Sweet Tips For Figuring Out What You Love to Do
In this episode, we talk to Michelle Harper, the National Marketing Director of Purdy’s Chocolatiers, and a Top 30 Under 30
You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to the Youth Empowerment Podcast on SoundCloud. Today’s episode was insane and I hope you enjoy it!
Michelle Harper has one of the sweetest jobs in the whole world: She gets to taste test a lot of chocolate.
Ok, yes, she does a lot more than that. Michelle Harper leads Purdy’s social media team, marketing efforts, and is out there breaking glass ceilings as the National Director of Marketing at Purdy’s Chocolatiers.
But how did she get to where she is today? What was her path? More importantly, what can we learn from her path?
It all comes down to experimenting. Trying as many new things as possible to figure out what you like to do.
One of Michelle’s first experiences in marketing came through her volunteer position. She would go and volunteer at the church every Sunday, making free meals for people.
One day someone she became familiar with through work came and asked her if she was interested in joining a promotional street team for a TV station. Turns out they had a contact in the TV station and helped set Michelle up.
You may not be paid money for volunteering, but you are definitely rewarded.
2. Keep Options Open
One of Michelle’s big conflicts was choosing between Criminology and Communications as her degree specialization of choice.
Rather than making that decision without any information and closing the door on a path, she chose to go to Simon Fraser University which offered classes in both fields.
After taking a bunch of classes in History, Communications, Criminology, and even Psychology, she then ended up continuing down the road for communications.
If you’re having a tough time deciding, make sure you take the time to slow down and consider all your choices. Take the time to gather information, keeping your options open, before making a big decision.
3. Find Mentors
Michelle had the benefit of having mentors to guide her along the path.
A mentor is someone who you admire or someone who has done what you have done. By reaching out to them and asking for advice, you get the chance to accelerate your own learning and reach your goals faster.
Michelle advises that you don’t always have to set up a formal relationship with someone, where you check in at predetermined dates, come with questions, and set up calls or meetings.
Instead, a mentor can simply be someone who you really appreciated asking for guidance and getting advice from and call occasionally to ask “What’s up?”
4. No Experience Is Bad Experience
One of the most common questions that pops up these days is “How do I get experience?”
It seems as if everyone is always looking for the perfect answer. You have to land an internship at a company. Maybe you have to go get a job at a big company and work your way up.
For Michelle, when she was younger she did a lot of volunteering. On top of that she worked a lot of retail jobs, selling things like shirts, shoes, and beauty products. Now she sells chocolate. She had never done that before.
Before she started in her career in marketing, Michelle ended up on the street, handing out flyers and promotional material for a TV company.
Experience can come from everywhere. You can work in quick serve restaurants like McDonald’s. Work at your local coffee store. Volunteer. Sell Stuff. It doesn’t matter, as long as you’re getting out there and finding something to do.
No experience is a bad experience.