Joy Stefanicki: 'Gain some perspective'

Joy Stefanicki, Director, Joyous Communications (candidate on BBC's Apprentice Series 6)

Joy Stefanicki
Joy Stefanicki

In 2007, I relocated to New York to be GCI Group's vice-president of corporate. The majority of my time was supposed to be spent on one client, but during our first meeting the client told me it was going to stop using the agency.

The recession started earlier in the US and the department was very quiet. It was not economically viable to keep someone in the department when it was not busy, but it was still a big shock and massive disappointment.

Although WPP tried to find another job for me at one of its other agencies, it could not get a client to commit on budget before my visa ran out. So I lost my job, my visa expired and I had to leave the country within a few weeks.

Although I knew it was nothing to do with my work, I took it badly because I was very much defined by my job. To gain some perspective, I went to Peru to do volunteer work for two months. It was one of the best things I have done and made me realise what else I had to offer.

Once back to the UK, I started freelancing through my own company and applied to be a candidate on The Apprentice. Because I was no longer afraid to take a risk, I felt I had nothing left to lose. My advice to others would be to stay positive and focused, and use redundancy as a chance to take those opportunities you might not have previously considered.

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