16 July 2019
I never thought the trajectory of my career would land me a consulting position at a boutique reputational management practice in the UK. As a die-hard New Yorker, and a fan of Sex in the City in my early 20s, I imagined PR consultants were all like Samantha Jones, drinking Martinis with their girlfriends at Manhattan cocktail bars at night, screwing delivery guys during their lunch breaks and attending glamorous parties for a living. How wrong I was!
My most recent ‘career junction’ was in London when, after having practiced family law for a hot second, I tried to figure out what my next career move was going to be. I knew I liked writing… journalism, then! So, in the early spring of 2012, post-law, and on a return flight from a girls’ vacation, I wrote my first story. I then contacted everyone I knew in London who could maybe help me get connected to journalists, editors, and agents. Little did I know that through those simple actions, I accidentally, but instinctively, made my first moves into PR. That is also when I met my mentor, Paul Blanchard, the founder and chairman of Right Angles, who I started working for six years later.
Fast forward, I dipped my toes into fashion, film production, ghostwriting, translation work, art curation, music, real estate marketing, non-profit, social media, and even launched a vodka brand. I started my own blog and did interviews with artists; I wrote a column and interviewed entrepreneurial women for a branded content column. I was a contributor and staff writer at art and music publications. I even started working on my own podcast. I did projects for start-ups and established brands alike. Despite the variety of industries I was involved with, the common denominator for all of them was my ability to constantly make new friends.
The blossoming of social media platforms such as LinkedIn for business, or Instagram for casual friends, certainly aided this journey — but it was not solely because of those platforms that I maintained my newly acquired relationships. I utilized all available tools at my disposal: a regular Gmail and text message worked just as well. And guess what? The experience I’d built up wasn’t wasted. Research skills, networking, writing, social media — they all earned their place in my daily routines. The fabulous parties? Not so much. Networking events? Absolutely.
What PR was for me was that impossible marriage of creative pursuits and business acumen. I wanted to work in a profession where I can be rewarded for my skills: the ease of meeting and staying in touch with people, the fact that I speak five languages (but did not necessarily want to work as a translator), and the ability to solve problems creatively. I desired a job where I could maintain some freedom in creating my own schedule. I wanted to be in the middle of the Financial District, hitting the rush of being involved in business, but not having a 9–5 job on Wall Street. I have always dreamed of working with people whose deep respect for intellectual pursuits and integrity would be the emblem of the company. My prayers were answered.
Today, I work full-time at Right Angles. My job is business development with a focus on the East Coast. I meet people who could either become our clients or who could help expand our network of finding new clients. I am pursuing creative writing on the side, and even teach a few hours a week. I am a runner, and do volunteering in my local community. In everything I do, I keep my eyes and ears open with the possibility of meeting new people and cultivating relationships with them. At 32, I feel like my adventure with PR is only beginning. Needless to say, my lifestyle could not be further from that of Samantha Jones! (I do like nice clothes, though…)