So I Made a Mistake: The Art of Eating Crow & Connecting with Your Personal PR Network

Businesswoman throwing papers in the airI hate that one of my first official blog posts on this site has to do with the fact that I am admitting defeat. Less than a month ago I wrote on the proper way to bid farewell a job, boss, and fellow colleagues before making my way to a new position, in a new firm where I wanted nothing more than to be the success I previously was.

There is a great statement: life doesn’t always turn out the way you plan. Less than a month after making my move to my new agency I decided the culture and environment was not for me, and I made the decision to call it quits. That’s right, call it quits–with no job, no future opportunities and a nice hefty mortgage to pay.

Remember that post way back on January 14 where I said don’t burn your bridges? Luckily, for once in my life I listened to myself and kept an open contact with former bosses, colleagues, and friends in the industry. The morning after I quit I reached out to each of them, discussing my current decision and seeing if they knew of any opportunities in the industry. It was my own little HAPPO (which I plan on participating in!) and my network of contacts was more than happy to connect with me and help me out.

One of the first people I reached out to was my former boss at my most recent place of employment, STC Associates. I wrote a concise email to Sophie telling her the situation, explaining that I was making the decision that was best for my career and my mental health. I also admitted my fault in the situation, which before last week I would have NEVER done. Was it a pride thing? Probably. I don’t like to admit when I am wrong but I was about to quickly learn that eating a crow actually gains respect from the place/person you wronged. So that is exactly what I did–sucked it up and choked down some bird.

The result? My former boss was willing to open her door back up to me and offer me a freelance position at STC Associates. You can imagine I felt all of two inches tall–here I had gone and left the place that had practically raised me in this business and now, after I had jumped ship rather quickly, STC and Sophie were more than willing to take me back. Was I actually THIS lucky?! Not only did I keep a bridge intact, but I pushed my bruised ego to the backburner which allowed me to realize that there ARE people out there who truly want to see me succeed in my career.

In addition to STC, MANY of my AMAZING former colleagues in the public relations industry have been reaching out to me, connecting me with recruiters and friends who are looking to hire or even offer me an opportunity to freelance with them. It wasn’t until I was in desperate need did I understand the full strength of my personal “network” and the importance of keeping your bridges intact in this industry. (Woohoo–for once I practiced what I preached!)

Thanks to the amazing phenomenon knows as social media, my network is continuing to grow. PR pros in this industry are constantly posting new job opportunities on Twitter, offering advice on LinkedIn, and most recently an awesome group of social media geniuses developed Help A PR Pro Out, a program that is designed to connect PR job seekers with employers looking for top talent.  I certainly will be participating on February 19 and hope all those in my position would consider doing the same!

Now, I am not trying to be a preacher–I am just saying that at any age, at any point in your career, you can “go home again” if you are willing to show some vulnerability. Being vulnerable might not be for everyone in this business but showing that I am not super-human has helped me get back on track. And in truth, crow is really not as gamey as I thought it would be.

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