Dietetic Career Spotlight on Holley Grainger, MS, RD
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on MARCH 25, 2014
Meet Holley Grainger, an inspiring RD who began as an editor for multiple magazines and websites such as CookingLight.com. Now she is running her own nutrition and communications company. Learn from Holley how important connections you make during your career can help take you to the next level. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
The variety of opportunities! I always said I wanted to “work with people” and that I had a “passion for food” but until I really jumped into the field, I had no idea how many career paths were out there. I found my niche in the editorial and communications side of nutrition ranging from work as an editor for cookbooks, magazines, and recipe websites to hosting online videos, speaking and doing spokesperson work for brands and commodities.
Your Job Title:
Company you are with now:
Holley Grainger Nutrition and Culinary Communications
Your Social Media links:
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/holleygraingernutrition
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/holleygrainger
- YouTube: www.youtube.com/holleygrainger
- LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/holleygrainger
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you:
My work varies greatly which is why I love it and am able to stay energized. Because I work for myself, some days are straight mommy duty and nothing work-related ever gets done. On other days, I find myself anywhere from the offices of Southern Progress Corporation in Birmingham shooting an online video, editing a Special Edition magazine for Southern Living to the set of a local TV station doing a spot and sharing nutrition messages for one of my clients to my home office writing a magazine story, web post, or blog to on the road giving nutrition talks to state dietetic associations. No two days are ever alike and, honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
After more than a decade of working as a food and nutrition editor for Oxmoor House books, Southern Living magazine, MyRecipes.com, and CookingLight.com, I decided to start my own nutrition consulting company in January 2013. I absolutely loved my previous roles but with the addition of a new baby and a desire to carve my own path in the field, I took a leap of faith and started Holley Grainger Nutrition and Culinary Communications. I am so fortunate to continue to work with my former colleagues as a consultant so that I still get my editorial fix, so to speak, but I have loved all of the new opportunities that have presented themselves over the last year and look forward to what 2014 will offer.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
Born with: the ability (and desire) to eat; the curiosity to try new things; not being afraid to stand up in a crowd
Learned along the way: the scientific connection between food and health; how to make fun, simple, and interesting meals that people will love
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
When I talk to students and interns, I always tell them to start now to make themselves relevant in the giant world of nutrition. Whether that means starting a blog, creating a professional Facebook page, putting their resume on Linked In, or getting published in their local newspaper, it certainly helps to start laying the foundation early.
I also advise to connect with dietitians whose careers they admire to learn more about the steps to success. Consider asking them to be a mentor or if they can give you just 20 minutes to share their experiences, most RDs are happy to help.
And of course, never stop pushing forward to further your self and your career and always stay true to your brand (i.e. you).
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Travel opportunities coupled with fantastic food and wine