Category: career changes


Does Everything Really Happen For A Reason?

April 22nd, 2014 — 7:51pm

It is often said that everything happens for a reason. When you’re navigating the unpredictable landscape of 40+ singlehood, this saying is more than a little hard to digest. But maybe there’s some truth to it after all—a comforting thought that occurs me to when I think about the winding road of my career.

Many moons ago, I started out in journalism. Temping as an administrative assistant for a division of Thomson Financial led to a permanent gig at one of their publications—and a reporter position eventually followed.

After making the leap to TV news (and doing small town stints in Maine, Illinois and Delaware), I took a break to get my master’s degree. One of my classmates worked for Fox News, and she secured me the interview that got me a job at the network.

When I was contemplating my next career reincarnation, I reached out to fellow journalism school alum and New York Travel Correspondent Valarie D’Elia. A freelance gig writing for her website TravelWithVal inspired me to go into travel PR. Val connected me with Quinn & Co., which became my professional home for more than five years.

It was during this time that I had the pleasure of working with PR maven Jennifer Maguire Coughlin, who was with the agency representing the Bahamas, where one of my resort clients was located. In 2012, Jen included me on an email blast she sent out that Starwood Hotels was looking for a Marketing Manager.

Jen and me at one of Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)'s fantastic member events (September 2013)

Jen and me at one of Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)’s fantastic member events (September 2013)

As I’ve said to Jen many times since, she was literally my fairy jobmother. I have the good fortune of working with her again because she provides PR support for the two hotels I work for. If that isn’t full circle serendipity, I don’t know what is.

When I look back at my career, all the circuitous turns that didn’t make sense then make perfect sense now. I’ve never been more fulfilled job wise and I feel like everything I’ve done has prepared me for what I do with my workday. Like I am right where I’m supposed to be in my career.

How nice to think it’s possible I will someday be able to say the same thing about my love life.

Comment » | being single in your forties, career changes, following your bliss, TV news

Girls Night Out: Midtown West

May 19th, 2013 — 8:23pm

Friday, I enjoyed a girls night out with my Starwood colleague and friend Anna.

Gaonnuri: authentic Korean fare set against NYC’s stunning skyline

Gaonnuri: authentic Korean fare set against NYC’s stunning skyline

Anna introduced me to Gaonnuri, an upscale Korean barbecue restaurant located on the top floor of 1250 Broadway with stunning city views. She read my mind when suggesting it as the perfect date venue (especially the drinks-only window seating area). I may have to return here if my tentative date with a recent Speed Dating bachelor comes to pass.

While enjoying white wine and beef bibimbap (served with rice in a traditional hot stone pot), we talked about being true to where you are in the single versus settling down trajectory, the allure of living abroad and the good fortune of working for a company that is rich with opportunity.

That last tangent of conversation continued over Cosmopolitans at Hotel Metro’s rooftop bar. I confided in Anna about the challenging first few days of my new job – Marketing Manager of the Sheraton New York Times Square. I’m now a two-hotel girl, dividing my time between the Sheraton and my beloved Westin New York Grand Central.

They’re very different hotels so, inevitably of course, I felt somewhat overwhelmed at first. I started to settle in, though, as soon as I received words of support from both my Westin and Sheraton colleagues. For the first time ever in my long and winding career, I finally feel like I’m in a place where I can truly grow and stay put. The management at Starwood Hotels & Resorts is that rare breed capable of pushing you beyond your comfort zone while ensuring you are ready for it.

I’ve said it many times but it bears repeating here. Professionally speaking, I’ve gone from kissing a frog to finding Prince Charming. I was so miserable in my last job that I never thought I would find this kind of career fulfillment again. I can’t help thinking that’s also a good metaphor for dating too. There is always the possibility for something really wonderful to happen.

With an out of town old flame heading this way in a few weeks, I’m looking forward to some kind of wonderful becoming a reality.

