Rachel Citron (@TheCitch) recently celebrated her 10th Texaversary. After growing up in Tuscon, AZ and completing her undergrad studies at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, she wasn’t ready to leave Austin when she finished her graduate work in Women’s Studies at the University of Texas.
Since then, Rachel has leveraged her skills to create not one, but two, dream jobs. By day, she’s the Head of Accounts/New Business at Powerhouse Animation Studios. Five positions and 7 ½ years later, she has worked her way up after starting out as the receptionist. Rachel opens up about what helped her do that and how she ended up with her initial gig - knowing absolutely nothing about the animation business whatsoever.
The familial and welcoming vibe of the Austin music scene has simultaneously drawn Rachel in by night and weekend. At a singer-songwriter friend’s insistent urging, Rachel started managing his music career. After gaining some music industry experience and learning the ropes a bit, Rachel hung up her Jet or Not shingle and started professionally managing more artists. She currently represents three local Austin bands and several other artists and songwriters.
This show is for folks who are interested in:
- Building a career unrelated to what they studied
- Communicating more effectively in the workplace, even when outnumbered
- Asking for what you want
- Saying yes to opportunities (even when you have no clue)
- Staying organized and making time to reflect with a career and a side-hustle
Selected link love + resources from the episode
- Connect with Rachel on social media: Facebook | Instagram | Instagram
- Powerhouse Animation
- Jet or Not Management
- Artists Rachel works with - Harvest Thieves, Belcurve music, Western Youth
- University of Texas - Austin
- Angela Lussier's Claim the Stage (podcast)
- University of Texas
- Working Girl (movie)
- Is Your Communication Style Dictated By Your Gender? (article)
- The Hidden Sexism in Workplace Language (article)
- Yes Please by Amy Poehler (book)
- Why Not Me? by Mindy Kahling (book)
- Bossypants by Tina Fey (book)
- Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield (book)
- Libby VanderPloeg’s Lift Each Other Up (artist)
- Wonder Woman (movie)
- Kickass Theme Music: “Things Are Getting Better” Written by Rishi Dhir. Performed by The High Dials.
- Stay in the loop about future Le vital corps Salon episodes: Twitter | Facebook | The List (sent monthly-ish including helpful health + lifestyle information)
Quotes + selected highlights from the episode
All of this wisdom is from Rachel herself (with some minor edits for readability).
[00:12:43] But ultimately what happened was instead of using that job to kind of kill time to look for something is I ended up just turning that job into what I wanted to be doing.
[00:16:37] I really was just a complete outsider at that point, and I think people didn’t really know how to relate to me, but I was just happy to be in an environment where people seemed to like their job. So, regardless of if I had any knowledge of what really they were doing or the capabilities of the folks around me, I could just tell that people were happy to be there, and that made me happy to be there, regardless of what my role was at that time. It’s just infectious when people are content and enjoying what they’re doing, so I kind of just fed off that.
[00:29:26] As I’ve noticed myself [using passive or gendered language], I’ve tried to get away from it because I think it’s such a ridiculous—it just weakens your position immediately. You’re already sort of agreeing to—or you’ve already sort of acknowledged that the answer is probably going to be no, and you’ve already kind of started to step away from it even as you’re asking for it. You’re giving the person an out.
[00:41:53] To be cooperative but not overly sensitive, or to be feminine but also assertive, or all of these sort of dichotomies that we’re expected to embody at the same time and that tug between those two extremes. In some ways, I think that’s a really useful exercise to try and figure that out, but I think that’s where a lot of burnout comes from.
[00:51:57] But I think it was a matter of trying to view myself through his lens and say—it’s so easy to doubt yourself and say, “I’m unprepared for this, and I’m in over my head.” I still feel that way about things all the time, and I think everyone feels that way about things. That imposter syndrome of, “When are people going to figure out that I have no fucking clue what I’m doing, and I’m just faking it?” I certainly felt that way.
[00:59:51] So people are paying attention, but it’s always going to be a struggle to have people take you seriously in certain environments. But I also think that the folks that are dismissive of you for those sorts of reasons, whether they admit that it’s because you’re a woman or any number of other things, I don’t really have time for those people anyway. So if that’s the response that I’m getting, that sort of antagonistic, or dismissive, or whatever it might be, then I’m kind of done dealing with that person anyway.
[01:07:15]: I’m terrible at mornings. I snooze.
[01:09:11] I prefer to be busy, and I think that I’m more productive when I have more to do. If I have—let’s say it’s Sunday, and I wake up, and I have one thing on my—all I need to do today is go grocery shopping and do the laundry, and I don’t really have any emails I need to respond to, and I don’t have any work I need to catch up on. That’s all I need to do. Those are the days that I end up getting absolutely nothing done. It’s 10:00 PM, and I haven’t done the laundry. Whereas if I wake up and I have a whole list of here’s 15 things I need to knock out today, those are my most productive days.
[01:24:06] So what I started doing and have kept up with is that I bought a big—one of those oversized mason jars at the beginning of last year. At the end of every day, before I go to sleep—or sometimes if I’m very drunk, then the next morning. But usually before I go to sleep, I will grab a scrap of paper, just rip off the back of a receipt or whatever it is that I have, scribble the date on it, and then I write down the best thing that happened to me that day. And I fold that up, and I put it in the jar.
[01:40:52] So, to me, to be a modern woman is just to—not to ever answer a question with, “Well, that’s just how it is,” which is my least favorite answer to any question, and just always questioning those belief systems, and just being aware of them and how they’re operating.
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