Silicon Valley. A place where brilliant minds collaborate and collide – where juggernaut tech companies reside – where I have always known as nothing more than home.
Born and raised in San Jose, Ca., I’ve always referred to Silicon Valley as home. Nothing special, nothing to brag about, just my humble beginnings. I left the area when I was 18 to create a new chapter of life in Los Angeles. I spent 11 years in the city of angels and in the Summer of 2017, I decided it was time I’d return. I would be closer to my family, friends, boyfriend, and start another new chapter. I ended up packing my bags and heading up north not realizing the realities of life in Silicon Valley.
I gotta’ be honest with you. It was a rough few months. I had to figure out where I was going to live and most importantly where I was going to advance in my career. My field of choice had mostly been with L.A.’s media and entertainment industry. I’ve worked for online magazines and blogs, public relation firms, promotional model agencies – just to name a few. But I quickly realized I was no longer in the entertainment capital of the world. This was a new terrain and I had to get with it quick before I got left behind.
After about 5 months of questioning my fate in the SV, I decided it was time to muster up courage from within and go after a job at Silicon Valley’s leading alt. weekly newspaper – Metro News Silicon Valley. This paper was everything I loved. It covered politics, entertainment, music, nightlife, style, food, and it was the go-to resource for everything Silicon Valley! My blog AMBmagazine.com was very similar to Metro as it covered a wide variety of topics. I enjoy being part of a little of everything and that’s what my blog was – a little of everything. And so was Metro. Thus, it was love at first sight for when I was introduced to a Metro Newspaper. Working with them would be a dream. But could I do it? Could I actually land a job at Silicon Valley’s leading weekly newspaper? I mean I’ve never worked with an actual print newspaper before. I’ve always worked online. I wasn’t sure if I would make the cut.
Could I land the job of my dreams?
The saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” couldn’t be any more true for this story. To land the job of my dreams, I had to know the job of my dreams. And the current job of my dreams was the CEO and Publisher of Metro. Fortunately, I had met him the summer of 2016 in San Jose when I was in town for the summer. I was backstage at a Music in The Park concert covering the event for my blog. I met a few people that evening and Metro’s CEO was one individual I had the chance to network with. I was able to introduce him to my blog and a little bit about me. We exchanged cards and I followed up with a few emails, but never really heard from him again until running into him a few times when I moved back.
I thought about how to approach him and I was eventually led to visiting Metro’s headquarters. The CEO wasn’t there at the time and I wasn’t given much information about what to do for a job application. But that wasn’t going to stop me from trying. I left their offices and began thinking about my next steps. I knew I had his email so the next step would be just that. Re-introducing myself and my blog, I emailed him for a meeting to see if I would be a good fit for their advertising account executive position. To my surprise, he agreed. A few days later we met for a lunch meeting and I was given the opportunity to sell my experience. He immediately thought I’d be a great fit and the rest is history. It all happened so quick.
Where I am today
Today, I’m 5 months in working as an Advertising and Digital Marketing Account Executive for Metro – Silicon Valley’s leading newspaper. I have a great position, an awesome boss, incredible opportunities, and it’s the perfect positions for where I am in my life today. I can get very overwhelmed and stressed at times, but I am learning so many incredible skills and experience working with Silicon Valley business owners, who advertise with the Metro. I just can’t believe it was only 5 months ago that I was so uncertain about where I would end up in this town. I was losing hope in my job hunt for the right position, but I had to buck up and decide to go after what it was I truly wanted without going the usual “send my resume to as many companies as I can” route. This was a matter of using my network and the people I knew to give me a shot.
My advice in a nutshell
Network. Get to know your network. Have your network get to know you. Ask your network for opportunities. And keep an eye out for opportunities that could be beneficial them. You will never know what opportunities are available until you start talking to people and putting yourself out there. This will allow you to be more than just another resume stacked on someone’s desk.