Comment » | career changes, Girls Night Out, Midtown NYC, Midtown NYC hotels, new jobs, Sheraton New York Times Square, Westin New York Grand Central

By The Numbers: Winding Career Road Edition

October 10th, 2012 — 7:47pm

A recent feature in the Alumnae Quarterly of beloved my alma mater Mount Holyoke College profiled women whose careers haven’t been of the linear kind. As I read their stories, I couldn’t help thinking about the zig zag trajectory of my own professional path – and how it has led me to the tremendous contentment I feel job-wise today.

It’s A Sign: Celebrating opening week at The Westin New York Grand Central

I graduated from MHC envisioning a future as the next Katie Couric. Though I pursued TV news for many years, I ultimately found that what I wanted more was a communications role outside the broadcast fray. I wouldn’t trade those experiences, though, or any I’ve had since because each one brought with it great learning, a bit of adventure and many friendships that endure to this day.

Here’s a look at some of the seminal benchmarks of my winding career road – By The Numbers:

Number of jobs since graduating from college: 12
Number of jobs that sparked romance: 4
Number of moves dictated by TV news gigs: 3
Number of career changes: 2
Number of overseas business trips: 7
Number of enduring work-related friendships: 7

I’m excited about the new friendships I’m cultivating as part of my job at The Westin New York Grand Central. And equally thrilled that each day brings something new and interesting. Who says you need to follow a traditional path to get to professional bliss?

1 comment » | By The Numbers, career changes, Mount Holyoke, Mount Holyoke College, new jobs, Westin New York Grand Central

Reflections On The Eve Of My Big Adventure

February 28th, 2010 — 7:46pm

As I mentioned in a recent blog post, there some moments in life when you know that you’re on the verge of a completely new chapter. With less than 24 hours to go until my Great Dating Blitz across the U.S. begins, I can’t help thinking about everything that has led me to this moment — and the people who have made it all possible.

What True Love Looks Like: My beloved mother and father

First and foremost, I think about my beloved parents. Their example of abiding and everlasting love has inspired me to believe in happily ever after. And their shared zest for life has taught me to enjoy every step along the way to finding it.

I think about the winding road of my career. From getting up at 2am to produce the local morning news in Bangor, Maine to traveling to Australia as part of my work in PR, every single job I’ve had has prepared me for the one closest to my heart — writing.

Celebrating With My Fabulous Friends: (from left to right): Sara, Leila, Caroline, me, Heidi, Louise and Andrea

Last, but most definitely not least, I think about my amazing friends, many of whom braved frigid winter weather on Friday to celebrate with me.

“I’m so proud of you,” PR maven and galpal Louise said.

Like I’ve told her and so many others, this journey I’m about to take would be impossible without the support of my friends. Their belief in me has given me the courage to take this leap of faith and follow it wherever it may lead.

My heart is full of gratitude to them, and to Mom and Dad. I love you all.

1 comment » | career changes, celebrating with friends, The Great Dating Blitz

Farewell To Quinn & Co

February 19th, 2010 — 4:28pm

For the last five years, Quinn & Co. has been my professional home. Today marks my last day as part of this great company – and I can’t help feeling a little wistful as I prepare to say goodbye.

My Best Galpal: Caroline and me at Q&C's holiday party, December 2008

Working here has given me the opportunity to immerse myself in one of my great passions, travel, and to experience amazing parts of the world including South America, the Caribbean and my beloved Australia. And being part of Quinn & Co., a company that truly encourages and supports thinking outside of the box, allowed me to develop my creative side in a way that no other firm ever has.

Best of Show: Celebrating our HSMAI Award for best travel PR campaign worldwide with (from left) John, Florence and Vanessa, January 2007

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve worked at Quinn & Co. much longer than I have anywhere else, and that has as much to do with the people here as with the fulfillment that being in travel PR gave me.

Happy Holidays: Enjoying the season with (from left) Rachel, Marisa and Danielle, December 2007

This is a place that makes you feel truly valued and cared about as an individual, not just an employee. Not surprisingly, then, personal milestones are celebrated together.

