9 Important Career Lessons I Learned In My 20’s

Sep
5th

9 Important Career Lessons I Learned in my 20s

I can still remember the first editorial meeting I attended when interning at Style at Home magazine.

I was 23, one month into my internship, and had been invited to sit in on the planning meeting for the magazine’s upcoming issue. My managing editor also requested I bring a story idea to pitch to the team. As I sat around the table with senior editors, designers and art directors, listening to them bounce ideas and feedback off of each other, I was amazed at the breadth of knowledge they had about publishing, from layout to copy to pagination. And when it came time for me to share my story angle, my heart felt like it was about to beat out of my chest – I was scared shitless, had zero confidence in my pitch, and couldn’t bear to make eye contact with anyone. I mumbled through my pitch, just wanting it to be over so I could sink back in my chair and go back to observing.

Looking back on that moment from 10 years ago, I often think of how different that experience would be if it was 33-year-old Lauren sat at that table. The Lauren with years of pitching, public speaking and planning meetings under her belt and that had no problem speaking up and sharing her opinion. The amount of growth that took place in my career during my 20’s was substantial – I changed jobs frequently in order to develop new skills and constantly challenge myself.

And it was those years in my twenties that prepared me for where I am now – working for myself and being my own damn boss. So for all of you who are looking for a little guidance in your career, whether you’re just starting out or are simply feeling stuck, here are 9 important career lessons I learned in my 20’s.

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1 Work for someone else.

Whenever I talk to recent graduates who are trying to decide whether to freelance straight out of school or apply for jobs, my advice is always the same: work for someone else and learn everything you can. You may ooze talent and feel like you’re ready to unleash your greatness unto the world, but learning how to run a business from someone with experience is worth its weight in gold. You’ll not only gain real-life experience, but you’ll be able to analyze what works and what doesn’t work in their business before venturing off to do your own thing.

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5 Blogging Mistakes That Could Be Holding You Back

Aug
21st

5 Blogging Mistakes That Could Be Holding You Back

Let me be the first to say this – being a blogger ain’t easy.

Okay, yeah, I admit, blogging isn’t rocket science and there are plenty of aspects that hardly feel like work (like attending VIP events or going on press trips), but the actual day-to-day of being a blogger can be hella stressful. It’s just you and your brand and the constant churning out of creative content, hoping that something will resonate, something will grab the attention of your readers, something will go viral. Bloggers are copywriters, photographers, marketers, sales people, community managers and business agents all wrapped into one. If we don’t create for our brands and consistently push out fresh content, no one else will do it for us.

So it’s only natural that along the way, we make mistakes – focus gets pulled in a million different directions and stuff falls through the cracks. Then one day, you realize your blog traffic isn’t growing and you’re not sure why – you’re creating the content and posting on social, so why aren’t people reading it? And because we wear so many hats, sometimes it’s hard to see where we’ve gone wrong, where there’s a leak in the boat.

If you’re a blogger that’s stuck in a rut and don’t know why dafuq your hard work hours aren’t getting you results, check out these 5 common blogging mistakes that could be holding you back (and how to fix them!).

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Passion, Motivation & Drive: What’s Your Thunder?

Aug
8th

 

The only people for me are the mad ones,
the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk,
mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time.
The ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing,
but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles
exploding like spiders across the sky.”

–Jack Kerouac

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I’ve always been drawn to passionate people. I love meeting them at parties, reading about them in magazines, watching them on TV. It’s why I started This Renegade Love in the first place – to be inspired by the stories of passionate people and pass them on to others.

But more than that, I’m intrigued about what motivates those people to follow their dreams and achieve their goals. What gives them that drive, that belief in themselves? How do they keep on pushing when the world gives them roadblock after roadblock? And what lessons have they learned from failures that have motivated them more than their successes?

So when I saw the first episode of CBC’s newest drama, 21 Thunder, I was like, “YAAAAASSS!” On the surface, 21 Thunder (which airs at 9PM/9:30 NT) is about an elite soccer team in Montreal, but it’s the themes of the show that have me hooked. Besides all the sex, crime, race and drama (not to mention the super attractive and diverse cast), the show focuses on the lives of young athletes who are following their dreams and will do whatever it takes to succeed  – something I can absolutely relate to in my own career. The characters deal with struggles and roadblocks that aren’t unlike many of the things we all deal with in our lives – there’s a female coach who has to work harder to prove herself because of her gender, a rising star whose personal life is holding him back, and a fresh player from the Ivory Coast who feels like an outsider in a new place… but all who are determined to succeed. Not hard to see why I love it, huh?

To kick off the launch of 21 Thunder and explore the show’s overarching theme of chasing glory, I reached out to a group of driven young Torontonians, ranging from creatives to entrepreneurs, to hear more about what motivates them to follow their dreams, to get back up when they’ve fallen down, and to constantly be trying new things.

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How To Edit Photos | Tips, Tricks and Apps

Aug
3rd

How to edit photos

After writing my last post on 7 Ways To Take Better Photos, I immediately got an overwhelming amount of requests inquiring about my photo editing process as well. It’s one of the most common questions I (and a lot of other bloggers) get asked – “How do you edit photos?” Everyone wants to know about editing. They want to know what apps to use, what filters will make their images brighter, how to add a lens flare, whatever.  And in this day and age with thousands of photo apps and online hacks, literally anyone can edit photos to look semi-professional.

But here’s a little secret I’m going to let you in on – editing programs won’t make you a great photographer. You need a creative eye for that – an understanding of composition and light, an ability to capture moments and tell a story with a single snap.

That being said, what post-processing can do is take a good photo and make it even better. There have been plenty of times where I’ve taken a photo that was perfect in terms of subject or composition, but it fell a bit flat in colour or contrast, and by simply pulling it into an editing program to play around, I was able to bring it to life by changing up the saturation and exposure (amongst many of the other amazing things you can do).

So, to fill the bellies of you hungry beasts, I’m laying out all the programs I use and showing you my own examples of how to edit photos so you can play around and create your own awesome style.

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