Her smile, her laughter, and her passion...all the things I love about Andi Teggart. Andi and I originally met on Twitter through our similar connections and now, we instantly throw our arms around each other every time we get to see each other during events. Andi's zest for life, more specifically, enjoying life is inspiring to me. She blogs over at Polish My Crown and her writing just pulls you in. Read on to learn more about Andi, but don't forget to follow her on Twitter, too!
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START?
I had been interviewing for jobs during my senior year at Ohio University and randomly updated my LinkedIn status to say something like "Looking for jobs in Portland and SF - let me know if you hear of something!" I was studying journalism and interested in jobs in social media (which was a very NEW career option at the time) and PR. I had previously lived in New York City and Washington D.C. and knew that while I love both places, I wanted to live somewhere new for a couple of years post-grad. Heather (@HeatherAS) was a Twitter connection/friend and also OU alum and emailed me saying her former boss just moved to SF. From there, she connected me with her former boss, Jenna, who happened to have an entry-level social media job on her team at Edelman Digital. I said yes and a few weeks later, moved across the country from Ohio to San Francisco to start my first job!
WHAT RISKS DID YOU TAKE?
I think the entire move to SF was a risk within itself. It was one of the scariest, hardest, challenging and by far, most exciting life update and risk I've ever taken. I had graduated college early, so all of my friends still had a quarter of school left and were basking in the glory and goodness that is senior year in Athens, Ohio. I was, on the other hand, moving to a place thousands of miles away from home. I hadn't been to California or SF, didn't know anyone and I certainly didn't know what I was getting into in terms of my career. A blogging acquaintance-turned-real-life-friend allowed me to live with her and her husband for a few weeks before getting settled and when she picked me up from the airport, she shared some advice that has proved to be valuable, time and time again. She said, simply and matter-of-factly: bravery and courage are always rewarded. That has proved to be so very accurate in my life. For me, that 22-year-old risk to move has proved to be so worth it - my best friends moved here five or so months afterwards, I've had opportunities I never thought existed and met my fiancee in this lovely city.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU?
I'm scared that I'll live my life focused on things that don't matter - and investing time, energy and resources into people or things that simply don't matter. I'm also terrified of being chased and of squirrels, but those are more silly fears ;)
LOOKING BACK ON YOUR CAREER, WHAT WAS A MAJOR TURNING POINT FOR YOU?
One turning point for me was when I left my job at Edelman Digital, where I worked for about three and a half years. I really loved my job there and even more importantly, loved the people I was surrounded by on a daily basis. But a job opportunity came up and it was exciting and I had been having this itch for a few months up to that point that it was time. So much of my life, especially the life I had in San Francisco, was wrapped up in my career and experience at Edelman. One of my favorite authors so eloquently wrote, "Jobs are things you do, they're not badges of who you are." Her words echoed throughout the entire decision making process and it was a huge, important leap for me to be simply okay with whatever was ahead and not wrapping up my identity in my job. You can read more about quitting my first job in THIS blog post. Oh! And another major turning point was this April when I quit my job with no back-up job in place! That was one of the most exhilarating and important decisions I've made in my career. More about that in THIS blog post!
WHAT ARE THREE PIECES OF ADVICE YOU'VE RECEIVED THAT YOU'VE CARRIED WITH YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER?
1. If there's a piece of your life that isn’t life-giving and makes you feel undervalued, under appreciated or not your best self – whether that’s a bad relationship or not-so-great job or something else – please be brave and do something about it! This came from my mom who is always reminding me to not hold on to things - or stay in environments - that don't make me my best self. This advice can relate to careers, relationships and most every part of life.
2. Say yes! Again, this is both life and career advice, but it's so very important, especially when you are early on in your career to say yes to any and all opportunities. Of course, it's important to not say yes so much that you're running yourself to the ground. Saying yes opens you up to so many opportunities and experiences. Sometimes NO is easier and safer, but yes is always the better option.
3. Show one another grace. This comes from the CEO from the company I work at now, STAND. Everyone's work days (and non-work days!) are busy and can be stressful. We are all moving a million miles per minute and we all make mistakes with our work. Just today, an email I sent out to 60 people in the STAND community said "Hi FNAME" instead of "Hi" and their ACTUAL first name. Darn you, Mailchimp merge tags! I was embarrassed and felt bad about it, but my CEO and entire team showed me so much grace and even laughed about it. Grace, to me, means undeserved love and to our company, means treating people with respect and letting little things slide. It is SO easy (and I've done it) to get annoyed and frustrated at people in the workplace, but it's very awesome when you choose to rise above those things and show people grace when they don't even deserve it.
Besides that Mailchimp mistake?! ;) I make mistakes all the time to be honest. But one that's occupied way too much time is letting other people's perceptions of me rule my reality. It's hard to believe this, BUT people are not thinking about me - my body, my life choices, my career moves, whatever - even a fraction of the time I think they might be. I'm learning slowly that it doesn't matter what people think of me - because who I am is more than that. Who I am as a person has nothing to do with other people's opinions or expectations or perceptions and simply put, has everything to do with what God thinks.