Some students go through their collegiate experience unaware of what they want to do in life and conventional ways of career advancement aren’t enough. This is where Jessica Styles steps in. Jessica Styles, South Carolina native, created The FAB Network out of a need to foster out-of-the-box thinking for career development.
Creative Interns: In the well-known novel “The Alchemist”, author Paulo Coehlo talks about following your heart through self-discovery as you find your personal legend. Do you define The Fab Network as your personal legend?
Jessica Styles: Yes for me it’s not a job and it’s more than just a company. The FAB Network is a movement. There’s a problem in education where self-awareness is lacking. I have a special affinity for people thinking outside of the box and for me The FAB Network helps others to live out their truth and identify what their passion is about. It is career coaching infused with life coaching.
The ultimate goal is to get paid to do what you love and if I can help others do that then I feel like I’ve made a huge difference.
CI: What’s a normal work week like for you?
JS: For years, a work week would be any where from teaching, setting up meetings and going to events. Some days I may be on the computer at 1 or 2 A.M sending out emails. At night, I would create my to-do list for the next day.
I just recently transitioned from Adjunct Professor at LIM College to full-time staff as a Career Advisor, in which I will be teaching career development courses in addition to conducting one-on-one career consultations and managing 200-300 student caseloads (among other responsibilities). With this new title, my days will be a little more structured. Being a career advisor just enhances what I do with The FAB Network. My work week is like an octopus where each thing may function differently, but in the end leads to the same goal.
CI: What is one crazy work experience you remember that taught you an invaluable lesson?
JS: I just moved to New York City to work for MTV and at the time they were doing major layoffs during my first 3 weeks on the job. While I didn’t get laid off, I was freaking out thinking what would I do being in a new place with no job. My supervisor took me into her office and calmed me down. She quickly helped me learn that it is not about the job, it is about you.
I was always in a guerrilla warfare mind set at work. No matter what the job was, even if it was just getting coffee, I was going to do it well however I always remembered what my former boss taught me….I always viewed my job/career as a piece of me, not a piece that defines me.
CI: If you were able to talk to the younger Jessica Styles, what would you say to her?
JS: I’m 29 now and there’s so much I’ve learn since being the 22-year old that just moved to New York City. At 28, I really began to get on the cusp of fine-tuning who Jessica Styles was. Something happened this year where I started looking at myself more closely than I ever have. This year, I started looking at who I am as a person – who do I want to be on a more holistic level. My spirituality became stronger, I looked at my relationships, career and myself more. Everything in my life has to be an asset and must contribute to the person I want to be in all areas of my life.
You have to be willing to walk in darkness, to be able to walk in light. If you can get through those rough moments, you will be greatly rewarded.
CI: What advice would you give a recent graduate entering the career world?
Set up a lot of informational interviews and talk to a lot of people. You will do yourself a huge service if you start picking people’s brains. When I wanted to switch from MTV to beauty, I interviewed and met with over 100 people. I was able to build relationships and learn at the same time. While I was building relationships and learning, I made myself memorable. Everything you’re doing, builds a brand for you. Those informational interviews had a tremendous impact on my career – knowledge you can’t learn in a classroom or just working a job and doing it well. You have to challenge yourself to not only work hard, but make sure the “right people” take notice of your work and dedication.