Avid writer Sarah R Bailey is not playing around when it comes to her future. Though she’s found that getting a full-time job is tough, Bailey is doing everything she can to build her portfolio until that time comes. Yes folks, like most college grads, she is working for free for the time being.
Bailey graduated on Dec. 15 from Georgia State University. “I was freaking out because I had no prospects for a job,” she says. “Everyone I interviewed with said I needed more experience. I didn’t have anything but my internship at Skirt! Magazine.”
“I was like, ‘where is my job!?’ and that led to a lot of panic,” she says. “I seriously went on a mood elevator.”
So Bailey decided that in order to get that perfect job, she would have to spend some time focusing on her portfolio. “I remember the last week of finals, I was sitting outside of the classroom and I had this e-mail from Modern Luxury Media. It said, ‘Would you still be interested in interning?’ I immediately stopped studying. That’s the fastest e-mail I’ve ever sent.”
I actually met Bailey at Modern Luxury. She came in as an editorial assistant in January, 2011 and I remember thinking that this girl was intense. She was seriously passionate and motivated.
“It was really the first time I was in the magazine world,” she says. “Being in that atmosphere kind of upped the anty on my creativity. I realized that this is exactly what I want to do.”
After seeing Bailey’s work ethic in action, I offered her a position with CommonCreativ as senior editor. “Like what happened with us and CommonCreativ, I think networking is key,” says Bailey. “This business is all about who you know. If you can get your foot in the door, meet people and talk to people, even if you’re not getting paid, they may get you a position you want.”
And remember, networking works both ways. I’m not shy in saying Bailey hooked me up with my writing gig at Skirt! Magazine. “No matter who you meet or what they do for a living, you could feed off that energy and vice versa,” she says.
Today, Bailey is through with the internship and is freelancing (and getting paid!!!) for Points North Magazine. Through networking, she also landed a position with Lifestyles Magazine. And while she continues her search for a full-time job, she’s in the process of moving back home with her parents for a while. “We’re such great friends,” she says about her folks. “They are my two biggest cheerleaders.” It’s not even about the money as much as it is about spending time with the family before settling into a career.
Wise words from Sarah: “It’s OK to freak out. It’s natural. If I wasn’t freaking out, I’d be freaking out that I wasn’t freaking out. You should be feeling something because you want something so much. It’s a sign of passion.”