A little bit about my story. After school, I found myself struggling to get a job. Days would go by with no phone call back. So I would apply to more places I thought I could get a job at. Still no call. A couple weeks go by and I get a phone call – from my family telling me to keep going and everything is going to be alright. Well now we’re in the months and I’m still unemployed, taking odd jobs just so I had a little bit of money to get by. I began trying to network and speaking to family/friends about possible openings or connections they might have. For about a year I was unemployed, trying to find my place. Then I caught my big break (no matter how small) and ran with it. This is my story.

CCO Partners

Button up shirts? Actual business language? NO MATH?! Oh man I must be on the right track. This was my first break, it got my foot in the door and lead me to where I am today. If it wasn’t for this little marketing firm I would have never broken through the doors and gained a skill that puts food on the table (and pays insurance, gas, home, clothes, girlfriend) If you’re interested in reading a more in-depth experience read my CCO Partners Internship blog.

During this internship, I found out I wasn’t passionate about that field of marketing. I realized PR wasn’t in my desired path and needed to find another. Luckily, I stumbled on a little (but not so little) field named SEO. I began reading about this field and wanting to learn more. I found that I needed to learn some HTML. So I started teaching myself. I ended up building my first website, which I don’t have any screenshots for but it was awful. I would code in some HTML and slowly picked it up by myself, but I needed more. I needed guidance and something to actually strategize on. Enter my first SEO related job.

Maverick Business Ventures

This one is a bit harder to explain. It was my first job in SEO and I was given the title Internet Marketing Manager. Sounds fun right? Wrong. I was literally the internet marketing manager and while I may be confident, intelligent and willing to take on challenges, this was not a job for someone just entering the SEO field. During the first week I was put on the fast track towards learning SEO. I was introduced to seoMOZ (which I still adamantly check to read their articles when I hit a block on ideas) and learned about some of the top leaders in the industry. This job was quite the interesting one so I expanded it into another post called How I was an internet marketing manager with no experience. After this short and stressful job I was yet again unemployed and searching for a job.

I was at the bottom again, jobless, depressed, girlfriendless :(. However, One thing I learned in this situation is to think positively. When things get low you tend to think about how bad things are for you. Why? Don’t do that. You’re only digging a deeper hole. I began to take my strengths and experiences and play on them. I had a skill: SEO. I had a goal: get a job. I had experience: internship and internet marketing manager. I already had a leg up and all I was doing was sulking in my own self-created illusion. So work on these things, make yourself marketable. I revamped my website to be entirely focused on SEO. I started learning more from SEO leadership and experimenting with the limited tools I could. I asked local businesses to try some coding and marketing for them. Started networking with family and friends. I applied to nearly everything that had ‘digital’ ‘internet’ ‘marketing’ ‘seo’ keywords in them.

And finally, I got an email back. It was from a recruiting agency called Onward Search, and a guy named Tom Bogdan, Great guy very nice. A good connection to have. He introduced me to this little known company called Quill. At first I had no idea who the company was until I started writing down the interview times and other various information and on my pen the logo listed as “Quill” was there. Irony?

Staples (Quill.com)

This was my real big break, I consider this the actual start to my professional career since I’ve gained experience in dealing with a multi-billion dollar company, created relevant high-level and granular projects, as well as project management for Quill. I’ve support different business units and departments and even made some decisions on my own. This was the first time I’ve felt like I fit into a role that allows me to expand my skillset, and stay entirely relevant to a very big company in Staples Corporation. This is my current position and I look to expand myself into many different fields. Outside of my skyrocketing knowledge of technical, and strategic SEO, I’ve aspired to dive into the social media, user experience, and growth hacking (this one I’m learning on my own). Read the post about my Staples (Quill) Job, it’s a good one for new graduates, aspiring SEO’s, and even those that are struggling to find a job.

So that’s it. That’s my story so far, I’m still young and growing but I only see good things ahead. This part of my blog is to keep me focused on my end goal. And thats a becoming the first trillionaire ever. Ok maybe not that high, but you get the point.

If you’d like to read more feel free to tweet me @andrewliwanag, or shoot me and email andrewliwanag@gmail.com, or even comment below. I love reading stories, and giving free insights (if I have time) to anyone who stumbles on my site.