Brandeis International Business School

031: You Have to Create Your Dream Job

Selena Soo is a publicity and marketing strategist for entrepreneurs, experts and authors who want to reach millions with their messages. Her signature approach comes down to building powerful and long-lasting relationships with influencers and the media in a thoughtful and authentic way: she’s a bridge builder, helping people in need find the people who can help them.

“I'm really passionate about helping these entrepreneurs who are doing amazing things go from feeling like this hidden gem that no one knows about,” Selena says, “and then becoming a household name in their niche.”

From the Dorm Room

Selena went to Columbia University in New York City, majoring in East Asian Studies and with a concentration in Women's Studies. She also had a passion for fashion and marketing, so she dabbled in those areas as well.

She spent some time working before going back to graduate school – and we’ll expand on that time shortly – but she just felt that there was something more out there. “I didn't know what it was, but I wanted to discover what that would be.” 

She thought learning more about business would be a great way to expose herself to more opportunities, more people, and to really find herself. So she went to business school... although that’s not really where she learned how to be a business owner.

What was helpful, though, was when she had the opportunity to work alongside a successful entrepreneur. Selena had the chance to see how she could contribute to someone working at that level, and as a result, Selena started to uncover her own potential. The relationships she developed and the confidence she built while in that role are, ultimately, what made her feel like she could start her own business.

To the Boardroom

Selena’s very first job out of college was working for a beauty company that was really focused on empowering women. She was really drawn to that company because of their messaging around empowering women, but her actual job wasn’t very intellectually stimulating.

However, Selena still thinks it’s important to note that this is normal – and recent graduates should keep in mind that their first job very likely won’t be your dream job. When you're in university, you get to choose all of the courses you take, the professors you want and which activities to get involved in. There's so much room to be creative. And in your first job, you're still going to be learning, but in a different way. Understanding that will help you get the most out of what you can learn in that role, although that doesn’t mean you need to settle for a job you don’t enjoy in the long term.

Because, when Selena was in that job she didn’t love, she was also planning Columbia University's first undergraduate women in business conference. She used that as fuel to get excited and charged up, and it gave her an opportunity to flex more entrepreneurial muscles. That conference took off, and it gave her more opportunities so she only had to stay in the job she didn’t like for a few months.

Later, when Selena was in her mid-20s living in New York City, she experienced a quarter-life crisis. Things looked okay on the outside, but “on the inside, I just felt so miserable. I felt like I was dying. I became clinically depressed. And I discovered this woman's life coaching group because I was desperate for a way to start feeling better. I was just feeling confused with my life.”

And through that life coaching group, Selena learned about all of these amazing experts, authors and thought leaders. There, she learned that there's a way to find your purpose, to heal your health, to start a new job, to go for your dreams and to find the relationship that you want – and she was so moved that she wanted to share those messages with more people. This was the beginning of the business she runs today.

Selena started developing the skill sets to help the people who inspired her, and for free at first, she started making connections, finding media opportunities and connecting them to new clients.

With some encouragement from a coach, Selena started adding publicity coaching to her offerings, and she developed all of that into her business.

The Entrepreneurial Edge

Every week, we highlight one piece of advice for aspiring, struggling and successful-but-want-to-be-even-more-successful entrepreneurs:

“Your dream job doesn't exist and you have to create your dream job actively,” Selena says. This can involve creating your own business, but it can also be done within a company.

Either way, you can’t be passive. You have to advocate for yourself, get clear on what you love and where you can add the most value, and then try to make that a reality within your professional career.

And you don’t have to go through that whole process alone – Selena had help from mentors, masterminds, coaches and books that gave her the tools to forge her path.


Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Stitcher


Follow @FromTheDormRoom
on Twitter  

Share Your Thoughts

Connect With Us