Dear full-time job hunting

Dear full-time job hunting,

I know we’ve flirted off and on throughout the years, and when I left my last gig, we got more serious. But there’s something you need to know. We’ve been together for almost a year now, and I have to tell you that I don’t think its going to work out.

You’ve made big promises, made me feel like if only I’d stick with you that everything I want would come to pass, that I could get out of NYC, be able to afford all the toys I could ever want, and live a fulfilled life.  I know that many others have been convinced to stick with you, that you can make it all better, but I think it’s time for me to bow out.

Broken Up Tags on BeaconIn a way, I’ve always known that your promises are not for me. I’ve gone down that road for a long time, with different partners off and on, and I’ve always felt financially secure when I’m with them, but never really felt alive. Ultimately the desk, computer and phone you’re dangling like a carrot is not what I’m looking for anymore.  You’re all about the promise of security at the cost of autonomy and stifling of creativity, and that’s just not what I need right now.

You may not know this about me, job hunt, but my parents are artists who forged their own paths without needing you much, and I need to figure out where my own path is. I need to focus on myself, try a bunch of things on my own, experiment.  Sure, some things won’t work out, but this is the right decision for me, I feel sure of it.

We’ve had our good times, and I’ve learned a lot from you, so please don’t think that I didn’t value our time together.  I’m a little nervous about sharing this with you, job hunt, but that’s part of how I know that it’s the right decision for me, and for you too.  You’ve had a rough few years, and you’re certainly not at your best right now.   Maybe taking some time for yourself will help you too!

In the meantime, I’m going to start working on some projects, many of which I will post about here, should you decide you want to check in on me.  I’m going to spend some time looking for people who are more like me, people I can inspire and be inspired by, and I’m gonna connect with them to the best of my ability to try to create something special.

Please don’t be sad, maybe we can be together again someday, but, you know…don’t wait up for me.



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!

In which Jeremy’s time with @WaggenerEdstrom comes to an end, and he asks for help.

So, here’s some news.

As of the beginning of January, I will be leaving my position as Digital Strategy Specialist at Waggener Edstrom‘s Studio D.

This decision comes at the end of some intense reflection about what I truly value and what I want to be a part of creating.  My focus has always been to see things from the community side, rather than the corporate ROI side, and this is something that I’d like to focus more on professionally.

I do truly believe that when it comes to business storytelling, social innovation awareness and digital strategies for business, there are few better than the team at Waggener, and I wholeheartedly recommend their services if you or your organization find yourself in need of such things.

In the meantime, I do not have another gig lined up, so here’s where I humbly call upon the power of the interwebs and my friends who read my blog.

If you know of a position or a company that you think might be a good fit for me, if you’d like to chat about opportunities, if there’s something you’d like my input on, if I can help in any way, please let me know. My email is jeremy at this domain.  My resume is easily viewed or downloaded as a Word document, and I have a profile at LinkedIn.

For some context, here’s my Career Objective from said document.

I am passionate about leveling the playing field between companies and fans by facilitating conversations around personal experiences that encourage real connection.  I lead story-based projects, fueled by this collaboration, that build, feed and grow communities

I’m thinking seriously about industries such as Video Games, where the people working on the product exist within their target audience.   In other words, the makers geek out on the same things as the consumers.  That makes community building (the thing I care about) so much simpler and more fun.

I am not at all adverse to leaving the NYC area, especially if it involves the west cost.

I am not interested in a job that is mostly social media strategy, but for the right company, I could be swayed.  I would really like to work at a company doing a variety of work, rather than at an agency for a variety of clients.  But again, given the right environment and culture, I could be swayed.

Oh, also… If you think you’d like my job (Digital Strategist with a focus on new business and located in the NYC office), I will have a job description available shortly, so feel free to contact me on Twitter.

So, I call upon you, my dear friends, community members, associates.  Let’s demonstrate the power of connection.

Thanks for your time.

[Previously: In which Jeremy’s career begins a new direction at @WaggenerEdstrom]