I guess I'll have to just wait and see.

Thanks for sharing

ashley nicole catherine said...

this is a PHENOMENAL series and so inspiring!!

Sarah - Inspiration-Driven Life said...

Such a great series! Can't wait to read them all and learn from them.

Tanya Marie said...

Julia - you have just made my day. Thank you!!

Ashley {styleash} said...

After a hectic day in my cubicle (ugh) this series is seriously so refreshing to read. It's nice to know I'm not alone in figuring out what it is I want to do & it's so nice to hear about Alex's amazing journey. Thanks for sharing! xx

Michelle said...

Love this new series! Such a great idea, girl! I will definitely be coming back to read every one of these post and I am hoping to take the plunge soon!

Nikki Rappaport said...

I love this series and can't wait to read more! I definitely understand the uncertainty and feeling that post-grad life isn't exactly what you thought it would be. But it's inspiration like this that keeps us going – because there's great things ahead of us!

Tamra {ever swoon} said...

Absolutely love the idea of this series!! It is so inspiring to learn more about the entrepreneurs behind these blogs. the 20's are for learning and for taking chances but most of all for dreaming. xoox

Lisa @ Elembee, Etc said...

This is such a wonderful series idea! What an inspiring story. I definitely hope to take my own leap of faith in the future. Looking forward to more!

Drew {Coral Cafe} said...

I can totally relate with Alex! I had to take a similar path to get me where I am today! It's scary, challenging, but oh so worth it in the end!

Shanelé said...

wow. i love this...and so so so inspiring. Ugh, really makes me just not want to go to work tomorrow and blog in bed all day=)

Mary { Something Nice } said...

I love this! I too, thought that Advertising was my dream gig.... although it took me A LOT longer ( like 7 years) to realize it, and move on.... I haven't been able to move on completely, and still work in "Marketing," but this is a great story to inspire us all. Someday I hope to be able to survive completely on doing my own thing. :)

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