I had eight jobs in the first ten years of my career because I wasn’t willing to settle; I wasn’t willing to lose an opportunity to take things up a notch for myself. Even though I longed to be an entrepreneur, I didn’t know what my business would look like. So I kept saying yes to the seemingly amazing job opportunities that presented themselves, knowing that I would be an entrepreneur one day, when I was ready.
The intersection of work and play has always intrigued me and has led me to find unique ways to merge my hobbies and interests with my career. From music to beauty, social good to health and wellness, I spent ten years leveraging brands through marketing, public relations, event production, and social media. I worked at brands like Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and Avon, tech-startup Buddy Media (which was acquired by Salesforce), and agencies working with clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Disney, Ann Taylor, Coty Beauty, Mally Beauty and David Kirsch.
In 2012, I was running the social media team at a beauty pr firm and suddenly couldn’t breathe. I’d walk a few blocks in Manhattan and up two flights of stairs to my apartment and immediately collapse. Something wasn’t right. After several months of medications, inhalers and lots of testing, my doctors discovered I had a cyst the size of a golf-ball in my right lung.
I could no longer ignore the rare immune deficiency I was diagnosed with at 10-years old. I had surgery to remove ¼ of my right lung on March 5, 2012. It was the darkest and scariest time in my life. I went on medical leave from my job for two months, returned, and recognized the importance of working a job that I was fulfilled by.
My current job wasn’t it.
I decided to seek out a career coach — someone who could help me navigate a career transition and get clarity on what it was that I wanted to do. I had no idea what I wanted, I just knew I needed to get out of my current toxic work environment. My coach supported me as I explored different avenues and in October 2012, I found myself working at an event production and brand strategy firm that works specifically with mission-driven brands and nonprofits. As managing director at Agent of Change, I turned ideas into action through live events for the company's clients, which included the David Lynch Foundation, Headstrong Project, Team Rubicon, Bent on Learning, and the Lower Eastside Girls Club.