Kayla is someone I first encountered through a LinkedIn Group I manage and her posts were very insightful. I’ve witnessed her blossom from a blogger into an author and thought her advice would be helpful to my readers. I haven’t had the pleasure to meet her in person yet (because we live on opposite coasts), but we do follow each other on Twitter and Instagram. Here’s my interview with her:
1) Tell us a little bit about your journey to becoming an author
I’ve always wanted to write a book. It’s always been on my bucket list, but if I’m being honest, I never thought it’d actually happen. A couple years ago I got inspired one day and I wrote down a whole bunch of thoughts and ideas for this book I wanted to write. I wrote it down on colored construction paper and threw it into my computer bag, the place where all my scribbles and post-it notes go to die. But one day last summer, I received an e-mail from a publishing company and I took the time to read it. They had found my blog, and they asked me if I was interested in putting together a book proposal. The first thing I did was Google the heck out of them to make sure they were a legit company, and after I verified that yes, they were very real, I retrieved that page of colored construction paper and I started working on my proposal. A year later, here I am, officially an author. How cool is that?!
2) In the past year you got married, bought a house and published a book: how did you manage it all?
Oh, you mean, you don’t want to hear the stories about me in the fetal position having full-blown panic attacks? LOL! Manage it all? Somehow I did it, although I was an absolute crazy person this past year. I really learned to use my time wisely, so I would spend my lunch breaks writing little sections of my book and I would continue writing when I got home from work. I would write on the weekends and pretty much any free time I had would be spent with my computer on my lap. Thankfully I have a super-supportive husband who dealt with me ignoring him from to time so I could get my writing done. But the turnaround time for my book was insane! I was offered my book deal in August and my draft was due in November. Hence the panic attacks. I was literally writing my book until the day before my wedding. I got married on a Saturday, and Friday, Joe was greeting our out of town guests while I was up in our room writing. Definitely intense, but so worth it.
3) As someone who graduated from college early and jumped into the corporate world immediately, what do you wish you knew then that would have helped you?
That’s a good question. I wish I had known that it was totally okay for me to explore other career options. I feel like I got into a career as a young professional and I thought, “this has to be it…this is what I studied,” even though I wasn’t passionate about it. I wish I had been a little less harsh on myself, allowing myself to explore more of my passions and interests, even if that meant job hopping a bit more during the first few years out of college.
4) You refer to Millennials as being more “lost” than any other generation before, can you elaborate more on that?
Millennials are for the most part overachievers. I think a lot of us have big goals and dreams for ourselves and we want to make an impact. But when it comes to figuring out HOW to do that, I think that’s where we struggle sometimes. We have multiple passions and interests and with technology making so many things accessible to us, I think we often struggle to figure out which direction we want to go in. But I think that’s just what happens when we’re young and trying to figure out who we are and what we want to do, so I think the key to success here is to embrace that feeling of being lost and not thinking of it as such a bad thing.
5) Give us a preview of your book and how it can help 20 somethings navigate the business world!
Corporate Survival Guide for Your Twenties is a down-to-earth, no BS guide to navigating those first few years at work. I mean, it’s not going to matter that we got our dream jobs if we don’t know how to behave in the workplace and get fired in three days, right? So the book’s designed to give readers some advice regarding things like starting off on the right foot, getting people to like you, earning your boss’ respect, and dealing with people you want to punch in the face. It’s got humor to it, because the last thing I wanted to do was write a book that was like a textbook or some lame HR manual, so it’s a fun read with practical advice and it’s something that I think even more seasoned employees would benefit from.