I’m Carmen Vernon, the Chief Editor of The Niche Movement and a Senior Associate at Global Impact, a nonprofit focused on building partnerships and resources for the world’s most vulnerable people. Over the past year and a half, I’ve learned a lot—I wasn’t always the savvy, young professional I am now. Read on to learn more about me in the Q&A below.
1. How different was your life one year ago?
A year ago I was two months into my first job out of college in a new city. I had no idea what I was doing, and I was scared.
Scared to ask questions.
Scared to mess up.
And scared to lead a meeting.
Fast forward a year, and I’m comfortable seeking direction at work, confident in my ability to get the job done, and reliant on my ability to sound cool, calm, and collected leading client meetings.
My first year on the job was a case study in faking it till you make it.
2. How did you end up where you are today?
If you’re introverted and shy like me, I’m sorry but you have to hop on the phone or go out to coffee with strangers who work in your field of interest. Terrifying, I know. But the more people you know, the easier it is to land the job you’ve always wanted.
Before I began my informational interview journey during the summer of 2017, I had applied to around 100 jobs my senior year of college. (No joke). The 100 applications were a waste of time. My five informational interviews packed some serious ROI, though. Out of those five conversations, I got two job offers, landing me in the nonprofit world of DC.
3. Who inspires you to be better?
The feminist activists in my life and on the web. I’m obsessed with being a good human, and to me being a good human means looking out for the most marginalized groups in our society. Advocating for social justice causes requires constant education and self-reflection to ensure I’m not part of the problem. Following the journey of the intersectional feminists in my life keeps me on track in making the world a more equitable place. One vote at a time, one rally at a time, and one tweet at a time.
4. What would you tell your 18 year old self?
Study less. 18 year old me and even college me fixated on writing the perfect paper, memorizing the relevant text book chapters, and crafting the perfect contribution to in-class discussions. Young professional me now understands that messy is okay, and often messy approaches lead to more creative or innovative results.
If I could do it all over again, I’d prioritize my passions and worry less about other people’s expectations. I would have traveled more, devoted more time to my journal, taken contemporary jazz classes, started an indie film review blog, and read books that weren’t on the syllabus. Luckily, there’s still time to pursue all that.
5. Why are you becoming part of The Niche Movement community?
I’m joining The Niche Movement because finding a niche can seldom be done in isolation. It takes conversation, outside inspiration, and a community of support. The Niche Movement provides all that to make sure people like me thrive. I want to spread the love and ensure even more people in the TNM community get the resources they need to love what they do at work.
Stay tuned for more content from me. Follow my personal twitter @vernon_grrrl to get your weekly dose of feminist news, and while you’re at it follow The Niche Movement on Instagram @nichemovement, too.
Here at The Niche Movement, we provide a core group of contributing editors with a platform to inspire people with words, tips, and real-world advice. These editors are the people who create new content for us to share with you. So that you can get to know them better and have context behind the content they are sharing, we've decided to introduce new editors with a Q&A post.