How to Land Your Dream Job: Advice from a Travel Blogger
You know that friend you go to for fashion advice, travel spots, and the occasional pep talk? That’s Kat Tanita, and through her blog, she’s that friend to thousands, including the users of her Travel App, a guide to the most stylish cities all over the world. She’s made the move from New York to LA, and now that she’s settled in, we paid a visit to see how she’s made her dreams come true.
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- Rip & Tan: By many people’s estimations, you seem to be living the dream, having turned your creative passion into something so successful. Are there some less-than-glamorous parts of your job or difficulties with this kind of career that aren’t always apparent on a surface level?
- Kat Tanita: I feel incredibly grateful to be able to have turned my passion into my career. I truly love what I do! A huge part of running my business and blog is spent behind a computer screen, writing emails, setting up meetings, coordinating details for upcoming projects, reviewing contracts, and negotiating deals. I typically get over a thousand emails a week so managing and staying on top of my inbox is a full time job in and of itself! Contrary to what my life looks like on Instagram, most days I’m in my office typing away with no makeup on.
- Rip & Tan: What advice would you give to someone looking to follow a path like yours? Without giving away too much, are there any secrets or algorithms to growing a following and monetizing your own content?
- Kat Tanita: Number one, choose a career you are passionate about. If you want to be successful at anything, you need to have that deep-rooted passion. Having your own business is a 24/7 job. I do not turn off at 6 PM on the dot Monday-Friday. I work weekends, I work super late hours, I work on vacation and on holidays, because I love what I do, and I know it is pushing me forward and fueling my business. The secret to my success is absolutely my work ethic and authenticity. I pride myself on showing up on time, doing any job to the best of my ability, putting my best foot forward, and going the extra mile. I make sure I am fully committed, invested, and present with anything I take on. I will never promote something I don’t use and love. Lastly, I am nice to everyone and anyone regardless of what job title they hold. Many people in the fashion industry are not so nice, and I think just being kind and genuine to people I’ve met in my almost ten years in the industry has really helped me to continually get campaign after campaign and be offered incredible opportunities. It doesn’t cost anything to be nice! In terms of monetization, affiliate commission has been huge for me. I’ve been using links from affiliate companies like ShopStyle and RewardStyle since I started my blog and that’s been a tremendous source of income for me.
- Rip & Tan: Travel is a big part of your job—how do you stay grounded, and what is it about your home base that lets you reset and recharge?
- Kat Tanita: I’m a Sagittarius so I love to travel—it is a huge part of who I am! I am a lot pickier about the trips I take now, because of my sweet puppy Charlie and really want to nest in my new LA home. Meditation always helps me beat jet lag and re-settle into my routine and space. And exercise! Practicing simple grounding techniques like sticking my feet in the sand also really helps me feel settled.
- Rip & Tan: Do you ever feel too “seen,” or do you ever have the impulse to live a totally private life offline? How do you make space for yourself and your privacy?
- Kat Tanita: Yes. I am an introverted extrovert so once Instagram started to become a thing and my blog began to grow, I felt very exposed and uncomfortable with the recognition. I started my blog as a passion project after graduating from college with an interior design degree, so I never thought about or wanted to be “famous.” I am SO grateful for the following I have built and luckily as time went on, I have become more confident and comfortable in the spotlight. As I enter into my 30s, I now think about how I want to use my voice and my platform for the greater good. I’m excited to start using it to give back, educate women about self-care rituals that have helped me tremendously, and get involved with charities like Dress for Success. In terms of separating my work and my personal life, it is hard, I’m not going to lie. People share so much online and for someone private like me, it can feel overwhelming. But really in the last year, I’ve become more connected to myself and my voice and as I mentioned above, am more inspired to use my voice in a positive way to talk about things I feel are relevant. I of course can’t and don’t share everything that happens in my personal life online and instead just pick inspiring tidbits and life lessons that I know my readers will connect with.
- Rip & Tan: How did you approach the decor of your home? Do you have a favorite corner or room?
- Kat Tanita: I knew I wanted it to be white, bright, airy and coastal-inspired since I live a few blocks from the beach. I love my bedroom! The exposed wood beams, high ceiling, open floor plan, and huge balcony looking outside make the space feel so ethereal and inviting. My linen sheets are the most comfortable sheets ever. And sticking my feet in my shearling rug is the best thing to wake up and fall asleep to everyday.
- Rip & Tan: Where are your favorite places to travel? Do you have any dream destinations you haven’t been to yet?
- Kat Tanita: I love Capri—it has such a special place in my heart. I hope to get married at JK Place overlooking the ocean. I also love Nantucket—my family grew up going there every summer. It’s the most quaint, idyllic town with white picket fences and rose-covered cottages. It really feels like a true vacation when I’m there. I ride my bike to the farmers’ market, go antique shopping, and pick hydrangeas for dinner parties on the deck! I’d love to go to Marrakech this year.
- Rip & Tan: How long have you lived in LA? Was there anything that was a culture shock, or hard to get used to?
- Kat Tanita: I’ve lived here for almost two years now. It actually has been a bit of a culture shock! I can’t believe how laid back it is! In NYC I felt a bit like an outsider being in the creative industry and not having an office job where I had to commute uptown and wear a pencil skirt. Here in LA, no one seems to have a 9 to 5 job or dress up for work. It’s a town full of creatives hanging out at coffee shops all day!
"If you want to be successful at anything, you need to have that deep-rooted passion. Having your own business is a 24/7 job. I do not turn off at 6 PM on the dot Monday-Friday. I work weekends, I work super late hours, I work on vacation and on holidays, because I love what I do, and I know it is pushing me forward and fueling my business."
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Photos by Nicki Sebastian