Last fall, I was sitting at my desk in my small website and marketing company feeling melancholy. For over 15 years, I had been working with clients to develop websites and marketing materials. As an entrepreneur with employees, I had done well for myself with regard to obtaining and keeping clients happy. However, I was tired of the work I was doing, and I knew that if I stuck with it, I’d have to invest thousands into research and development to keep pace with the changing technology!
Frankly, I also was afraid to answer the phone! Clients were calling with increasing desires for their websites – mobile responsiveness, integrated blogs and social media, and other updates that required much technology research in order to know if we could do it, or even if we’d recommend it.
I started thinking in more detail about what I wanted to do in my career. What did I enjoy doing the most? I conducted several assessments and worked with a business coach.
I found that what I loved most about the work I was doing was public relations. Working with the media, writing and pitching articles, promoting businesses, conducting research and planning — these were all things that I truly enjoyed.
By October, I had found a great website company to give my book of business to. I had communicated with clients about the change, and had ended the lease on my office space. Sadly, I had to let my employees go, but you really can’t run a business just to keep people employed, which is what I was doing.
By November, I was working solidly on my APR, and was so happy to be going down a new path. In January, I started the online cohort for the APR and was furiously reading the recommended books and going over situational questions with a study partner each week.
By June, I had taken and passed the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, and become Accredited. In all of my working life, this Accreditation means the most to me, because I made a decision about my existing business, made a change and went for it!
This one thing has propelled me to really go for it in other parts of my life as well — joining Toastmasters, snow skiing and kayaking — I have a renewed energy because of the APR. I say go for it!
As an entrepreneur, communicator and public relations professional, Jennifer Ferrero has worked with hundreds of Washington’s top companies over 18 years, including aerospace and advanced manufacturing, workforce development and community colleges. As a professional consultant, she develops strategic public relations plans and marketing tactics with measurable results.