An Affair To Remember: (from left) with Cristina and Morgan on her wedding day, August 2007

During my tenure here, I’ve shared in the joy of weddings and babies. More recently, I’ve seen the cycle begin again with six colleagues currently engaged (including two Quinnlings to each other!). That’s one of the best parts of a workplace feeling like a family – there are always new beginnings to rejoice in.

Two Of My Heroes: with Carla Caccavale Reynolds (the reason SGITC exists!) and Florence Quinn at the HSMAI Adrian Awards, February 2010

I’ve learned so much from Quinn & Co., but I think the greatest lesson of all has been to follow your bliss. Because of what I’ve experienced over the past five years, I feel ready to embrace the next chapter of my career. And I know that, wherever it takes me, my Q&C family will always be close to my heart.

2 comments » | career changes

A Visit To Fox News Channel

January 18th, 2010 — 5:00pm

Friday morning, I headed over to Fox News Channel for my client Tourism Queensland’s appearance on “Fox & Friends.”

Hello Again: “Fox & Friends” anchor (and former colleague) Steve Doocy and me

I had the pleasure of catching up with co-anchor and all-around good guy Steve Doocy, who greeted me with a big hug. We reminisced about the time when we shared a cubicle wall during my stint as an associate producer at Fox.

While we were talking, it hit me that a decade has passed since my FNC days — and that the winding road of my career has mirrored the twists and turns in my love life.

For seven years, I pursued my passion for TV news, traveling like a serial monogamist through jobs in writing, producing and on-camera reporting. With every gig, I learned something about myself — just as I have from each of the men I’ve dated.

I think that jobs, much like relationships, aren’t necessarily meant to last forever, but to prepare for you what comes next. By illuminating who you are and refining your vision of what you want for yourself, they help equip you to make that vision a reality, even if it means taking a few detours along the way.

Over time, I’ve found that each detour is less a bump in the road and more an opportunity to make a fresh start. Because in both life and love, it’s never too late to begin again.

Comment » | career changes, Fox and Friends, Fox News Channel, love lessons, Steve Doocy, Tourism Queensland, TV news

A Visit To Fox News Channel

January 18th, 2010 — 12:00pm

Friday morning, I headed over to Fox News Channel for my client Tourism Queensland’s appearance on “Fox & Friends.”

Hello Again: “Fox & Friends” anchor (and former colleague) Steve Doocy and me

I had the pleasure of catching up with co-anchor and all-around good guy Steve Doocy, who greeted me with a big hug. We reminisced about the time when we shared a cubicle wall during my stint as an associate producer at Fox.

While we were talking, it hit me that a decade has passed since my FNC days — and that the winding road of my career has mirrored the twists and turns in my love life.

For seven years, I pursued my passion for TV news, traveling like a serial monogamist through jobs in writing, producing and on-camera reporting. With every gig, I learned something about myself — just as I have from each of the men I’ve dated.

I think that jobs, much like relationships, aren’t necessarily meant to last forever, but to prepare for you what comes next. By illuminating who you are and refining your vision of what you want for yourself, they help equip you to make that vision a reality, even if it means taking a few detours along the way.

Over time, I’ve found that each detour is less a bump in the road and more an opportunity to make a fresh start. Because in both life and love, it’s never too late to begin again.

Comment » | career changes, Fox and Friends, Fox News Channel, love lessons, Steve Doocy, Tourism Queensland, TV news

By The Numbers: On Air Edition

September 6th, 2009 — 10:01pm

I recently had the pleasure of catching up with my former Fox News boss and good friend Jerry.

Over a delicious lunch at Ben’s Kosher Deli & Restaurant in NYC’s Garment District, we reminisced about our days together at Fox ten years ago. It should probably be illegal to have as much fun at work as we did.

Shepard Smith: This Fox News anchor fronts the primetime show that I worked on

As we recalled that magical time, I couldn’t help thinking about my former career path.

