podcast·2 min read

9 to 5ish: Dawn Davis

Mar 30, 2022

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This week, we’re thinking about careers like recipes. And it’s not just because we’re talking to Dawn Davis, the editor-in-chief of "Bon Appétit." For Dawn, every experience she had – from working in finance to founding her own publishing imprint – was an essential ingredient that prepared her to run the famous food mag. And this week, we’re talking to Dawn about how to experiment with your own career recipe. 

On Finding Your Interests

Dawn: Look, there are two kinds of people, it seems. Those who know exactly what they want to do. And then there are other people who have to have two, three, maybe even four jobs until they figure out what they want to do. It's not necessarily a clean line, but that doesn't mean that everything you're acquiring won't ultimately serve you…. 

So I think you can experiment, as long as you're learning. Are you learning from someone you're reporting to, or is there someone in your firm you can look around and model yourself after? I think that's what's really important.

On Deciding to Leave Finance

Dawn: It wasn't bringing me satisfaction. I wasn't excited when I went to work every day. And I just decided if, and I was 21, if I couldn't make a change then, because I was worried about money, I would never be able to make a change and I would get locked into this pattern of working for the paycheck as opposed to working for something that I'm really excited about.

…. And not only did I go to publishing, but I went for a nonprofit so I made even less money…. And it was tough, but you know, you eat lots of rice and beans and pasta and soup and save whatever little pennies you can. And you just kind of keep putting one foot in front of the other.

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