"Shifting Careers" with Veronica Belmont

"Shifting Careers" with Veronica Belmont

Last year, Veronica Belmont hosted HBO’s Red Carpet Premiere for Game of Thrones. But after spending ten years as an online media personality, she decided to leave the world of video behind her and become a product manager.

On today’s show, she shares about the ups and downs of being a freelancer, switching careers after ten years and embracing a new and unknown path, and how she’s becoming an expert in her new field. If you’re thinking about transitioning your role or industry and jumping over into something kind of but not really related, this is the episode for you.

Subscribe and listen to the full episode here (you must subscribe to receive latest episode).

 

Highlighted Excerpt

Majo: This is a great learning point for people who are listening in terms of entering conversations, which is what I think you’re talking about. Being an expert is also about inserting yourself in conversations.

Veronica: Yes, and it’s so aligned with advice I always gave to people looking to get into video or blogging or podcasting: If you want to do it that badly, you should already be doing it.

The barrier to entry for that kind of content now is so low.

Majo: So low.

Veronica: You can buy a microphone for $20, you can start a podcast... GarageBand is already on your computer, Audacity is free, there are tons of free hosting services… there are a lot of options out there.

Majo: Yes.

Veronica: So for me, the logical step for getting into PMing was to start working on a product.

Majo: When I coach women, I hear this a lot: “Oh I couldn’t possibly do that because I’ve never done it before” or “What I’ve done before isn’t really leading up to that exactly so I probably can’t do it.”

Veronica: You know, that reminds me of how people say that when men look at a job posting, they upgrade themselves to fit the role. Like, “Oh I can fake that part” or “I can make that work” or “I can do these parts, and this other I’ll figure out later.”

Women look at a job posting and say, “I can do this, this, and that, but oh I can’t do that thing so I shouldn’t apply.” We look at the one thing we’re not strong at and then feel like we shouldn’t bother.

I definitely felt that way when I was looking at job listings at the start of this process. But you know what? You catch up. We all learn. I have learned so much in the last six months. Some days I can’t even believe the things I’ve taught myself or learned from others how to do.

Show Notes:

  • Veronica growing up: A rough and tumble kind of girl who loved gadgets and tinkering with toys. [2:01]
  • Her fascination with computers and games, joining the punk rock scene in high school, and studying Audio Production at Emerson. [5:54]
  • Veronica’s first taste of feeling blocked because she was a woman, and how she ended up moving to San Francisco. [11:10]
  • The hustle phase: Using Craigslist for everything (even her mattress), facing lots of rejections, and landing an internship at CNET. [15:53]
  • Diving into her audio career, shifting from behind-the-scenes work to sharing her voice and co-hosting, and the leap to video. [23:45]
  • Going from a super high to a super low: Veronica’s huge opportunity to host the HBO premiere of GOT, and her mistake of reading all the nasty comments about it afterward. [31:36]
  • “It’s okay to know yourself well enough to know you need a change.” Veronica shares about her decision to end all her contracts and stop video work. [34:39]
  • On freelancing, the podcasts she continues to work on and how they’ve evolved, and her transition into Product Management. [38:53]
  • The importance of becoming an expert in your domain, joining Bot Makers, and Veronica’s advice to people wanting to break into a new field. [42:32]
  • The tendency women have to disqualify themselves from new opportunities (while men seem to do the opposite), and Veronica’s words of encouragement. [47:55]
  • What Veronica has reclaimed for herself on her heroine’s journey. [50:45]

Subscribe and listen to the full episode here (you must subscribe to receive latest episode).

 

References:

Veronica's personal website

Sword & Laser podcast

Growbot

Music:

by Lucia Lilikoi

 

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