It’s been five months since I left the world of television and transitioned to public relations.
Wow. What a difference those five months have made, in my daily routine, quality of sleep, ability to be more present with my family, and in my life, in general.
In a previous post, I talked about reaching a point where I knew it was time to make a change. But after you do something you love for 20 years, turning the page on your next chapter of life isn’t always easy. I confess that, even while I was considering making a change, I wasn’t actively pursuing other options. I was secretly hoping I’d win the lottery — even though I never bought a ticket.
Then I received an email from Dana Turell that would change my career path. She wrote: “I have a PR Manager position open. Do you know of anyone who might be interested?”
The funny thing is, when I read her note I thought, “Nope. Can’t think of anyone.” Then, I went right back to work.
It wasn’t until I met with Dana a few days later, to interview one of her clients for a news story, that I talked with her about the email. She wanted to know if I’d received it, and asked me if I was interested in applying.
“Ohhh, that was for me?” I’d asked her. Yeah, not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized this could very well be the door that would open for me.
Needless to say, things worked out. I said farewell to TV news, and I became the new kid on the block for the first time in two decades. Quickly, I learned why Dana is so proud of her team. I’m part of a talented and creative group of people who work smart, like to laugh, and who are always up for an impromptu game of office ping-pong. (check out our cool PONGference table!)
The real transition has been learning to pitch stories to media outlets instead of reporting them myself. Telling stories is what I love. It’s why I became a journalist. Now, instead of telling those stories first-hand, I tell them to the media. It’s more behind the scenes, but it’s valuable and rewarding work. And I know that my strengths, skills and experience benefit our clients, our media partners and those who depended on me to deliver the news for so many years.
I know what makes a good story, and I know what media outlets need to tell a story well: information that’s beneficial to their viewers and readers, solid interviews and interesting visuals. I understand media deadlines and the challenges newsrooms face. All that, along with the relationships I’ve formed with reporters and others over the years, is serving me well in my new role.
My new position is meaningful in an entirely different way.
Besides getting married and having kids, it’s been my biggest life-change. Am I glad I made it? Absolutely. This is where I’m supposed to be.