When I envisioned starting this blog, I pictured a site that would inform as much as it would inspire, and look as “polished” and put-together as we all strive to be when presenting ourselves; a site that represents who I aspire to be and highlights the people I admire.
As I began writing questions for the many Career Crushes that I plan to feature, I at some point decided to try and answer these questions myself. Had I done that from the beginning, I would have realized they aren’t easy. Nonetheless, if I expect others to dig deep on the lessons they’ve learned from their career path, share their best advice, and reveal their dreams for the future – I should be able to do the same.
About me: I’m 31, currently working at E! News as the Segment Production Coordinator. After almost 4 years with E! News, I still struggle to explain what I do. In general, the segment producers and I are the liaisons between E! News and network, studio, and personal publicists (and more). We pitch new ideas, book and produce shoots, read scripts daily, “put out fires,” correct errors, scramble for last minute materials, negotiate exclusives, work the red carpets, and are on email 24/7.
The challenges of my job: Accepting that news never stops, not even for my dinner or my weekend plans. When I first started in this position, the concept of having to check my email on the weekend made me cringe. It still does. I’ve gotten used to it and I’m much better at prioritizing what is urgent and what can wait.
Most tedious part of my job: Calendars, and ever-changing excel grids. This might be TV, but it’s still a job and there will always be documents to fill out and keep up.
Favorite part of my job: I love that every day is different. I love that I have the opportunity to be creative and to create. I love working red carpets. I love the stress and rush of tight daily deadlines (I understand that’s not normal, but I do). I love that I am constantly meeting new people, and I especially love when I get the chance to meet and work with someone whose work I have admired since I was a kid. In those moments, its like my childhood dreams have come full circle and I feel like I am in the right place. (Cheesy, I know).
What I’ve learned about myself since starting this position: I learned quickly that I wasn’t as great as I thought I was. When I came in, I thought I was quick, but I wasn’t quick enough. I thought I had great confidence, but at times when that confidence would have served me well, I was intimidated. I thought I was a go-getter, but no matter how much I did there was so much I felt I wasn’t doing. Now, I’m quicker. I am more confident, and sometimes even fearless. I am stronger – I can handle criticism and negative personalities, no problem. Most importantly, I don’t let other people get the best of me. I just don’t.
Best Advice I’ve been given: “If you don’t have your health, you will never have all the things you are trying so hard to achieve.” When I was in college, after recently being diagnosed with Lupus, I was juggling a full schedule at Cal State Fullerton, a managers position at The Limited, and commuting over an hour to an in internship in LA throughout the week. I spent a lot of time shooting, editing, and writing news packages for school, and I took three internships back-to-back to gain production experience and connections. Add in a social life, and I was busy – I was a college student! I remember one day, while talking to my mom and grandmother about all that I had to do, they were of course concerned that I wasn’t getting enough rest. My grandmother turned to me and said, “You know Lauren, if you don’t have your health, you will never have all of these things that you’re trying so hard to achieve.” She was so right. I already knew that (how could I not?), but it had never been put in such perspective. I have never forgotten those words, and I often have to remind myself to slow down, or completely stop to take care of myself when I am trying to do too much.
Best advice I would give: Don’t be so focused on one career goal that you overlook so many other great opportunities. I interview a lot of college students that are on the brink of entering their careers, and so often, when I ask them about their career goals they say, “I want to be the next Giuliana Rancic.” No joke – they actually say that to me. Or, “I am willing to put in time as a PA, but I ultimately want to be on camera.” I have so many problems with this. First of all, “I am willing to put in my time as a PA” – you should want to put in your time as a PA. You will learn so much! Second, you most likely will have to, so be more than willing – be excited to be a P.A. Third, if your ultimate career goal is to be at E!, why are you trying to start here? I got my start at a smaller network, and because there were so few of us I was able to do so much more. I gained so much hands-on experience, and I credit that experience to helping me land my job at E! If your ultimate goal is to work at any big network, focus on getting a job at a smaller network first – you will learn more and move up a lot quicker. And lastly, just because I have to: want your own path and envision it as your own. Don’t go into an interview and say you want to be the next anyone. Be able to elaborate on the experience you want to achieve.
Ultimate Career Goal: I have a lot of goals, but I don’t have one “ultimate” goal right now. I did earlier in my career, but it changed and now I don’t know that I want one. I don’t want to see an end point. I’m at a place where I want to try so many different things and explore new opportunities. To pick an ultimate career goal right now feels like I might be limiting myself. You really never know how far you can get.
My 5 everyday work essentials? Coffee (always), my phone, a notebook, my planner, magazines (for constant inspiration and just because), hand cream and lip balm. (sorry that’s 6)
Favorite work style accessories? Cute notepads and my indestructible black bag. I’ve used it every day for over a year and it still looks and feels brand new.
How would you describe your at-work fashion? Whether I’m dressy or casual depends on my mood, but I’m always simple. I love color and neutrals equally, but I’m not too big on patterns or mixing too many tones. I always wear earrings, a simple necklace, and my nails are always painted.
Who is your fashion or style icon and why? Blake Lively and Olivia Palermo. Both ladies always look effortlessly put-together and classy.
My career crushes and why: Beyonce – no explanation needed. Oprah, because she’s built an empire from being herself (and a damn good businesswoman). Robin Roberts because she amazes me. Carson Daly because he’s genuine and just great at his job(s). Eva Chen, because she’s the EIC of Lucky Magazine which already sounds like a dream, and based on her instagram, she has a lot of fun doing it. There are so many others.
If you have any career crushes of your own, please comment! I look forward to sharing inspirational features with you, introducing you to new people, businesses, and ideas, and creating a space that is both visually pleasing and uplifting.
Thank you so much for reading!