missing pieceYou’re taking that first step. The step out of the moving van from childhood to young adult, with a diploma in one hand and a big bag of fear in the other. You’re starting your new career at J.P Morgan/G.E./MetLife/Big Scary Corporation and all you can think is:

“Where do I go, who can help me through this, where do I start?”

Making the transition from College Graduate to Young Professional can be daunting and sometimes beyond overwhelming. Beginning on a new journey of life comes with many questions and few solid answers.

My name is Jessica and, I’ll take you on a tour through the net and local business’ that can assist a person such as yourself to finding the right footing. In my many years in the hospitality management industry I’ve discovered a lot on my way up the ladder. Who to talk to, who not to talk to, and where to go to find the answers to some very important questions.

Major cities like New York, Chicago, Miami, all have local scenes that include music, food and young entrepreneurs with upcoming projects on the rise. Being a “Hungry Hustler” of the Gen Y era, you want to be a part of this crowd. But, how do you meet them in this new strange city of yours?

First things first, unpack! Get your home base straight and ready for possible contacts to come and talk shop. Make sure you provide comfortable working space for not only solo time, but also for possible think-tanks and brainstorming sessions. I like to say “Fake it til’ you make it” believe in your capabilities, highlight your strengths, and portray an image that you yourself would want to do business with. Be aware of your surroundings, your body language, your facial expressions. Nobody wants to collaborate with a non-smiling wall-flower. Making yourself available to be approached is half the battle.

Next, you need to situate yourself in a networking scene of peers in your city. Whatever your new area code is, get on the web and type it in with the address “area.com” after it; for example if you were in NYC you would type in (212area.com).This site gives accurate and current suggestions for nightlife, restaurants, and entertainment in your area that have all been reviewed and commented on by “hustlers” like yourself.

Try everything, go everywhere, say hello to anyone within earshot. Don’t be afraid to be the new kid in town. Use your lack of knowledge to your advantage and have the LOCALS show you the ropes.  You’ll eventually find like-minded “hustlers” that you vibe with, and can start that first step a little more confident, informed, and enlightened for conquering whatever world you want.

Write in and let me know of any helpful “hustler” tips you pick up during journey, and I’ll be continuing to find the newest, the best, and the most useful tools and hot spots for all of you hungry newbies out there!

phpkFVTHwPMJessica Gonzmart is our lifestyle writer and is a Tampa, Florida native.  Follower her on Twitter @TampaChica