The Secret Sauce: Making a Career Transition

We’re pleased to announce the addition of Rebecca de Haro as the newest member of the Soda Pop PR team. Rebecca (Becky) joins us with several years of events and marketing experience, having previously worked with brands like UCLA, Whole Foods and Dell. We thought you might enjoy Becky’s story about making a career transition in her late twenties, leaving her events position of five years to pursue a passion for hospitality PR, starting with an internship here.BlogImage

Willingly leaving a stable job in a weak job market may not sound like a step towards a happy ending. In my case, it actually paid off. I can credit a move to Los Angeles in my early twenties for turning me into a foodie and devoted cook. The bustling food scene here led to a new passion for exploring chefs, restaurants and cooking, which grew with each passing year. I suddenly found myself daydreaming about melding my interests and skills into a profession. I studied public relations in college so I felt I had a foundation to build on, but would anyone hire me when I’d never set foot in a PR agency before? I quickly discovered that the answer was “no,” so I had to get creative.

TIP: Talk to someone who has the job you want. Through my events job I met a woman who owned a hospitality PR agency with several well-known chefs and restaurants as clients. I asked her to lunch to pick her brain about the industry and left our meeting with recommendations and inspiration. The tips below helped me get the ball rolling:

  • Create a website – Showcase your important digital, creative and writing skills with a simple website. Here you can write a compelling bio about yourself and your experience, include examples of past work, awards, honors, etc. and share the site with potential employers and/or clients. There are plenty of free templates like WordPress and About.me that can help you get started.
  • Research – Look for companies you would want to work for. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn so you’ll be familiar with their projects and alerted to job and internship opportunities. It was in this way that I found an internship at Soda Pop.
  • Intern – If you don’t have the experience to land a paying gig in your desired field, you can try your hand at an internship. Unpaid and/or paid internships can be a great way to get your foot in the door and gain the necessary experience while demonstrating your work ethic.

TIP: Exceed expectations. Internships aren’t glamorous; they weed out the crowd of people who want a job. If you want a job, be prepared to go the extra mile and make an impression. At nearly thirty years old, I wasn’t the typical intern, but Soda Pop valued my unique situation and gave me a shot at making my dream a reality.

Building the courage to leave a job I didn’t love to take an unpaid internship in a new field was terrifying, but the thought of never trying scared me even more. Now it’s my job to talk about cheese, and what could be better than that?

-Becky

P.S., We’re currently seeking our next Soda Pop PR intern! Check out the job description here.

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