Often, we feel like we’re on track with a certain path for our lives, and then, just when we think we know where we’re going, there is a fork in the road that wasn’t on the map and we are caught unprepared. All of us experienced this to some extent when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in March of 2020. Many businesses lost the majority of their client base and companies faced employee layoffs left and right. This was my experience when I was let go from my previous public relations agency right after celebrating my one-year anniversary at the company. It was a difficult time for everyone, and the thought of having to find a new job during the international crisis was daunting, to say the least.
Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, famously said, “When one door closes, another one opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” When I was laid off last April, I was discouraged and felt like it would be impossible to find another role that I enjoyed as much as my last one. On top of that, most companies were on a hiring freeze due to COVID-19 and the economy was at a low point meaning open positions were scarce and interviews were highly competitive with the increase in unemployed candidates. Despite all of these obstacles, I had no choice but to stop staring at the closed door, pick myself up, and fully commit my time to the job hunting and interviewing process.
Looking back, I am thankful everything happened the way it did because it brought me to the incredible team at 10Fold, where they saw the potential in me and hired me as a Senior Account Executive (SAE), a level up from my previous position as an Account Executive. I interviewed with 10-20 different companies before deciding that 10Fold was the place that felt right for me, so in the end, being laid off allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and adapt to a new role with more responsibilities. Now, I feel like I’m flourishing as an SAE with the new clients and opportunities 10Fold has offered me.
During the remainder of the pandemic, 10Fold has been dedicated to winning new business and is even hiring at all levels. 10Fold has also helped me to maintain a healthy work-life balance while encouraging everyone to feel comfortable being themselves and rewarding us for stellar client work and results.
10Fold stuck out over other PR agencies because it invests heavily in their people, offering a Manager in Training (MIT) program for SAEs to help us grow and feel comfortable to move up to the manager level. That was a huge draw because no one wants to be thrown into a brand new leadership position that they aren’t fully equipped to handle. Since agency life is very results-driven, 10Fold offers awards and incentives for going above and beyond securing typical client coverage and media opportunities. For example, 10Fold offers an Above the Fold award for proactive business press hits in which award winners get a little extra cash in our pockets and nice logo for our email signatures. 10Fold also offers an award called the Perfect 10 for securing 10 proactive hits in a single month. Winners of this award receive a cash bonus and a logo for our email signatures. These give us fun ways to challenge ourselves and continue to stay motivated working toward the next career level.
Although we’ve all been through some tough times in the last year, 2020 has truly made us stronger and more resilient, individually and as an agency. After navigating many interviews, facing rejection and passing on career opportunities that didn’t feel right, I found a company where I am happier and feel more challenged and fulfilled than ever before. My teammates’ confidence in me has made me more confident in myself and my ability to deliver successful results as a PR professional. As cliche as it sounds, I believe that everything truly does happen for a reason and an unexpected fork in your road can sometimes take you exactly where you need to be. It did with my career at 10Fold, at least. Sometimes, you have to embrace the adversity in your life, keep working hard and doing your best, and see where it takes you.
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