Taylor Bradley's Perfectly Winding Path to — and within — Prosek
Most Thursday nights in high school and college, I was glued to the TV watching the newest episode of Scandal, admiring the dynamic television figure that was Olivia Pope. With a love for politics, communications and helping people, I wanted to become Olivia Pope (but with morals).
Growing up in rural South Carolina, I was driven by the idea of empowering people from small communities like mine to fully pursue their American dreams and create lives they could be proud of, regardless of the zip code they grew up in.
My plan was simple, I’d spend 5 to 10 years working in DC politics and eventually move home to run my own shop or manage campaigns for candidates I believed in.
As I approach my 5-year anniversary since I began living in DC, it’s safe to say my plan hasn’t exactly unfolded the way that I thought it would.
Two career changes and a move to New York City - and back - later, my journey has taken quite an interesting turn.
After spending nearly two and a half years working as a communications staffer on Capitol Hill, I knew I was ready for something new. The only problem was, I didn’t exactly know what I was looking for as the next step in my career. Then, Prosek found me.
One day I noticed a message on LinkedIn from a company I wasn’t quite familiar with, and I wasn’t convinced that I’d take the opportunity seriously. But I replied, and as I met with more and more people from the firm, I was intrigued by the idea of being a part of what was happening here. The idea of packing up and moving my life to New York seemed terrifying, but there really seemed to be something special about this place.
A few weeks later I sat in my car for 20 minutes listening to my dad tell me 101 reasons why New York City was a bad idea. “Tell them thanks, but no thanks,” he advised, and the call ended.
“Olivia Pope would go with her gut,” I reminded myself. And my gut was telling me this was the right move.
A few minutes later, I walked into work and submitted my resignation. My dad eventually forgave me for ignoring his advice and over the course of two months, I packed my bags, moved to a new city, and found myself in a new role as an Account Executive at Prosek Partners.
The early days of the new job came with a unique set of challenges. I was learning how an agency operated, getting to know a completely new industry, and acquainting myself to a new environment. However, my colleagues and teams supported me and were invested in my professional development. The unfamiliarity faded, and within a year I found myself an expert on new clients in a new industry.
Right as I began to feel fully settled, a new path found itself knocking on my door.
“What do you think about joining the HR team,” a Prosek mentor asked.
At the time I wasn’t extremely familiar with what all HR entailed, nor had I given it much thought as a career path. But I walked away from that surprise lunch once again intrigued by the thought of doing something new, and stepping back into a space centered around the passion that originally drove me to D.C.—helping people pursue their dreams.
The rest of the story speaks for itself.
Within months I found myself once again transitioning to a new role, a new team, and back to my home away from home, Washington D.C.
The transition to the HR team and learning the recruiting space has been one of the most fulfilling changes I’ve found in my career. I was drawn to government and politics because I wanted to help people pursue their own versions of their American dreams. HR has equipped me to do just that - with far less red tape than the federal government.
Every day I meet with and source candidates in hopes of helping them fulfill their own career dreams. For some of those candidates, their paths may even take several winds like mine has.
Winding paths to Prosek, and even winding paths within Prosek, are what makes our firm work. Our people, with their varied experiences, backgrounds, and skills are the foundation of our firm’s rise .
Walking down K Street each morning, I’ve become my own version of Olivia Pope. And yes, with morals.
I proudly wear my white hat as career gladiator, a great negotiator, and a helper to my teammates in fixing whatever problems the day may bring.
My title is a Talent Acquisition Associate, but in my day to day work, I am a career builder, a talent hunter, and a collaborator. While my plan may not have unfolded exactly how I thought it would, my story has become something greater than I could have ever imagined.