What’s next for me: What I bring to the table as an employee.

I’ve been out of work since January 5th.  Thank you so much to everyone who has offered well-wishes and connections (truly the power of friendship, both online and off), and I look forward to repaying the kindness someday. I’ve met with a few folks, have some leads, and I’m still on the hunt for that ideal match.  I’ve taken some time these last few weeks to reflect on the kind of employee I am capable of being, and the kind of employer that would be the best fit for me. Though my critical inner voice is saying that posting this here is self-serving, I hope that it may open up some opportunities, and also that perhaps some of you might spend some time reflecting as I have, and share some of your insights as well.

Throughout my life, a core focus of mine has been creating environments where people can share, be themselves and feel safe and inspired. Sometimes this has manifested itself through online peer counseling in chat rooms (in the mid 90s), to DJing (for a decade), to helping to get the stories behind classic music told through podcasting, to my latest incarnation, helping companies communicate online.

Ultimately what it comes down to, in terms of a philosophy, is this: I care about creating a great experience for and with people who honor us with their attention.

Some of what I bring to the table:

  • Over a decade of professional experience (both in the music industry and PR world) focusing on meeting or exceeding the needs of communities to be connected, informed and entertained in a shared environment where consumers and businesses are on even ground.
  • A truly collaborative employee. I don’t like to be ‘the expert in the room’.  When I am on a team with smart, open people I will raise the level of creativity, collaboration, execution and creative results.
  • A thoughtful, passionate writer.  I love language, its specificity, and using it in clever ways.  Feel free to peruse the archives of this blog for some samples.
  • A focus on strategic execution.  I like to be in the trenches, building stories, connecting with people, producing.  I also enjoy the creative process of coming up with strategic arcs, breaking a story and keeping to it.
  • Deep and broad interest in a wide range of disciplines. Honestly, this has made it challenging to job hunt in the traditional way.  Am I interested in community management? Sure.  Am I also interested in digital strategy development? For the right thing, sure.  Am I a passionate, creative and dedicated producer of content and conversation? Absolutely. Would I be happy only doing one of these things as my job, when I could be rocking at several, and learning and growing along the way?? I’m not so sure.
  • A fundamental allegiance to the end user. I work to ensure that their perspective is heard, that whatever we do is interesting and valuable to them, because ultimately they are what matters.

My ideal environment:

I’m interested in working a non-corporate small-to-medium sized company focused on customer value.  I’m also looking to relocate away from NYC if possible.

That having been said, here’s some thoughts on that topic:

  • I believe that enabling connection through the sharing of common experience is at the core of making the world a better place, and that the story of a thing (when told well) is as interesting as the thing itself.  To that end, I’ve found the most professional joy when I’m developing and producing remarkable online content that tell stories in a compelling, unique, personal and valuable way. This has taken the form of producing podcast series, writing blogs, and interviewing people and compiling for video series.
  • Any job where I can explore a topic with a bunch of interested, passionate people from a variety of angles for the benefit of a community would be awesome.
  • Although I like to have a variety of work, it would take a very very special place for me to go to an agency, at this point.
  • To me, Social Media (one of the few times I use that phrase on my blog) and the channels, metrics and ‘stars’ are the least interesting part of the transformative nature of technology.  To that end, I’m not sure that continuing in the ‘social media strategy’ world would be the best fit for me.

I’ve been finding that the points above make it a bit of a challenge to job hunt in the “well, heres generally what I want to do, but there doesn’t seem to be a job title that describes it out there, really.”  I enjoy doing a lot of different things, and for me the group culture may end up being more important than the specific position.

Anyway, if this post speaks to you in either a “we need someone like him at my company” or “I have something to add”, I would love to hear from you.  More formally, I’ve posted my resume (DOC, also in HTML), and my LinkedIn has more detail on me, professionally.

I’m looking forward to what the next chapter may have in store for me!

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[…] I transition from full-time work, to looking for full-time work, to whatever my career is going to become now that I’ve stopped actively pursuing full-time […]

Jill Elswick

Great post, Jeremy. I know you will find a fit, especially since you’ve articulated it so well.