by Alanah Joseph | Mon., Jan. 2, 2017 5:00 AM
Would you do your job if nobody was paying you?
By all means, get paid. But, nothing is worse than dreading the place you spend most of your time. If it's Monday at 11 a.m. and you're constantly wishing it was Friday at 5 p.m., it's time to reevaluate your career path. That's where Kathryn Minshew, (the very chic) founder and CEO of The Muse, steps in, offering the advice, resources and information you need to land your dream job.
Spending her days distributing information to today's job seekers, it's time to turn the tables and learn more about the woman behind the brand.
What was your first job?
I was a lifeguard at the local outdoor pool. It paid $6.15/hour and I was so proud, especially when I got a promotion later that summer to $6.35/hour. Six years and many equally glamorous jobs later, my first full-time role was as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in New York.
What was your inspiration to start The Muse? How did you get into the industry?
I grew up thinking I wanted to be a secret agent or an ambassador; when I was younger I applied for jobs at the State Department and Defense Intelligence Agency. Eventually, while working at the US embassy in Cyprus in the Regional Security Office, I realized that the idealized vision I had of working in the foreign service didn't exactly match the reality.
I wanted to work in a place that had everything I needed: career advice, job search, skill development, even coaching. My co-founders and I envisioned The Muse as a trusted 360-degree resource for everything you need to navigate your career, with a platform that would let you see inside companies and hear from real employees, to boot. It's been incredible to see the vision take shape, and we're just getting started.
What is a typical day like for you?
I travel about 20 percent of the time, and the 80 percent where I'm in NYC can get pretty busy. Right now, a typical day might start at 8:30 a.m. with my inbox, followed by an internal 2017 planning meeting, a C-level interview for an executive role, a meeting or call with one of our partners, investors or the reporters and analysts who cover The Muse, and potentially a few minutes set aside to dig into a big initiative or idea for our business. It's not uncommon for me to go from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the office straight through, break for dinner, and then get back to it from 9 to 1 a.m. answering emails. Luckily, I love what I do.
Do you have any celeb clients?
Tyra Banks was one of our early investors, and a number of business celebrities have written for and contributed to The Muse, from Arianna Huffington to the sitting US Secretary of Labor. On the flip side, some of the companies who partner with us to hire employees off The Muse's platform are semi-celebrities in their own right. Those clients include Facebook, Slack, Dropbox, Goldman Sachs, Capital One, The Gap, Target, Conde Nast & more.
What's the most daring career risk you've ever taken?
There were a lot of those in the early days! I gave up a steady paycheck to launch The Muse out of my living room in Brooklyn, and it was over 12 months before I got another dime in income. Those were some scary days. What's more, most people I knew thought I was crazy. A lot of investors turned me down, and many said I should concentrate on a more sexy or interesting industry or get a real job. Needless to say, they were wrong.
Today for lunch I had… Kale Caesar salad!
The first website I log onto every day is… The Muse!
My usual Starbucks order is… an iced latte or a cinnamon latte
If I wasn't doing this job, I would… be a secret agent
The book I'm reading right now is… It's weird to say my own, right? We got the final draft back from the copy editors last week, and I have to give everything a final read-through before it goes to print.
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