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Advice / Career Paths / Exploring Careers

I Moved 10,000 Miles With No Job Lined Up (and Everything Worked Out!)

Jessica Frost—Executive Assistant (EA) at The Muse—was born and raised in Tamworth, Australia. In 2015, she decided to relocate to New York City. And while she had no job lined up when she moved 10,000 miles across the world, Frost says her move was at least partially career-oriented.

“I’ve always resonated with the age-old saying, ‘If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere,’” she explains, “However, I also had a strong desire to experience the world outside of where I’d grown up. I really wanted to gain new perspectives, and what better place to do that than New York City?”

When Frost got to the United States, she was able to connect with one of her friends who worked at a fashion startup. Since Frost had earned a degree in branded fashion design, this seemed like a logical step. And it paid off—that same company hired her as the Executive Assistant to the CEO. About a year later, she also started serving as a showroom operations coordinator on top of her EA role.

“It was a great opportunity to gain new experience and tackle some new and exciting challenges,” Frost says. “It really helped me figure out a lot about my professional strengths and weaknesses, as well as what I liked and didn’t like in the companies I worked for.”

She compiled everything she learned from each position and, when she decided it was time to search for a new gig, she used that list to find one that’d allow her to both leverage her strengths and work at an organization she identified with. While perusing The Muse’s jobs, she stumbled across her current position as EA to The Muse’s co-founders, Kathryn Minshew (CEO) and Alexandra Cavoulacos (President).

“I’ve been so fortunate to work alongside so many smart, hard-working people for the past 17 months!” she says.

Read on to learn more about what it’s like to move across the world, as well as be an executive assistant.

What Was it Like Moving So Far Away With No Career Plans?

There was definitely a sense of “good fear”—I was pretty scared about taking a chance and moving overseas with nothing. But I was also excited for the opportunity to learn and grow. I don’t like to spiral out of control and think “What if?” Overthinking like that can make you talk yourself out of it! So, instead I took actionable steps to set myself up for success.

I moved back to my hometown to live with my parents, and I worked two jobs in order to save enough money for a plane ticket and two months’ worth of living expenses. I emailed everyone who was even remotely connected to someone in NYC (literally everyone, including someone my best friend met while traveling in Switzerland) and I followed through. I said “yes” to everything, set up coffee dates, and went to every single event to meet anyone I possibly could.

What’s a Day in the Life Like as an Executive Assistant?

EA roles pretty much defy the “a day in the life” characterization. It’s literally something new every day, and that’s a big part of why it’s so fun and exciting. You’re constantly adapting and reacting to what the day’s priorities are, as well as trying to predict what problems might pop up and how to head them off while there’s still time. It’s a constant balancing act of controlled chaos.

Favorite and Least Favorite Parts of Your Job?

My favorite part is getting to work with so many different people and teams within the company. I get to experience how the company runs from a variety of angles, which is really cool.

The best part can also be the worst part, though. While I have a breadth of knowledge about the inner workings of the company, there are always so many balls in the air at one time, which can make it really tough to dive deep into a specific issue.

If You Had to Give One Piece of Career Advice for the Rest of Your Life, What Would it Be?

Get to know the company just as much as you get to know your role. Searching and interviewing for a new job isn’t only about convincing the hiring team that you should work there—it’s also about making the most of that opportunity for yourself and assessing if it’s a place where you can truly grow.