Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Life/Career Lessons We Could All Learn From Iggy Azalea


Iggy Azalea isn’t only the hit sensation of the summer, with hits such as “Fancy”, “Problem”, and the soon to be hit “No Mediocre”; she can be a source of inspiration for anyone who is wondering what they could do to follow their gut and find meaning in their lives.

Follow your dream, literally.

Iggy, originally from Australia, never felt at home in her native country. Her dream was to become a rap star, and Australia has never really been the hub for that kind of work. So she decided to move to the source: the US.

"I was drawn to America because I felt like an outsider in my own country, I was in love with hip hop, and America is the birthplace of that, so I figured the closer I was to the music, the happier I'd be. I was right.”[source]

Sometimes, your career goal or life dream seems out of reach, maybe you don’t seem connected to the industry you want to work in or you wish you could work in another city or country. Figure out a game plan to reach your dream destination. A big part of that will involve establishing a network. You have to immerse yourself with the people in your target career in your target area. Not everyone fits in where they start, and that’s ok.

How to network.

“It was hard for me [to rap in Miami] because I didn’t know anyone that did music. It’s like, ‘Where do I go? Who do I talk to to do this?’ [source]

“Work really hard, keep meeting people, keep pushing yourself all the time, attend gigs, meet and network with different people.” [source]

When Iggy finally made it to the US, she put herself out there by connecting with people in the music industry and sharing her music on the internet. Her networking journey led her to Miami, Houston, Atlanta, LA and superstardom. The same goes for you. There isn’t one expert or person who is going to get you to your goal. It’s up to you to build a network, and here are some ways you can do it:

  • Reach out to alumni on LinkedIn or Alumni Student Konnection to find people who have accomplished the goal you want; ask questions and get information (a.k.a. an informational interview).
  • Prepare for your informational interview by coming up with at least 10 questions to ask (a good resource for questions is the Interview section of the Career Planning Handbook).
  • Towards the end of your informational interview, ask the person if there’s anyone else they recommend you talk to (naturally expand your network).
  • Show what you can do – Examples: If you’re an artist or do graphic design/marketing, have a website of your work. If you’re a writer, start a blog. If you’re ready to get your first internship, have an updated LinkedIn profile. The ideas go on and on. Any career path could be promoted online.
  • Oh, and don’t forget, keep your network in the loop about your journey. You will be surprised at how many people that you network with will be genuinely interested in the progress you make along the way.

And, finally, if you want to find out how to follow in Iggy’s footsteps or start your own, The Career Center can help. You can make an appointment by calling 516-463-6060 to see a career counselor and brainstorm on a career path and networking plan that’s tailored to you.

 ~Nayelli Perez, Assistant Director

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