Interview with Author Jenny Blake
This blog post was written by Kristyn Anguiano, senior sociology major and film and television studies minor and Campus Ambassador at Loyola Marymount University. Follow her on Twitter @KristynMA.
Jenny Blake is an author, blogger, life coach and sought-after speaker who helps others “Wake up, live big, and love the journey.” Jenny started her blog, LifeAfterCollege.org, in 2005 and recently turned it into a book, Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want. Jenny took her own great leap by leaving Google after five and a half years at the company to move to New York City and pursue her passions full-time. She was kind enough to answer some of my questions!
1. What did you major in during college/what was your dream job?
I majored in Communications and Political Science. For a while I thought my dream job was either being a journalist or working on a Presidential campaign -- then I realized that I wanted something more active. Working at a start-up company doing online political polling ended up being the perfect first job since I got to wear multiple hats and really help build something from the ground up.
2. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of finishing my book after 2.5 years even though I was ready to give up on it halfway through the process. Despite my fears and insecurities, I realized that if I could help just ONE person, it would all be worth it. Seeing the response and the reviews and the reader emails makes my day, every day. I am so grateful to have such a loving, smart, supportive community and I know that it is my life's calling to continue serving others in every way that I can.
3. Did you ever have any internships during college?
I interned at Rock the Vote in college which was awesome, but the best thing I did was ask one of my professors if I could be her Research Assistant. That relationship is what led to me being the first employee at the start-up company she co-founded, and completely set the foundation for the rest of my career!
4. What challenges have you faced throughout your career?
The biggest challenge I faced recently was feeling like something was missing at Google, at a company many people would love to work for. I was angry at myself for not feeling totally overjoyed to be at work every day. But eventually I had to realize that my gut was telling me that even though it was a dream job for many people, there was more out there for me. I LOVED my time at Google and it was invaluable to where I am now.
5. What do you think has helped you the most in getting to where you are today?
Listening to my gut, even when I wasn't exactly sure what it was trying to tell me. Listening is the first step...then slowly the answers and next steps will reveal themselves.
6. What have you learned along the way?
Talk to others who have gone before you -- if there's a big goal or next step that is calling your name, find others who have gone before you and talk to them! Learn from them, be inspired by them, ask what they would do differently, what advice they have for you, etc. These conversations have really propelled me forward for many of the big career (and life) goals I've achieved.
7. What is your motto in life?
Live big! And don't be afraid to start small.
8. Any advice or insight for those trying to achieve their dreams?
Identify what ONE next step you could take that would move you forward. That's it! You don't have to see the whole path ahead -- in fact, you almost never will. As Joan Baez said, "Action is the antidote to despair." Just start somewhere and enjoy the unpredictability of the process unfolding on its own.
Follow her on twitter @Jenny_Blake.