After stints in government and public relations, Libby Simmons joins the Pivot team as a new writer. She took some time this week to reflect on the winding path that led her to Indianapolis and Pivot:
In every professional experience, you reach a point where you ask yourself, “What’s next?” I’ve found that asking questions is often more important than having answers. A mentor from my time as an intern at the Indiana State Department of Agriculture used to sit me down to ponder life’s unanswered questions, and over the years, I have realized why he was so effective in helping me decide which path to take. He was not only a great listener. He also asked the right questions. He didn’t tell me what to do; rather, he led me to the answer.
This epiphany may seem obvious; however, how often does someone challenge you to find the answer yourself? When I left the Statehouse in 2012, my mentor asked me to make a list of the things that made me happy in the various roles I’d held. When I did, it became clear to me that the people I worked with made all the difference.
Because I like working with people, public relations was a natural fit. Working with clients allowed me to meet new people, and being part of a marketing agency allowed me to help companies tell their stories. My list of pros and cons also revealed that a rewarding career is essential to my happiness. For me, it is contributing to a cause greater than myself.
The question exercise also validated where I’ve decided to call home. All the marketing agencies I’ve worked for have had strong connections to Indy, which was important for me to feel connected to the community. After moving to St. Louis in 2014, only to return last year, I can honestly say Indy is my home for the foreseeable future. I strongly believe you have to move away to realize how much you love a place.
Pivot has felt like home since my first day at 646 Virginia Avenue, and I was drawn to the work on various civic engagement campaigns. The team’s objectives and passion aligned with many of the answers I am seeking.
I know that the perfect path does not exist. I arrived at Pivot via a winding one, riddled with a few potholes, but I am exactly where I am supposed to be.