I started as an NBC Page. The program has always been competitive but now it’s another level. I remember going to the site, uploading my resume, and sending it to the Universe. I honestly forgot about it. A few months later got a phone call from their recruitment office and the rest is history.
I actually remember not wanting to do it. It was my mom who encouraged me to. At that point, I had already been working as a producer in public radio. Actually, I was working per diem, so I was freelancing, but I was getting regular hours, so I was holding out for a staff job with benefits to open up. That didn’t work out, though. I knew ultimately I wanted to do TV, so, again listening to that little voice inside of me, I ended up going for the Page program and within six months was working there. I eventually got a job working at a newsmagazine network, and hustled my way to get promoted over the years.
I do remember the moment I knew it was going to be time to move on soon, that I may want to do my own thing.
It was on a weekend, and a train derailed in either the Bronx or Westchester. I was on call that weekend. They would rotate the production staff and if there was late breaking news, you’d be one of the first to come into the office and try to see if there’s a story there. I remember I was on my way to get my hair done. I was in Queens and I had just taken my braids out. I was at one of those beauty supply stores, and I saw my phone ringing and I said, “no, no, no.”
But I was on call, so I took a deep breath. The lead producer wanted me to head to the Bronx. I really wanted to get my hair done. I’d been working so hard the whole week and I just wanted the one Sunday to get my hair done. It sounds so shallow, I know. I know brown girls can relate to this: I had taken my braids out and was going to get my hair washed by the person who was going to be doing my braids. I had my hair under a scarf and I had to be in front of people and I freaked out. So, I ended up buying a wig because what else was I going to do? It was such a Black girl moment. The Blackest Black girl moment.
The news business is really intense and although I loved my job, I’d realized that it was important to have balance, and I didn’t have any balance at all in my professional life. I was just burnt out.
I think that’s when I started looking for something else, but I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for. I probably applied to 50 jobs and nothing ever happened. That sent me into a spiral of depression.
In a city like New York, you just believe you’ve got to grind, grind, grind. That’s why people look at you crazy if you say you’re slowing down. But I had no choice because I was really exhausted.
Among the 50 plus jobs I was applying for, I did get to interview for this new developing talk show that I really wanted to work on. The interview went so well, but I never heard back. I was just so down about it all.
That interview was during the month of January. Fast forward to a Sunday in May, I went to church and it just so happened that they were going to show a video of my “journey” and I was just like ugh. I felt like, “God’s really great, but I’m still stuck in this job.”
But then, after they played my video, the pastor, who was actually a guest pastor, went up to the podium and asked, “Is Rasheeda here?” I so did not want to be called out. I said, “Yeah, I’m here.”
He goes, “I was watching this, and I don’t exactly understand what you’re doing but I got this vision. You were sitting in this chair, in this meeting, behind a desk. And then suddenly, the chair gets bigger and bigger. You’re directing people, and you’re telling them what to do with this video thing. I don’t know exactly, but something with video and television.” Then he says: “God’s going to promote you. Hold on cause it’s coming quick.” Literally his words.
I looked at my friend and I’m like, “does he know that I got turned down for another job this past Friday?” I’m like, “what job is he talking about?”
Remember, I had applied for the TV entertainment job I really wanted that prior January and it was now May. After he said that to me, I went home and decided to reach back out to them, since I never heard back. Something just told me to.
Within a week, I got the job.
Two months in, though, I started to feel insecure about my work. I had never felt like that, especially about my writing. It was definitely a learning curve. I also worked with a lot of mean girls; just mean for no reason. I never had to before. There was a time I was booking a guest and I had a producer literally freak out and kind of scream at me in front of the guest that I booked. I literally went to the bathroom and cried. There was a lot of learning to stand up for myself.
After a good while there, I decided I needed a break. I left with no job and was going to become a missionary, no lie. I remember saying, “God, if you want me to work in TV again, you’ll have to drop a job in my lap. That’s the only way this will happen.”
And that’s actually what happened.
I took a leap of faith and the money ended up being way better than my last job with the new opportunity.
In all seriousness, you just have to get really still [to find your path]. Once you’re able to be still and just ask God or your higher power, “What do you want me to do? Where are you leading me?”, you’ll start to hear that whisper. Then, that whisper will eventually get louder and then you’ll feel it in your heart. Once you do, you write it down and make a plan and get ready for the next journey.
Rasheeda is growing her brand, day by day. Check her out and show love.