CAREERS: My Big Break

In 1995, my career looked like it was over - at the ripe old age of 27. From 1989, I had 'careered from career to career' as Stephen Sondheim once wrote. While my battle scars along the way should have made me a well-paid warrior, I ended up nothing more than a casualty looking for a job.

The turning point came when I answered an ad for a job at Edelman Worldwide.

In the middle of my interview, Richard Edelman burst into the meeting to scream at my interviewer that he had better get Black Enterprise magazine's 25th Anniversary in Kevin Goldman's advertising column in The Wall Street Journal.

My interviewer looked ashen. I smiled. In my bag I had a list of references and Kevin was one of them. I said, 'I can call Kevin for you, in fact on my reference list I have his home number - he's in the Hamptons this weekend.'

I got the job and I have never looked back. When I pitched Kevin, he refused to do the story. I didn't tell anyone, but got it in the Journal anyway through a different reporter! Six years later, my salary has now tripled and I'm enjoying a very rewarding career.

Ken Kerrigan is associate director, public relations at Ernst & Young. Where I Work.

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