My Professional Life
UPDATED - 05/01/2017
I am writing this article to introduce myself so that the people in my network and the people that land on my profile have an idea of who I am and what I am looking for on a professional level. I will try my best to cut a long story short!
My name is Chiara Townley. I was born in Milan, Italy, where I attended Università Cattolica and got a degree in Modern Languages (English and French) and Tourist Economy. After that, I got a Master's Degree in Management of Travel Companies.
When I finished my studies in Italy, I decided to move to London to improve my English and develop a career in the hospitality industry. I found a job in a small boutique hotel where I performed reception duties, but I was also responsible for the hotel most of the time because the manager wasn't around. I took care of bookings, sales and managed the small cleaning staff.
After my experience in London, I wanted to learn Spanish so I moved to Tenerife, in the Canary Islands (Spain). I found a job as a reservation agent in a tour operator where I managed the Italian market and hotel bookings for foreign travel agents.
After two years in Tenerife, my love life took me to the United States. I moved to San Francisco in September 2013 and got married in January 2014. I thought that my path was carved in the travel industry, but everything changed when I published my first book. I didn't know where to start, but I knew I wanted to share with the public the unbelievable love story that took me to the United States—I self-published "2 Years 4 Months 2 Hours" in January 2015. My marketing efforts (social media and face-to-face) gave me a lot of exposure—the book has sold hundreds of copies worldwide and during a promotion, it reached #3 in the category non-fiction free travel books on Amazon.
The situation of immigrant women in the United States (see the other article I published on LinkedIn) made me consider the idea of writing another book and for the first time, I realized that I wanted to become a writer to inspire people and create an impact.
My last experience in the hospitality industry was at WeWork in San Francisco, where I did community management, organized events and contributed to the growth of the social media presence in the Bay Area.
In June 2016 my husband and I left San Francisco to travel around the world for six months and we came back to the U.S. in February 2017. While I was traveling I wrote an article to get featured on the Huffington Post and I sent an email to Arianna Huffington. She replied to me and invited me to write for Thrive Global, her new company. Some of the articles that I wrote were promoted by the magazine on social media and I received good feedback from readers.
Hopefully, this small recap of my professional life can show many of the qualities and skills that I have. I know that English is not my first language and I do realize that I don't have many years of experience as a writer, but putting my writing out there made me realize that there is something in the honest and direct way I write that resonates with people. I changed my career in my 30s—as you can imagine it's not easy, but I like challenges and see them as opportunities to grow.
My last manager decided to grow a team in San Francisco and not having people remote. This means that I am on the job market again. During my time at Kyra & Vir, I managed social media. I helped with the rebranding, wrote and edited articles, hired contributing writers and I contributed to the creation of the blog.
I would like to collaborate with mission-driven magazines and companies—I am available as a freelancer.