Name: Maleeka T. Hollaway
College: Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (Normal, AL)
Current Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Current Form of Employment: Internationally Certified Life & Business Coach, Editor, Author, & Speaker—in short, I am self-employed.
Where do you work and what is your current position?
Why did I just laugh out loud when I read this question? ☺ Currently, I work for myself and by myself at The OfficialMaleeka Group, LLC. I am an Internationally Certified Life and Business Success Coach as well as an editor, and that is how I make a living for myself and my daughter. I am the founder and CEO of my company.
Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).
I started working for myself for a few reasons. The first reason is because my business is a part of my purpose for living. Being a coach and speaker, I get the privilege to meet many individuals who need an accountability partner in life to help them get from where they are to where they desire to be. Sharing my story with others and inspiring others to live their best lives gives my heart so much joy—it’s unexplainable. The second reason I began working for myself is simple: I couldn’t find any other career-related job! Let’s be honest, it is HARD finding a “good” job when you’re fresh out of school. Companies post jobs as "entry" level and in the job descriptions, they say they require someone with 5-10 years of experience… sound familiar?
I ran into the "lack of experience" wall many times, and even now, I’m still standing at that same wall. Because I want to be the best CEO I can be, I took the advice of a few of my trusted business mentors and they all suggested that working in Corporate America would be valuable to me. So. As much as it pains me to do so, I am working my business AND in the job hunt market (even as a Graduate Student).
What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?
At this time, the most important writing job I have had is what I am doing now, editing. To date, I have edited the blogs of six different best-selling authors. The blogs I have edited for them have been published to the Huffington Post! And a few of them made the front page of multiple categories! I have also edited a few books for other published authors as well.
Being able to say my work has been published on such a large platform is a BIG deal! More than that, transforming someone else’s words into an engaging work is one of the best feelings in the world! Bringing others joy through serving them is quite humbling.
What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?
That’s a loaded question (LOL)! My college years were not like the typical student. I had to complete school through many tumultuous circumstances, including being domestic violence victim and losing my full scholarship. When I left my mom’s house to come to school, I truly believed life would be laid out on a platter for me—boy, was I wrong.
While I was in undergrad, all I did was hope and pray that I would actually finish! I had jobs here and there but never one that I fell in love with. I honestly had no solidified “plan.” When I finally received my degree (two months after I graduated—it’s a long story), I vowed never to return to school. I took one semester off, and found myself enrolled in a Master’s program—Communications Specialists to be exact. I started to think I would become a career student!
What is your advice for students and graduate students with an English degree?
My best advice for my fellow English degree friends would be this: Get an internship where you can use and hone your writing skills (something I failed to do during undergrad) and find work that fulfills you and stick to it.
Most would say, “Go where the money is,” but GOOD money isn’t always guaranteed at first. There are multiple sites that have freelance writing and editing jobs for people with English degrees. Some pay well. Build up your resume as much as possible.
Oh yes, and one more thing—NEVER GIVE UP!
Links to my work:
I contribute to the 20 Beautiful Women-Movement to Advance Sisterhood section of the Huffington Post (you can read examples of my articles here and here). I also edit many of the blogs that are published for other authors on this page and others throughout the HP online world.
I currently contribute monthly to Womeneur.com, an online community for women entrepreneurs based out of New York and New Jersey. I also contribute to PrettyWomenHustle.com, an online digital magazine for the working woman.