170: When Landing An Out-Of-State Job Shifts Your Entire Career

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Are you having trouble landing your dream job in your current zip code? Do you feel like your skills are unappreciated in your hometown? As a fresh first-generation college graduate, chances are, you’re still young and have the flexibility to just pack up and go, which gets way more complicated as you grow older and start to settle down. However, job hunting is hard. Job hunting in a city where you don’t currently live may seem almost impossible, hence the importance of managing your expectations during the process. Finding the right job takes time in the best circumstances, and searching from a different location may take longer than the standard search. Still, people land solid offers in new cities all the time. So, have a little patience and persistence; you’ll find yourself on that one-way flight in no time.

What to do if you Feel Unappreciated – 03:30

Most people believe that joining a prestigious university and graduating with exceptional grades is all it takes to take the job market by storm. However, that’s not always the case, as Tenee’ Congo later found out. Tenee’, a graduate of Johnson and Wales University, came out of college with dreams of becoming a top chef in Charlotte one day. Unfortunately, graduates from Johnson and Wales had a reputation of being lazy and virtually unemployable. This made finding a job a little tricky and eventually forced her to relocate to Houston.

It might not be what you wanted, but relocating to other towns with better opportunities might be the only way to get ahead in your career aspirations. For Tenee’, moving to Houston was the best decision she ever made. Houston is bubbling with new restaurants, and locals appreciate professional and creative chefs. So, if you’re struggling with new employment opportunities in your current area of residence, maybe it’s time you looked further afield. 

Why Tenee Started her Own Business – 06:05

In 2018, Tenee’ randomly applied for a traveling food demonstrator position at Johnson and Wales. Little did she know that that experience would give birth to her future business. She visited hundreds of high schools, talking about her experience with food, background, and preparing for college. Interestingly, most students enjoyed her talks and wanted to know how to put together simple ingredients and come up with amazing results. With that, Tenee’ decides to write a cookbook with 20 recipes that cost less than 20 dollars and launch a catering business on the side.

Risks and Rewards of Being an Entrepreneur – 11:27

For some entrepreneurs, starting a business coincides with quitting your job. These originators dive headfirst into entrepreneurship and devote all of their waking hours nurturing and growing their businesses. That was not the case for Tenee’, who still had a full-time job and a business on the side. She admits that working 9 to 5 and growing her side hustle is one of the most challenging aspects of entrepreneurship. She goes on to add that you don’t need to quit your job to venture into entrepreneurship. Just start something on the side and grow it until you get comfortable going all in. Further, Tenee’ believes that the one thing that keeps her going every day is the positive feedback from people who engage with her products. 

Tenee’s Major Life Lessons – 16:30

Parents and family members who went to college often have lots of stories and information about their college experiences. Although things may have changed, the process of leaving home, being accountable for oneself, and the responsibility that comes with it is essentially the same. Sadly, for first-generation college students, that same information is not readily available. As a first-gen, Tenee’ never knew where to start and wasn’t really prepared for the ups and downs of college life. Nobody taught her about taxes, student loans, or buying books because no one in her immediate family knew about these things. As a student, it’s completely normal to experience many trials during your college days. After all, it’s your utmost perseverance and resilience that allow you to continue overcoming the challenges that come your way. However, you don’t have to go through it all on your own. Join a community and interact with people sharing the same ideas and backgrounds as yourself.

Self-Improvement Tips for First-Gens – 20:02

Mental health issues affect millions of people around the world. Sadly, misconceptions about therapy often discourage people from seeking necessary help and contribute to the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Nowadays, if you seek treatment, people automatically assume you’re either weak or crazy. The average therapy client struggles with many of the same problems we all struggle with daily: relationships, self-doubt, confidence, self-esteem, work-life stress, depression, and anxiety. So, if you’re battling these things, too, seek help. No good ever comes from sinking in depression

Tenee’ Congo was born and raised in Wilmington, DE where she grew up being active in various school clubs and in the community throughout her time there. She then took her talents to Charlotte, NC in 2012 to attend Johnson & Wales University and pursue her dreams of being a Chef. 
After graduating at the top of her class, she worked various jobs in and out of her industry and decided to take a leap of faith midway through 2020 and move across the country to Houston, TX for better opportunities. Connect with Tenee’ Congo on LinkedIn and Instagram.