Career, Chapter 3.
Remember on "Seinfeld " when George declared he was having the Summer of George? For three months, he was going to do whatever he wanted, on his terms. To be honest, I don't remember what he ended up actually doing- it could have been (and probably was) a total disaster. If so, then ignorance is bliss because I am about to embark on what I like to (half) jokingly refer to as the Summer of Jenn. Note: Even writing my name in the third person kind of makes me want to throw up. So- here is the story...
I have worked for someone pretty much every single day since I graduated from college in 2001. First I was at American Express and eventually I landed at Alison Brod Public Relations, where I stayed for almost nine years. Which, anyone in the PR industry will agree, is a lifetime. I fell in love with PR, and quickly discovered that my favorite part of the job (and the part I was best at) was coming up with trend stories to pitch. See, to be a good publicist, you need to think like a reporter. That is what allows you to deliver stories to the media that they may actually want to cover, meaning your emails don't get deleted unopened and your calls don't always get screened. But that is a lesson for another day...
About three years into my PR career, I had the itch to move over to editorial. But I didn't want to start from the bottom again, and I wasn't ready to leave PR behind fully. So I decided to give myself the best of both worlds, and crafted a little niche for myself as an on-air expert. This way, I could still get to work by 9:30 for my day job after an early morning segment. Note: I am majorly simplifying this here and if you guys want the details I am happy to share it all in future posts, it was a pretty interesting journey...
In just a short time, this on-air "hobby" had become a job onto itself. But, you see- those tv gigs, don't pay. A penny. So keeping my day job was non-negotiable- I had rent and expensive tastes. Plus, I loved my job. ABPR was growing like crazy, my favorite brands were becoming my clients, and my colleagues were my closest friends in the city. Alison was always supportive of my on-air work, a huge factor in my success and something I know I am very lucky to have had.
Fast forward to May, 2011. I had over 500 TV appearances and two seasons of my MSN show, Beauty BFF, under my skinny metallic J. Crew belt. Calls were coming in daily to work on projects that sounded like so much fun. The social media boom had opened up the floodgates of opportunity to work with brands to create content, work with websites and networks to create online video programming, the list goes on and on. Plus, I had Alexa- my adorable little butterball of a baby. Burning the candle at both ends was wearing me (and my husband!) out.
As scared as I was to take the leap and go solo, I was even more just sad to leave behind the place that had been the backdrop of almost my entire life in NYC. When I started. I was a 23 year old party girl with a questionable sense of style, who evolved into a 32 year old married woman with a daughter (gulp) and a questionable sense of parenthood. But, many sleepless nights and yes, a couple tears (and to know me is to know I am not a cryer) later, I did it. Cut the cord. (Double gulp.)
And now, Career, Chapter 3.
I have a million ideas, so many opportunities I have wanted to explore but never quite got around to. So, I am giving myself the summer to not freak out and be open to the creative inspiration that a life in limbo may bring.
Come Fall, I truly have ZERO idea where I will be. But excited to see how I get there.