Before jumping ship to the world of public relations, I spent seven years working in TV news. From taking flight in a golf cart powered by an electric parachute to interviewing newsmakers big and small (Senator Bob Dole, Jared the Subway sandwich guy), I enjoyed plenty of adventures in pursuit of the day’s news. Here are some of the highlights — By The Numbers:

Number of jobs in TV news: 7
Number of TV news jobs that required moving out of state to small towns: 3
Number of on-camera reporting jobs: 2
Number of TV news gigs abroad (in Sydney, Australia): 1
Number of winter weather disasters experienced during TV news stints: 2

Back in ‘97, I was a morning news producer in Bangor, Maine when a devastating ice storm hit. Later, during a 2003 blizzard in Delaware that shut down the state, I did a live report on the disaster from a waist high snow bank.

Yes, producing the news may not always be glamorous but one thing is for sure — it’s one hell of a ride.

2 comments » | Australia, Bangor, Ben's Deli and Restaurant, career changes, Delaware, Fox News Channel, Maine, severe winter weather, Shepard Smith, Sydney, TV news

By The Numbers: On Air Edition

September 6th, 2009 — 5:01pm

I recently had the pleasure of catching up with my former Fox News boss and good friend Jerry.

Over a delicious lunch at Ben’s Kosher Deli & Restaurant in NYC’s Garment District, we reminisced about our days together at Fox ten years ago. It should probably be illegal to have as much fun at work as we did.

Shepard Smith: This Fox News anchor fronts the primetime show that I worked on

As we recalled that magical time, I couldn’t help thinking about my former career path.

Before jumping ship to the world of public relations, I spent seven years working in TV news. From taking flight in a golf cart powered by an electric parachute to interviewing newsmakers big and small (Senator Bob Dole, Jared the Subway sandwich guy), I enjoyed plenty of adventures in pursuit of the day’s news. Here are some of the highlights — By The Numbers:

Number of jobs in TV news: 7
Number of TV news jobs that required moving out of state to small towns: 3
Number of on-camera reporting jobs: 2
Number of TV news gigs abroad (in Sydney, Australia): 1
Number of winter weather disasters experienced during TV news stints: 2

Back in ‘97, I was a morning news producer in Bangor, Maine when a devastating ice storm hit. Later, during a 2003 blizzard in Delaware that shut down the state, I did a live report on the disaster from a waist high snow bank.

Yes, producing the news may not always be glamorous but one thing is for sure — it’s one hell of a ride.

2 comments » | Australia, Bangor, Ben's Deli and Restaurant, career changes, Delaware, Fox News Channel, Maine, severe winter weather, Shepard Smith, Sydney, TV news

By The Numbers: Professional Gypsy Edition

June 19th, 2009 — 11:00pm

During my ten year journalism school reunion back in April, I attended a panel about reinventing yourself. I couldn’t help thinking about how that phrase has applied to my career before and since attending Columbia‘s j-school.

Reporting Live: That’s me with the microphone during my on-air days at WBOC-TV in Dover, Delaware, 2002

It’s been quite a journey from my days as a fresh-faced college graduate to my current profession of travel PR. I’ve written about municipal bonds for a trade newspaper, reported live during a Delaware blizzard and researched business segments for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Here are some of the bends in the long and winding road of my career — By The Numbers:

Number of jobs since graduating from Mount Holyoke College: 10
Number of career changes: 2
Number of small market TV news jobs outside of New York: 4
Number of overseas jobs: 1
Number of years spent working in PR: 4.5

Four and a half years after making the transition to travel PR and joining Quinn & Company, I feel the same as I did when I first started — fortunate to work for talented, honorable people and to be promoting one of my biggest passions, travel. Even better, I get to do this in the world’s greatest city.

Comment » | Australia, By The Numbers, career changes, journalism school, Quinn and Company, travel PR, TV news

Back to top