What I Learned by Grabbing Coffee with a Mentor

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If you’re no longer being challenged, it’s time to start writing about something new.
— Julie Marateck

Stepping out of our comfort zone is something that’s sewn into the culture at Imagine Media. We’re always looking for our next challenge to face or problem to solve. As the Office Manager at Imagine, I adapt to meet the needs of the team each day, which is what has directed me to test the waters of copywriting and content creation recently.

When I met content strategist Julie Marateck almost a year ago, I knew I wanted to learn more about how she operated. Our leadership team at Imagine Media encourages us to seek mentors so I reached out to Julie. Having done everything from documentary production to content strategy with the High Museum and Atlantic Station to copywriting for an impressive portfolio of companies like Delta, Coca-Cola and Chevrolet, Julie has established a career helping brands find their voice and identity.

My burning question for Julie: “How did you get where you are today?”

As a confused millennial plagued by imposter syndrome, I would definitely categorize my career trajectory as “off the beaten path” vs. a straight shot to success. It was so fascinating to hear about Julie’s professional journey and the different roles that built the skillset she has today as the owner of her own freelance business.

One of the biggest takeaways from my conversation with Julie was to remember to follow your passion, but don’t let it restrict you in the projects that you commit to. As writers, in particular, we will be handed opportunities that we find either inspiring or draining, but it’s important to take on each new venture with a fresh perspective. Julie said if you’re no longer being challenged by what you’re writing about, it’s time to try something new — which has really stuck with me.

This is a lesson that we can take to any aspect of life — whether it’s personal or business — and focus on seeking ventures that we find challenging and fulfilling. By stepping out of my comfort zone to ask a role model for a coffee, I was able to walk away with some real, tangible words of wisdom. I encourage you to experience enlightening conversations too by reaching out to professionals who inspire you outside of work.

If you’re interested in learning more from Julie, you’re in luck! She teaches two workshops at General Assembly: Copywriting 101 and a Comedy and Marketing. You can also catch her in the Atlanta comedy community doing open mic nights or at her new comedy show at Java Cats, which is coming soon!

Story by: Sophie Duncan