Jen Patterson

“I’d say the most important step I took was to create my own way of working that was different than the agency I was at. There was a point where my boss had wanted to promote me but the CEO said no – he wanted a more “brand name” planner to lead the department. That rejection was absolutely freeing. I ended up moving to Seattle from LA to be closer to my family. And the distance from work – I still worked in LA but was much more remote – gave me the opportunity to work in a way that was way more in sync with who I was. The culture was very hierarchical – top down influence, big formal meetings, lots of “selling” and convincing. I never felt comfortable in that culture though they are very successful – it just was never me. I started to work in a way that was flatter, more collaborative. I would call my clients and have quick, 10 minute check-in’s on something small I was thinking about. I started to listen more and talk less, to believe the answer would present itself rather than to work for it. Within a year, the agency came back to me asking me to take the job that I hadn’t been “brand name” enough for. Creating and executing my own vision was what got me noticed.”

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