Hometown: Downers Grove, IL
College: University of Illinois
When did you move to LA?
What made you want to move to LA?
Sunshine & Lifestyle
I began my dream career as a marketing executive at a top worldwide agency in Chicago in a high rise building downtown. I loved my job, but constantly found myself looking out the window and requesting “sunshine breaks” on nice days. I had dreams about a lifestyle that would enable me to be able to continue the career that I studied and always wanted, but also allow me to work outside occasionally and enjoy the sunshine—people told me this didn’t exist. I knew I had to move to Los Angeles to see if it did.
What was the most challenging part of the move to LA?
Leaving my amazing Midwest friends and family
How did your job hunt go down?
I came out to LA with no job. When you do this, people think you are crazy. I believe if you know what you are looking for, it is much easier to find a job and a better job once you are in LA in the flesh and not googling and applying places online—lets face it, that gets you no where. You need to network!
When I moved out I had a handful of companies I was interested in and few people to network with, but I still allowed myself a full month of what I called “funemployment” in Los Angeles before I got serious about my search. I suggest “funemployment” to everyone moving to a new city —if you have money saved, this is the designated time to check out the city, mingle, network and get your bearings before jumping into something that may not be the right fit. It’s kind of like casually dating before you get into a serious relationship, you have to test the employment waters before you settle down and begin full time somewhere, it will help you find the right work life balance if that is important to you.
After my “funemployment” I was very fortunate to get a short term contract position (off craigslist) with a digital design firm in downtown Los Angeles. It was great because I gained immediate experience working in LA, but overall it wasn’t the right fit long term for me.
As luck would have it, almost immediately after that contract was up, a separate field marketing position opened up at the agency I was working for in Chicago. I took the position and over the years it has developed into the senior role I have today. It did not come overnight, but I finally have the work from home/sunshine/pool job I always wanted. I am able to travel the country on various marketing programs for my clients and still enjoy the beautiful weather LA has to offer on a daily basis.
Key here is: It doesn’t come overnight. Give yourself time and be patient when you are looking for a job in a new city. Sometimes you have to take A job before you find THE job.
What area are you living in? (expand a little bit--say if you love it, why you love it)
I lived in West Hollywood for 4 years. I love this part of town – there is so much to do all within blocks of your apartment and it’s always buzzing with energy and excitement. It is a reasonably priced neighborhood and incredibly easy to be social and get to know fun young & creative professionals. I suggest this area for most people I know that are moving to Los Angeles and looking to have some fun as they get acquainted in the new city.
I have now lived in Brentwood for about a year and a half. I moved to check out the west side of town and be closer to the ocean and friends that had moved to Santa Monica and Venice. I appreciate this area in a different way as it is right off the 405 freeway making it much more accessible when traveling to other parts of town, including LAX airport since I travel frequently for work. Brentwood is generally a more quiet neighborhood which is great for me since I work from home. I have multiple cafes, restaurants and great shopping all in walking distance. Being only 12 minutes from the beach is a huge perk and one of my personal favorites of living on the Westside. I try to get out to the beach and catch sunsets as much as possible.
What's your favorite thing about Los Angeles?
My favorite thing about LA is waking up to gorgeous weather 99.9% of the year. It just can’t be beat.
Tell me your favorite 3 spots to recommend to new Angelenos (food, places to go, hikes, anything)
Saddle Rock Ranch- Malibu Vineyards, Malibu (great for dates or afternoon with friends- bring food to picnic)
High Rooftop- The Erwin Hotel, Venice (best place to watch breathtaking sunsets)
Pound Rockout Workout Classes- (Offered at Crunch gyms, Gym@Hayden and more classes are often added and can be found at www.poundfit.com)
Any advice you would give to someone who is planning to make the move to LA?
There is no time like the present. If you want to make it happen, you can and you will. It may seem overwhelming at first but stay true to your intentions. Stay positive and open-minded in your journey. Always keep your options open and don’t judge things too quickly – there is a ton of culture and richness in this city, you just have to be open to finding it.
You can follow Holly and her LA life here: