By: K. Denise Richardson
“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” With that in mind, I’ve worked every single day for the past two years. Like many of my peers and even my elders, money has been the motivation for the jobs I’ve pursued. Logically, if it didn’t make dollars, it didn’t make sense …until recently. As I have completed the right of passage into womanhood, I have realized that life isn’t just about the almighty dollar.
A large majority of my life, I have been intermixed with the entertainment industry. Having a vibrant inner circle that includes musicians and professional athletes makes for many a life lesson. I’ve been exposed to more than my share of “celebrities”, but this is my life and these people are honestly just family to me.
Leaving home, I knew I wanted to do what no one in my family has ever done. My natural course of action was going to be Business, with an emphasis in Finance. After a few semesters at Emory University, I learned that I did NOT want to follow that route. I changed my major to International Economics, with a second major in French. Something about being the one to match a consumer with a product gave me thrills. Not to mention, being bilingual is pretty hot!
Since graduation I’ve worked as a Pricing Specialist, which in turn, opened a new door for me as a Functional Consultant. Over the past two years, I have been very fulfilled financially — professionally, not so much. Money was the most important thing to me after graduation. I never realized you could enjoy work, so I made sure to make more than enough money to enjoy whatever I wanted after my 9 to 5 (more like 8:30 to 6:30 or 7) was over. I would complain to my Mom who always reminded me that it was a recession, while my short attention span didn’t help either. “Stick it out, you’re getting paid aren’t you?“ was the response from most people I complained to. Job security wasn’t even a factor in my mind. I was UNHAPPY! I had enthusiasm, freshness, and creativity that wasn’t even being tapped into. As young professionals, we’re conflicted with the forced demands of the real world vs. following our passions –it’s a tough cookie.
One day on my way to work, I was scrolling through my Blackberry reviewing my To-Do List for the week. I literally burst into tears at the thought of another dreaded work week. I was tired of prostituting myself –doing a job for the sole purpose of the money I received. I prayed about it while simultaneously sending out my resume for Marketing and Public Relations jobs …all from my car. Thank God for Wi-Fi!
I know that ultimately, if you’re doing what you’re meant to do, doors will open. Life is too great to be unhappy for 8 hours a day for the rest of your life, then complain to anyone with two ears. I wanted to be somewhere I knew I could make a difference. My goal was to “be emerged in a diverse atmosphere with a fusion of perspectives and ideas, while contributing my own.” (Quoted from my heartfelt cover letter) I was hired on the spot for TWS The UnAgency, and I must say that I haven’t been unhappy a day since. I feel so comfortable and have met some wonderful people while expanding my network in just a short time. I am gathering a solid knowledge base on which I plan to build my career in Entertainment PR & Marketing, an industry I wanted to have nothing to do with so many years ago but I can’t deny my roots. I know what I am meant to do and I refuse to do anything else. The long hours and small, yet meaningful tasks in this industry still turn me on. I am fulfilled. These experiences are testing my courage, broadening my empathy, and teaching me essential lessons about myself. Now, Money is no longer the Motive, it’s just an added and much appreciated bonus.