Have I mentioned I have my dream job? Pretty sure I have.
I've wanted to be a women's-interest editor/writer since the first issue of Sassy my mother finally gave in and bought for me after three years of saying I was too young for it. But a lot happened between 1991 and 2013 to get me where I am.
I'm not saying that you necessarily want a job like mine, but I do know that I'm really lucky to have found myself where I am after wanting it and working for it for so long. You are here on xoVain, though, which means you probably have at least a fleeting interest in beauty (otherwise, hi, lost person). So maybe--just maybe--you've thought about pursuing a career in it; not necessarily as a hairstylist or a manicurist (two things I've never been coordinated enough to even consider doing), but on a more media-centric side of the industry.
When I say a lot happened in the last 22 years, I'm not kidding: amazing ups, long downs, and a very unorthodox but successful attempt at breaking into editorial. It would be literally impossible to repeat my exact path (and trust me, you don't want to).
So when someone asks me for career advice, I've been sort of stumped about what to tell them. Until now.
My friend Courtney Dunlop, executive editor at YouBeauty.com, has teamed up with her model sister, Brit, to write the book I wish I'd had available to me in college: Break Into Beauty: From Writing to PR to Product Development, Your Guide to Finding a Dream Job in the Beauty Industry.
Courtney has basically done it all in this industry, starting with--wait for it--an internship in the beauty department at JANE.
"It was the only internship I applied for because I wasn't going to take no for an answer," she told me. "I don't recommend that, by the way. It worked out for me, but always have backups!" After college, she went back as the beauty assistant and eventually worked her way up to beauty editor.
"Working at JANE opened a lot of doors for me and introduced me to all the key players in the industry," which lead to freelance writing for Allure, Cosmopolitan, InStyle, and many more, followed by a stint at Marie Claire as the contributing beauty editor. "Finally, I took the leap to web, and now I'm at YouBeauty, where I get to make the science of beauty fun and approachable."
"I ended up in publishing, but the point of the book is that there are so many areas in the beauty industry where you can go, depending on where your interests lie," Courtney said, explaining that the book covers marketing, public relations, beauty writing, sales, beauty buying, design, product development, and copywriting.
"It's written for people with no experience and no idea how to start. It's for me back in Missouri when I had no connections, no guidance, zero idea how to start."
Knowing Courtney personally, I can tell you that she's whip-smart and exactly who you should listen to if the mere thought of a beauty industry career puts a perceptible twinkle in your eye. That's why, in addition to recommending you download her book on your fancy book-reading device, she'll be spilling even more career advice on xoJane next week.
Go get it on iTunes, future colleagues.