BUSINESS / CAREER
This is the second part in my Good bye 2015 series. If you missed the first one on Fatherhood you can find it HERE.
There is a lot here. Let me not bury the lead by asking upfront for an introduction to any person who is working at a company that is struggling with engagement and retention of their employees or alumni. If they are ready to do something about it, I’d like to have a casual conversation about how I could help as a full-time employee focused on changing things around. They can get to know me by watching the videos on my Job site.
Ok, back to the regularly scheduled blog post…
2015 was a big Business / Career year filled with ups and downs. Personally and honestly it felt more down than up, but it’s like that some time. My attitude is usually,
“The story is still being written so you can’t judge the situation just yet.”
But, I also learned, more than in other years that Wu-Tang was almost right when they sang, “Cash Rules Everything Around Me.”
I would replace “Cash,” with “Cashflow.” We all know the story of situations where businesses have money coming in but it just hasn’t arrived yet. You know you’re expecting this money because you made sure you carried out sensitivity analysis on all the areas of your business before you’d even set it up. All the “what-if” scenarios you carried out all said you were going to have money coming into the business. But where was it? Terms like net 30, 60 or 90 can easily make a business busy but also broke.
For me, I’ve always had the comfort of being a side hustler (meaning, I had a full-time job while working on some kind of business / side project) until the end of 2013 when the place I was working at, Intel in Massachusetts closed down. I had hopes of taking on a new role, actually one I really loved (It actually had the title, “Ambassador,” in it) with them but the cash and opportunity just wasn’t there.
I decided to try my hand at building something while also freelancing but time it would take longer than expected to get it where I wanted it to be and figure out the business model.
Here is a recap of my business and career in 2015.
As a Freelancer
2015 gave me the opportunity to work with some pretty awesome people.
I had a chance to work with Michael Margolis and his Undeniable Story course. I learned a lot from him in a short amount of time about business, writing and showing up powerfully. Sayings like “open kimono,” and “That fish? You’re not ready for that fish,” has expanded by vocabulary. He even got me to eat a meal without meat. “Thank you,” to Sarah Peck for bringing me beef jerky the next day–You are going to be an awesome mom.
I had the opportunity to work with Pam Slim who is just plain awesome. I worked on the community aspect of her Indispensable Course, helping to create community / engagement and also serve as a coach.
For the third year in a row I served as the Director of Attendee Engagement (consultant) and conference networking ambassador for Social Media Examiner and their Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego. If felt really good to help people make connections in unique way.
My work with Social Media Examiner is one of those opportunities that gives me hope about people who really care about people. From their first conference in 2013 they made sure networking was an huge part of their plan. We are not just talking lip service. They understand that most people come to a conference because of content but it’s really the connections that last.
I worked with Framingham State University again after reaching out to someone who saw me speak there a couple of years ago. I reach outed, she remembered who I was and she connected me to the MetroWest College Planning Center which resulted in a series of speaking engagements and a large purchase of my books. The lesson here is to stay in touch and check-in with people you’ve met every so often. You never know what will happen.
As a Creator
In 2015 I launched my first podcast called, “No More Reasonable Doubt.” The focus is on interviewing seasoned professionals of color and getting their story so young professionals of color gain exposure to what is possible.
I want young professionals of color to listen to the podcast and say, “Oh snap, I didn’t know that was possible,” and “Oh snap, I didn’t know that was possible for someone who looks like me.”
I’ve gotten over 30 interviews done and out the door in 2015 and have been blessed with a virtual assistant to help with some of the post editing.
I started with the vision of building a community but that was slow and I had to give it less love as I focus on my job search.
Speaking of job searches…
“Wow,” is all I have to say as I look back on the 2015 job search journey. It’s not over but I’m hoping it will be soon.
I learned a lot in the job searching process. A big part of that learning was about myself.
There is this very difficult dance between seeing a fault in the search system and sour grapes that I’ve been doing.
I applied to a wide range of companies and roles as I honed in my resume(s), job website and thinking about my skills.
One thing that has been really tough for me is presenting my dynamic background and interest in a way that makes sense to the traditional,“You must have been in the same industry and company for X amount of years,” thinkers.
This is very personal. I know there is a bit that isn’t supposed to be about me. It’s really about the company and helping them to solve problems, but the overall process and feeling is one that feels very one-sided in favor of the companies.
I’ve read the reports about the talent wars and the balance being tipped in the favor of the employees but anytime I apply for a position that says, “We are not accepting emails or calls about this position,” or “We cannot respond to everyone who applies so if we feel your skills match what we are looking for, we will be in touch,” I have to wonder.
I was fortunate to start a mailing list of folks who I would email with the positions I’m looking for and introductions I was looking to make. One of the people in the group, reminded me that it’s about the problem I solve and getting in touch with the person who has the power to say, “Yes or No.” I’m grateful.
I did learn not to put all my eggs in one basket as I did when I went through three rounds of interviews with a company and wasn’t brought back to the fourth and final interview. The two finalist had experience with the software that I did not. One was a former customer and the other was an employee. I was a little hurt because the first month with this company is dedicated to training. Based on my technical background with building websites this would have been an easy topic for me to pick up. But it didn’t work out that way. Broke my heart.
Where I am at the end of 2015
I am searching for an opportunity that focuses on helping companies save money by engaging and retaining their employees and alumni.
I’m also taking the tack of introducing myself to companies I’m interested in to see where they are and what some of their biggest people problems are. I get to know them and they can get to know ME and we can build from there.
There is a sense of boldness in me that is coming from a place of tired of being ignored via a resume and cover letter. I’m moving on up to video and websites to better represent myself and what I have to offer.
You can see some of my work on the job search in this post about an opportunity I screwed up and this one about my growing understanding of how you can exclude certain people from your positions.
I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shoutout to my weekly mastermind crew, Andre Blackman, Abe Cajudo, Arash aka Shammy Dee, who keep me up during some pretty rough times. Thanks guys.
Stay tuned for the next section on Spirituality.