From government to…agency?

I’ve teased this post a few times. Like here. And here. And today, I’m finally stopping to share. In April, I left my role as the assistant director of public relations with the City of Fishers and assumed my role as the public relations manager with Well Done Marketing. And while I was thrilled for the next step in my career, many around me had one question—why would you leave a stable role in government to work at an agency? *And here we go…*

Almost every semester the last year, I’ve been invited to speak to students at Hamilton Southeastern High School, and each semester I’ve shared ample stories about my career path. I start each conversation with the same statement: It’s great if you know what you want to do when you grow up. But I didn’t. I said yes to almost every opportunity that presented itself, and in doing that, I was able to begin learning what I like and dislike in the workforce. Then, I used those insights to walk closer to what I liked, but more importantly, further away from what I didn’t like.

But the decision to leave the City of Fishers, for the second time, was incredibly difficult—mostly, because I was leaving something I really enjoyed. In full disclosure, I wasn’t looking for something different when I discovered Well Done Marketing was hiring. And even after a trusted colleague sent me the job description, I ignored it for almost a week before applying. But when I sat back to think, I realized over my nearly five-year run with Fishers, there were so many wins. We created an annual Arts Crawl that embraced the art community unlike ever before. We welcomed Indiana’s first IKEA. I even, almost single-handedly, created an employee engagement app that was warmly embraced by our 500-person staff. And those are just a few of the wins.

During my time at Fishers, we transitioned from a town to a city of the second-class. We welcomed our first Mayor. Fishers Police Department’s first and only Chief of Police, Chief Kehl retired. Our community bravely created a mental health initiative to come alongside those quietly suffering. Oh, and we were recognized as the 2017 Best Place to Live by MONEY Magazine. And all of these achievements go without saying, the people working in Fishers are some of the kindest, most talented folks I’ve ever worked alongside. But after nearly five years with the city, and so many lessons learned, I was craving something different.

Working in an entrepreneurial city, like Fishers, I realized how attracted I was to the idea of working in an agency. As a reminder, I’m a public relations professional, by way of communication degrees. My public relations skills have really come from things I’ve learned and experiences I’ve been privy to on the job. So when I decided I was ready for a change, I made sure it was an incredibly significant change.

Enter Well Done Marketing…

When my colleague sent me the job description for public relations manager with Well Done Marketing (WDM), I was a little hesitant. As mentioned above, I loved the idea of working for an agency. Not only for the variety in work, but the variety in clients and industries. Government was a wonderful experience for me, but I felt that at my age, I needed to ensure my work was diversified enough I could qualify for roles within a variety of industries, later in life. So, I did when anyone would do—deleted the email, said thanks, and went about my day. But nearly a week later, I couldn’t shake the urge to find the email and take action.

And take action I did. I applied for the job, interviews went well, and I started with the agency on Monday, April 9—just two days after my 30th birthday. And to be honest, I haven’t looked back since.

While there are things about Fishers I miss, transitioning into an agency has been such an eye-opening experience. As with any new job, on-boarding can be difficult, so I took the full 90-day period to get up to speed on agency culture, client industries, and my role on each project. Often in those first 90 days I reminded myself—this is where you level up. And, I have.

And don’t get me wrong, having dogs in the office, team lunches, and ongoing happy hours helps create the culture within these walls—but that’s not why I love working at WDM. Once I was up-to-speed, I hit capacity just shy of ten clients. I work with industries including nonprofit, healthcare, restaurants, government, and even banking. My role fluctuates with each project, offering a huge amount of variety in workflow, ongoing opportunities to collaborate with internal teams, and multiple touch-points with our amazing clients and community leaders.

Take last week for example, I assisted Taylor Swift’s publicist and the Lucas Oil Stadium staff with media before her stadium tour stopped in Indianapolis. And don’t get me wrong, it was awesome to be on the floor before and during the show. But, I also had an incredibly productive lunch meeting with local animal welfare organizations and The Julian Center’s president and CEO as we look to close the gap on animal resources for victims fleeing violent situations. Something that is imperative and immeasurably impactful for our community. So, I’ll state the obvious, no two days are the same. And not only do I love that, I love doing work that matters.

So, if you gotten excited reading any of this, and you’re looking for a change of pace—consider joining our team. Well Done Marketing currently has multiple positions open. And, if you’re like me, and need some time to ease into the idea of something new—let me know. Happy to grab coffee and be a resource as you consider taking a step towards agency.

Well Done Marketing

 

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