Getting the gig: the Khoollect team’s career tips

***Rachel Khoo would like to thank all the inspiring people who helped make the Khoollect studio a hive of creativity. Although the Khoollect studio’s doors have now closed, you can keep up with Rachel’s newest adventures on and on Rachel’s Instagram and Facebook pages – and, continue to enjoy the Khoollect website’s stories and recipes, which will remain available.***

The Khoollect team is a hive of creativity, energy and ideas — each member of our small squad brings their unique background, diverse life experience and a unique skill-set to the team. And, each of us came to score our dream gig in different ways. Here’s how it happened at Khoollect and our tips for thriving in your field:

Rachel Khoo, Editor-in-Chief

Our feisty, motivating leader is responsible for all the big-picture things at Khoollect HQ. As the engine room of the Khoollect team, she’s also the person who’s managing staff, fixing computer problems, and resolving a number of exciting (and not-so fun) business challenges. Naturally, Rachel’s also the chief snack provider around here.

Rachel shares her three not-so-secret tips for succeeding in any venture:

  1. Work hard
    It may seem obvious, but without putting in the hard yards and doing the work yourself, you can’t expect success to come looking for you. Make the most of what you’ve got, so you can turn challenges (like small spaces) into positives. (Just like The Little Paris Kitchen!). 
  2. Be persistent
    Sometimes it may feel like you’re wasting your time on a project or approaching the wrong people with your ideas, but persistence can really pay off. If at first you don’t succeed: persist, persist, persist!
  3. Hire people who are better than you
    This was the philosophy I had in mind when I put the Khoollect team together. Always hire people whose skills in a specific area are stronger than your own.

Lara Messer, Creative Editor

I was tenacious in my approach to getting this job. As Rachel mentioned, persistence can really pay off.

Find something you are really passionate about then spend time perfecting it and immersing yourself in it. I love photography and graphic design, so I spend a lot of my time reading how to do things, how to be better, and discovering what’s next. I really think passion, motivation and knowledge are the key to any role – and even more so in the creative industry. Work exceptionally hard and keep trying.

Frankie Unsworth, Food Editor

I guess things started fresh out of university when I got an internship with a food magazine and was then offered a full-time job as a staff writer. After a year working in the Bath office, I moved to Paris (for love) where I carried on doing my job for another two years.

I always enjoyed the food shoot process and was particularly passionate about French patisserie. This spurred me to enrol at Le Cordon Bleu cookery school where I met Rachel who was working in my favourite cookbook shop at the time. Rachel and I teamed up and worked together on a few pop-ups  in various locations around the world. Since then I’ve lived and worked in various countries, but returned to London four years ago where I’ve been involved in all sorts of random food roles, from food styling and cookery course planning, to manning a night market stand for Nuno Mendes, and working on television shows such as ‘The Little Paris Kitchen’.

Bex Shannon, Content Coordinator

I got the job via Instagram when I saw a post Rachel put up an image advertising a three-month internship. I applied without thinking really. I originally came to London on a three-week holiday, but somehow found myself completing interviews, doing writing tests, then rearranging flights and getting a flat and bike sorted ..

In terms of scoring a job like this, just be brave and go for it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t necessarily have the background or skills for the job – if you think you’ve got something to offer, apply.

Rhia Chohan
, Social Media Contributor

I also spotted my job advertised on Instagram during some serendipitous scrolling. I’m actually based in Manchester, but seeing as I’m a bit of a digital nomad, I thought, why not? I got in touch with Khoollect HQ and after a Skype chat with Rachel, I was in the office a few days later on the team’s Christmas do. That’s the fast-paced world of online media.

To find your dream job, get yourself out there. If you can create content that you believe is worth sharing, then do it. There are so many online platforms to showcase your talent, so pick the one that works for you and put your stamp on it. Consistency and a theme also helps. Ask yourself, are you doing something just that little bit different that will make you stand out from the crowd?

Keep an eye on industry trends and be passionate about what you do. Going to talks, workshops and exhibitions can spark new ideas and inspiration. If you’re not sure about how to do something, ask questions or teach yourself … there’s a YouTube tutorial for just about everything.

Don’t be afraid to approach people. If you’ve done your research and have something to offer then there’s nothing to lose. You don’t quite know what you’re capable of until you step outside of that comfort zone. Oh, and be nice.

Sonya Gellert, Deputy Editor

What started as a chat over a cider with Rachel at her local watering hole soon turned into an exciting offer I couldn’t refuse. But I think it was probably my unwavering enthusiasm – and a little luck – that helped me get this fabulous gig. My working history is deeply founded in magazines. I’m a sucker for a beautifully designed, well-written publication – be it digital or print. Over the years I’ve contributed to and worked for as many publications as I can. I’ve also volunteered my time as an intern to learn as much as possible. A few years ago, I completed a master’s degree in writing, editing and publishing. Since then I’ve been working on a range of exciting publishing projects, including my own littleWren magazine.

When you’re starting out, say a resounding ‘hell yes!’ to every opportunity that comes your way. And, if nothing’s coming your way – go out and create opportunities. Contact companies you’re interested in working for and volunteer. Let your passion shine on the page in your applications, and hone your technical skills. Keenness is catching. Also, always proofread your application!

Caroline Woodward-Court, Book Reviewer

I think I essentially talked my way into this role … apparently my excitement and excessive enthusiasm for all things book- and art-related came across very clearly! I also felt so inspired by what the Khoollect team are aiming to create. To be a part of that was one of my key motivating factors.

But to be brutally honest, when I embarked on my career path I never imagined that reviewing books would become a part of it! And then, by the time I realised that I wanted it to, I was entering my thirties and did not have a useful CV full of relevant work experience. So for me, it was all about cultivating and using my professional and life experiences to positive effect; honing those transferrable skills and coming home each night after the day job to put some extra work in to help my ‘other’ career. I also think the old advice is sometimes the best. My parents always taught me to work hard, keep calm, manage expectations and be helpful to everyone. And I have subsequently learnt that it is good to be kind to yourself; even if at first you don’t succeed, remember that at least you had the courage to try it.   

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