This post was originally written for NYWICI.
Black leather chairs lined with gold legs. Addictive healthy snacks organized next to tote bags filled with magazines. Paintings that are somewhere between Basquiat and Close, hang on opposite walls. This is no place for the traditionalist. It is a home for the future. It is also a conference room.
Conference rooms, traditionally, are known to symbolize what they were made for: business. However, at VICE Media in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the conference room is where great minds convene to keep not only a business running, but a living, breathing brand.
NYWICI took a tour last Thursday and met a wide range of the creatives responsible for making sure that VICE and all of its entities continue to evolve from being “just a skateboard company” to the diverse media conglomerate it is today. Among these talented people were Liz, Madison, and Charlotte, each giving unique advice on how to build a successful career out of embracing individualism.
Here’s what we learned:
BE DEDICATED, in everything and anything you do.
“When it came to applying to jobs, I initially wanted to get into television,” Charlotte says. She also recalls wanting to be in the Advertising department at different companies after falling in love with AMC’s Mad Men series.
Like Charlotte, many of us are still going through the process – figuring out if our career interests are the same as our career path. In Charlotte’s experiences, each interview and rejection before VICE seemed to only remind her that she was “overqualified” and settling for less. However, she says that getting your foot in the door comes with dedication and never giving up. Instead of taking “No” for an answer, she says, “it was sort of rewarding to know there was something else out there.”
There’s going to be a learning curve.
Office lingo is no joke. EOD, EOW, and OOO, are not the same as LOL, BRB, or TBH.
Madison shares her experiences with reading emails and memos during her first days at VICE, and recalls not knowing what terms meant. She credits VICE with giving her, and other young people like her, a chance to shine as well as to learn.
However, those efforts have to be mutual. “No one’s going to know the answers all the time,” Madison says. But it’s YOUR job to ask the questions! Be humble, be eager, and come hungry.
Find YOUR fit, not the other way around.
We live in a generation that struggles between following passions and following security. We think we know what we want as soon as it happens, but sometimes the best and most life-changing decisions are spur of the moment.
Madison tells us that despite her current role as Program Manager, she would have probably shied away from the role if she were applying upfront. The position found her, instead of the other way around, after she gave an impressive presentation for a department outside of her own Marketing internship at the time. To some, this may seem impulsive, but to Madison, it was instinct all along.
This mentality reflects within the rest of VICE staff, too. Following the presentation, Liz reiterates that at VICE, “there’s a responsibility to be on the pulse with culture.” And I think that’s valuable advice for any situation: be in the know, because life is too short not to know.
Maybe not every job will fit how you expect, but it’s always better to jump in and test the waters than miss the opportunity completely.
Check out more of the gallery below!