I am sure many of you 20 somethings already know, life after college isn’t quite as easy as sleeping (lets be honest) skipping class. So thank goodness for people like Jenny Blake, a certified Googler (no really she works for Google), a cupcake guru, life coacher, zebra retainer wearing, dancing machine that just so happens to know a thing or two about life after college.
She recently released her new book Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want. It’s written in a way that seriously caters to our Gen Y, twitteresque, 140 character, 5 minute attention span that most of us sadly fall victim to.
As Jenny describes it, “There is no need for a highlighter – this book is the highlights: a compilation of tips, quotes and exercises trimmed to the essence, divided into chapters for every major life area. Chapter categories include life (values, goals), work, money, organization, home, friends & family, dating & relationships, health, fun & relaxation, and personal growth.”
I was lucky enough to have the chance to interview Jenny Blake.
First, I must say a big CONGRATULATIONS to you!!
What is the most exciting part about seeing your new book Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want on bookshelves and on Amazon?!
Thank you so much!! The most exciting thing is seeing my book in physical form — it lived in my computer for so long that it’s such a trip to be able to hold it in my hands. It’s real! I still find it hard to believe. It even has a great new book smell
Why do you think life after college can be so confusing or such a difficult transition for many 20 somethings?
Christine Hassler (author of 20 something, 20 everything) put it really well — she describes the feeling of the post-graduation depression as an “expectation hangover.” It can be hard for people to contrast the way people envisioned their life after college with what the actual reality. They find themselves feeling disappointed and confused, and it’s not always clear how to solve the problem/s or move forward.
That’s why I think personal reflection exercises are so important – they allow people to articulate those fuzzy visions living up in the attics of their brain.
What do you hope people can learn or gain from your new book?
My hope is that people will walk away feeling inspired to make positive changes in their lives and take some risks! I want people to feel like they have a handle on the nuts and bolts so that it frees up their energy to go out and do big things.
I want people to walk away feeling more confident and inspired than when they started – armed with practical tools and inspiring quotes to really move them forward in a positive direction.
If you could give one piece of advice to a recent graduate who might not be happy in their career what would it be?
Start experimenting with projects and activities outside of work, and ask your manager if you can take on some new/different projects at work. It doesn’t always have to be all or nothing — sometimes small changes can make a big difference. For people who are really stuck, I always recommend asking, “What ONE change would make the biggest impact on my overall happiness?”
Has starting your blog Life After College changed your life for the better?
It has absolutely changed my life for the better! No doubt about it. It’s given me a voice, and it’s helped me develop my own thoughts and ideas, outside of the company I work for. I am also so thankful for all of the wonderful friends I’ve made through blogging — it’s introduced me to the most incredible community of young go-getters and entrepreneurs.
Do you have any thoughts or advice for other Gen Y bloggers who want to grow their blog or eventually write a book?
For growing your blog – you will find your voice as you go. Focus on building relationships with others, and on putting out quality content. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have big numbers right away – there’s so much value in blogging even if you have a tiny readership.Try to enjoy it for the process, not just the outcome.
The same goes for writing a book! Start small – just start writing. Don’t feel like you have to write the whole book at once. You might also start by keeping a list of “thought-starters” as writing prompts, then setting a goal to flesh out 1-2 a week.
I have to get in at least two style questions! What clothing item can you absolutely not live without?
I love it! My nude Christian Louboutin patent pumps. They make me feel like a million trillion dollars and I would never want to live without them! But those aren’t necessarily an everyday item. My daily can’t live withouts are white t-shirts, yoga pants, and nice cozy sweaters. I know I cheated and listed like five things
What is your favorite go to outfit, and how many hours or minutes did it take you to choose your first book signing look?
Favorite go-to outfit: black skinny jeans, cute over-the-knee boots, t-shirt of some kind and a blazer or sweater. Choosing my book signing look was actually easier than I expected! I had just spent a day with stylist who helped me get all set on great book-related outfits.
I ended up wearing black pants, my peacock blue patent Louboutin’s (other splurge purchase!), a bright purple shirt, and a black blazer. I felt very author-y! And very Carrie Bradshaw in my shoes
Last but not least, are you celebrating your book release with cupcakes?!!
ABSOLUTELY!!! They will be at every stop if I have anything to do with it I ordered $250 of cupcakes for the book launch party — worth every penny!
To learn more about the book, vist LACBook.com or purchase your copy on Amazon (a steal — currently selling for under $9!). You can read more about Jenny on her blog at LifeAfterCollege.org and follow her on Twitter @Jenny_Blake.