5 Lessons for Finding Your Ideal Executive Gig
Mojo40: What was your biggest challenge while job hunting?
Amy: Feeling that I was still relevant. When I was employed, I was used to reading so many professional journals and having all these conversations, and suddenly it was hard not to feel plugged in.
M: How did you get your current position?
A: I knew Progenics Pharmaceuticals because the company had been my client twice before, when I was working at agencies. The CEO had been aware of my abrupt departure. While seeking work, I made the effort to go to industry conferences where I would run into contacts, and to stay in touch. That was a crucial step when my predecessor in this job, who was director of Progenics’ corporate affairs and investor relations, went on maternity leave. I replaced her and am currently acting director.
M: What do you know now that you wish you knew a year ago?
A: I have learned two big lessons. One is something I already half knew, which is that sometimes you are not done with something, you are just done with doing it the way you previously did. I am doing the same type of work I did in an agency setting, but now I function as an in-house person, and that makes a difference.
M: And the second lesson?
A: You must remain open to serendipity. This job is what I wanted, but I didn’t look for it because I didn’t believe it existed. I hoped to go back to work outside the home, but I also wanted to have energy left over at the end of the day. Agencies are high-energy places that can drain you of your life essences, if you permit it. The adrenaline rush can be addicting, but I also endured a one hour commute twice daily, and sacrificed major time with my family. Now I enjoy work that is intellectually and emotionally satisfying but doesn’t drain me entirely.