Happy Friday crew! It’s Alexa here, and to close out the week I thought I would share a bit about my professional journey that has lead me to the creation of Glass Ivy. While this story is still developing, I hope that it provides some insight into who I am and gives encouragement to anyone, especially in the creative realm, that is trying to forge their professional path!
Becoming a creative professional is quite a journey. It’s very rare that people figure out what they want to be when they grow up and stick to it. I think that this is even more true for those that end up in creative fields. While I know lots of successful creative counterparts in my personal network that knew early on what they wanted to do professionally, I know even more people who came to find their niche in the workplace through a unique, challenging journey. This is certainly the case for me.
I would think my parents and friends would definitely consider me “artsy” as a kid. I loved to doodle and draw as a child. Coloring books were my jam. And when I went off to college I was tasked with painting canvases and decorating the dorm for myself and my suitemates. So, I wasn’t necessarily a stranger to the creative realm, but I kept it at a safe distance.
Growing up I thought I wanted to be a doctor. I graduated with medical honors from high school (whatever that means) and went to college with the aspiration to major in biology and go to medical school. Like many others, my initial plan in college didn’t turn out as I thought it might. While I enjoyed studying science, I found that it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do every day for the rest of my life. The rest of my college experience was focused on campus involvement and having fun while what to do after college was on the back burner. I ended up graduating with a business degree and started on a path to figure out exactly what it was I wanted out of my professional career.
My first job was in customer support. I’ve always been good working with people and communicating, so it seemed to be a good starting point. While I enjoyed my first job opportunity and was thankful for everything it taught me. It just simply wasn’t enough. It was at this time, I decided I needed and wanted to learn graphic design. The company I worked for produced technology solutions for Credit Unions, so I was able to get small amounts of practice in at work with clients, but I mostly self-taught after hours. It was a slow process, but eventually, I got up the courage to ask for a position on the graphic design team at our sister company. After some debate, I was allowed to join the design team.
Welcome To The World Of Creative Professionalism
BOY WAS I IN OVER MY HEAD, but I’m grateful for that. I was given the opportunity to work on a graphic design team with professionals that were not only passionate but extremely talented. We were a small team and very close-knit. Through working on the design team, I was able to find for the first time a job that helped me evolve as a professional and kept me on my toes. I learned so so much from working with that team, and luckily, I was able to continue working with them through most of my professional career.
While I absolutely loved graphic design and still do, I came to the realization that I was good at graphic design, but I wasn’t extraordinary. That realization combined with my type-A personality, helped me decide it was time to shake things up. So, I approached my boss and asked to create a new position at the company entirely, marketing strategist. I felt that my business education, creative experience, and industry knowledge lent itself to the world of marketing. While this idea was met with some hesitation, once I secured a couple clients I was able to move into this new role. The direction of incorporating marketing into the company I worked for was a success, and I was able to move up in that role and grow a small team to include several marketing professionals and the graphic design team. Collectively, we were able to launch what is now known at that company as Creative Services.
After a year overseeing a team of creative professionals and growing in my own professional experience, I decided to take a leap of faith and go off on my own. So here I am! I (think) I’ve finally found my niche. At Glass Ivy, I hope to foster an environment of creativity and applying that to practical and effective marketing principles. Though Glass Ivy is still very new, I want to make sure it’s a place where professionals can grow and find their own home in the variety of creative niches available to them.
And That’s A Wrap (For Now)
I tell this story for a couple reasons. First, I hope that you all get to know a little more about me and my journey that leads to Glass Ivy. Second, if you are in a job and don’t quite feel like you are in your element I hope that you have the courage to work hard and figure out what that is! Finding your professional safe-haven isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work, a lot of proving yourself, and great leaders and support along the way but it is possible. And let me tell you, it’s certainly worth it!
Cheers to all the professionals with crazy journeys to where they are now!