7 Tips To Land Your Dream Job

Photographed by Ben Lamberty.
Whether you’re just starting out at your first job or you’re sitting pretty in a cushy corner office, you had to start somewhere. And, we bet that somewhere involved a lot of "long lunches," quick changes in coffee-shop bathrooms, and sweaty handshakes — yep, we’ve all been there. There's a lot of conflicting career advice out there: Should you lean in à la Sheryl Sandberg or follow Martha Stewart's advice and start your own business? Despite the big-balled arguments, we're always open to getting on-my-level advice on how to make the job hunt easier or how to transition after you land a gig — especially if it’s coming from a professional like Maris Kreizman, Kickstarter’s publishing community manager.
Kreizman is not just kick-ass at her job, but also the job search, which we can all use a manual on. After holding digital gigs at online music and audiobook store eMusic and publishing giant Barnes & Noble, Kreizman was personally recruited by former eMusic colleague and Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler. It was just over eight months ago that Kreizman beat out the competition and took on the job, and she's already molded the publishing department from a vague idea into a two-person team that's helped crowdfund more than 6,000 publishing projects.
So, how’d she do it — all while keeping cool under pressure and successfully turning her blog into a book? Ahead, we’re getting the nitty-gritty details, advice on everything from beauty tips to networking, and know-how straight from the pro herself in our new series, About Face. Read on for Kreizman’s story, and take notes — this'll come in handy when you take the next step in your career.
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Photographed by Ben Lamberty.
Part of the job is defining the job.

"At Kickstarter, there is no direct path, which is scary, but there is so much opportunity to find things that I want to focus on and be excited about. Currently, I take the people and organizations that I feel most passionate about and try to help them make the best projects they can. Whether it’s working with an author to self-publish a book funded through Kickstarter or working with a publisher to help fund a book tour, it’s about thinking outside the box in terms of the opportunities that are available. The most exciting thing is to watch people be able to do what they've been dreaming about doing for ages: their passion projects."

Topshop dress, Catbird necklace, Chelsea Paris shoes.
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Photographed by Ben Lamberty.
If your job isn't fulfilling, invest in a side project.

"When I arrived at eMusic in 2007, it wasn’t the job of my dreams, so I had to find other ways to feel fulfilled. That’s when I started a [Tumblr], Slaughterhouse 90210, which celebrates the fact that you can love books and TV, and those don’t have to be two different things. I can be the person that cares about what celebs are doing, loves pop music, and watches reality TV [while still being the person who] reads books. I stuck with the blog for five-and-a-half years, which I think is uncommon in the world of Tumblr. This just came from something that I wanted to do. I made time every morning and came up with my blog post for the day."
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Photographed by Ben Lamberty.
Keep your doors open for opportunities that might land in your lap inbox.

"My boss at eMusic was so impressive, and we talked about books all the time. About a year into my time there, he quit to start this crazy new company where people would pay money to help others create things — [my boss was Yancey Strickler and] that company was Kickstarter.

"He's one of the smartest people I know, and he knows a lot about a lot of things. So, once he left, I was incredibly invested in seeing what'd happen. I watched the company grow and develop and saw how it really took off in film, design, and technology. [So, when] Yancey reached out and emailed asking if I would be interested in interviewing to work in publishing at Kickstarter, it was an opportunity that I didn’t want to pass up."
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Photographed by Ben Lamberty.
Don't burn bridges, and hold onto old contacts. You may be ready for something new later.

"I ran into a literary agent, who I really respect, at a party a couple years ago, and he said, 'If you ever feel like writing a book, let me know!' I really sat down and thought about it, and when I was ready, I went to him [with the idea of turning Slaughterhouse 90210 into print]. He specializes in mostly pop culture-related material, so it was perfect. He helped me develop the idea for the book. It'll have a larger scope and make literature feel more immediate in all aspects of our culture. I've worked in publishing for 15 years, and this is the first time I've been on the other side of the equation, ever."
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Photographed by Ben Lamberty.
When you land an interview, brush up on the prospective employer's company culture — and match it.

"Looking as good as you can will always make you feel confident, but being able to determine the feel for an organization and then matching it is important, too. [Kickstarter] is chill and low-key. If I had dressed too business-like [to interview], I might not have been attractive to them.

"Somebody told me that you should always have one interesting piece that's memorable in some way. I always wear glasses, so that’s part of my look — [in addition to my] natural look of foundation plus a lipstick. The only thing you should never wear is something that makes you feel uncomfortable. I’ve tried to wear 'professional' three-inch high heels a few times, but they are only professional if you can walk in them. Otherwise, it’s just sort of unfortunate. Not being able to walk confidently is not great for an interview."
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Photographed by Ben Lamberty.
Work-life balance exists if you want it to.

"I don't believe in work-life balance in the sense that you can leave the country for a week and never check your work email. That's just something I can't do. I mean, I'll answer the occasional email on a Saturday. But, it's just a matter of making sure you have time to do whatever you wanna do, even if it's just relaxing in front of a TV. For me, I read — of course. Right now, I love up-and-coming author Catherine Lacey. She wrote a book about a woman who drops everything and runs off to New Zealand to travel, and she has the most distinct voice I’ve heard in a new young writer in a long time."
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Photographed by Ben Lamberty.
Think critically about how you spend your time off, because that's what shapes who you really are.

"The main thing that I had to learn throughout this whole experience is that my job is not what defines me, and if you feel unfulfilled at work, there are other ways to feel fulfilled. If you're stuck at a dead-end job, there’s something really empowering about having your own project and having control over it. If you're passionate about something, make the time to get it done. It depends on how badly you want it. Then, your personal time becomes more of your identity."

Catherine Malandrino dress, Pamela Love bracelet.