I’ve been working in B2B tech PR since I graduated from college in 2015 with my brand-new bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations. I didn’t know anything about technology beyond what I needed to know as a millennial student, but when the opportunity presented itself for me to take an internship at a small agency in the Bay Area that worked with companies ranging from Industrial IoT and cloud computing to optical networking equipment, I took a leap of faith and accepted the offer. It took months of listening in on meetings, researching, writing and asking hundreds of questions before I began to feel like I knew what I was doing. Despite coming into the field with a limited technical background, I discovered not only was I interested in deep tech, but I was good at it.
Fast forward a few months later – I had finished my internship and joined the company as a full-time staff member, and in less than a year and a half had been promoted to associate account executive. Unfortunately, after being a sponge for knowledge for so long, I noticed I wasn’t learning as much as I had been when I had first started. I longed to feel challenged and learn new things. I decided it might be time to make a change.
But I wasn’t quite ready to go. A former coworker of mine who had recently left the company and joined 10Fold heard that I was open to discussing new opportunities and introduced me to his colleague. While I made it clear I wasn’t interested in doing a job interview at that time, I took her up on her offer for “coffee,” which turned into wine at a local jazz bar. She talked to me about what I wanted from my career, what I did and didn’t like about my current agency, and why I wasn’t ready to leave yet. She told me about 10Fold and the people who worked there, but mostly we talked about the industry and the challenges we both experienced. After a few hours, we went our separate ways, and I felt a little bit of clarity.
When the time came where I was ready to take the next step in my career and move on to a new agency, I knew exactly who to call. Two weeks and a few interviews later, I was the newest member of the 10Fold team. The woman who I had shared wine with a few months earlier became my manager, and my new office was on the 30th floor of a skyscraper in the middle of downtown San Francisco. Immediately, I knew I had made the right choice. I was learning again! But this time, I had some existing knowledge and could pull my own weight.
In the first few weeks, my teams took me under their wings and helped me get comfortable with my new clients and the different company processes. We had daily meetings where the entire company jumped on a video call for ten minutes every morning to talk about whatever was important that day and call out team members for their successes. There were goals in place not only for the agency, but for each practice group and each team and each person. I felt that there was a sense of alignment that I didn’t know I needed and had been missing, and the snacks in the kitchen weren’t too shabby, either…
Now after being at 10Fold for just over a year and a half, I’ve been given the opportunity to advance beyond what I thought I was capable of. I’ve built relationships with my colleagues that go beyond the standard polite co-worker banter, and I consider many of them to be my friends. I’ve watched the company grow from three offices to six, and I’ve worked with leadership who don’t consider “because we’ve always done it this way” to be a legitimate reason to maintain the status quo.
While making the decision to leave my last agency — a company I felt such loyalty and gratitude towards for helping me get started in the industry — was difficult, ultimately it was up to me to make a change and find a place where I could continue to thrive. 10Fold has taught me that while it’s important to be your own advocate, you don’t have to grow alone, and I love to see new faces grow alongside me.
By Anne Stanley