How to find out what my passion is

Natalie Chacin is a Venezuelan-born professional in the Fashion Industry with experience in Apparel Design and Product Development, currently transitioning into Digital Marketing. Natalie recently graduated from her Masters in Integrated Marketing at New York University, with the ultimate goal of helping her make this career transition. She earlier got her first degree in Fashion Design at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and later in 2007 received her second degree of Bachelors in Business Administration at Florida International University, with Magna Cum Laude honors as well, and serving as an active member of the student board for the American Marketing Association. After completing her Masters degree, Natalie decided to stay in New York City and is currently working as a Digital Marketing Manager for a menswear brand. Her passion for understanding the dynamics of the brands and consumers has driven Natalie to make her career path a continuous learning experience.

Finding your passion might not always be an easy journey for everyone. Even when you always knew what you liked, sometimes another challenge comes along the way, and it’s how to define it, or even more critical, how can you make a career out of it?
Finding my passion was actually never a question for me. Ever since I was a child, I knew from the very beginning that somehow fashion was going to become part of my life.
Rule #1- If you know your passion, plan to make it your profession!
Indeed I went for it, and my parents supported my decision of going to Art school to pursue my degree in Fashion Design. During my years in fashion school, I discovered an interest in not only creating designs, but also thinking of ideas on how to market it, and wonder who my consumer was; something I didn’t know how to call it back then.
Rule #2 – If you find yourself along the way not able to define what you want, professors and people in the industry can be valuable resources.
After graduating from my Associate in Fashion Design, I knew I wanted to define better what area of fashion I wanted to be at, so after consulting with my professors, many advised I should go after a marketing related field to combine both my creative and analytical skills. Without hesitation, I decided to go back to school and pursue my Bachelors in Business Administration, where I majored in Marketing.
Rule #3 – You don’t have to know the whole picture from the get-go. Career paths seldom work as planned, and that might be GREAT thing.
After completing business school, I applied for an opening in Marketing at an apparel company, but in fact received the call for an Assistant Designer position from that same company. I always found this ironic, but I also think there aren’t casualties in life, and everything happens for a reason. Indeed, having a business degree along with my creative skills, gave me the opportunity to grow and escalate positions as a Designer. My experience there was incredibly valuable, but after a few years, even though I felt part of my passion in the product side, I knew also I wanted to be on the brand side a well.
Rule #4 – It is never too late to make a few changes along the way to get where you want to be. Do the research on how to approach it and trust your gut.
Nonetheless, taking this new direction was not going to be that easy after having a senior position in Design, so I took a whole year to do some research and found a masters program that could help me make this career transition as well as grow my network in this new area.
Soon enough I got accepted, and moved to New York to begin my new journey as a grad student, where two years later I graduated and obtained my M.S. in Integrated Marketing and Digital from New York University.
Rule #5 – Always keep in mind every experience you bring will help you get where you want to be.
In fact it did. After finishing my masters, and going through a long process of interviewing for jobs, I finally received an offer for a position which not only allows me to be part of every area of the brand I am passionate about, but also my previous experience in Design allowed me to stand out and bring a set of skills that was rare to find in a marketing candidate.
With my story, I want to encourage anyone who is struggling in finding their passion or actually making career out of it. The journey might not be easy for many of us, but keep in mind three things:
• Stay true to yourself.
• Work for a career not a job.
• Life is always in motion, never be afraid of changes.
Go ahead and start it off!

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