Friday, June 28, 2013

What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?

Or maybe...

What do I want to be next month? That is the pressing question.

With my current role ending, it hit me that I haven't looked for a job in fourteen years. Back then I was a new college graduate with a degree in English and a teaching license. Ever since, the jobs have found me.

But as I begin to seek the next opportunity, I realize the experience I've gained in the interim is wide and varied and doesn't point directly to me doing one specific thing in this season.

Can I tell you what I love to do, and what I have done? Then you can tell me if you have (or know of) a team that could use someone like me.

Writing and Editing

This is where I have put in my 10,000 hours. I've done both corporate communication (a newsletter with a 37% open rate) and content creation (news articles, interviews, reviews, and curriculum). I self-edit this blog, so it can give you an idea of what my work looks like before anyone else takes a red pen to it. I'm open to your red pen, though, and I think I'm an even better writer when I have a good editor.

I can also copy edit in my sleep. Well, not quite, but almost. I'm a grammar, punctuation, spelling and usage geek. I like to make every word count. But I promise I will be kind while I'm making you sound good.


The last long season in my professional life absolutely exploded my definition of the word relationships. I was able to learn and grow relationally in so many different ways.

I got to invest in the "go-out-for-coffee" kind of relationships as I served as a mentor for college students. I built a professional network, seeking and cultivating partnerships with dozens of internship site supervisors and guest speakers throughout the city as part of the internship program I managed. 

I spent a great deal of time planning events for up to 200 people and found that my greatest satisfaction in that task was optimizing the experience for the people involved. (I've also been told that as a result, I'm good at "herding people," with a comfortable balance of being assertive and relaxed.)

Finally, even though I lean right-brained rather than left, I discovered how vital the "record in a database" kind of relationship is to an organization striving to increase audience engagement and loyalty. I got to dive deep into a requirements-gathering and data-mapping project for a relationship management system for our organization. I know how vital it is for an organization to use the data it collects about constituents to maximize relationships with them.


I love creating good, effective processes and connecting people and tools to them. I think people enjoy their jobs more when we minimize the obstacles between them and what they're trying to accomplish.

I also think strategically in relation to the content I create, because in an age of digital communication, it's no longer enough to have a great article, video or product. You also have to use available tools to help your audience engage with those things. I've used web platforms and social media in tandem to invite constituents into relationship. 

An Illustration

Here's how all three of these strengths can work together: 

In my most recent role, I was given charge of placing leadership students in discipline-specific internships within Focus on the Family and around Colorado Springs. The program had been running for 15 years and had some solid sites for students, but the processes needed some refining. Here's what I did to streamline and improve the program: 

1) Utilize a team of volunteers to reach out to past supervisors, update contact information and renew relationships. 

2) Standardize the format for intern job descriptions and rewrite 50 descriptions based on feedback from supervisors. 

3) Move the list of sites and job descriptions from a paper document to an online home. Change student placement process from paper to online process. 

4) Implement more regular site visits for the first 3 semesters of my leadership of the program to gather more personal feedback from supervisors and students. 

5) Personalize placement process for students to change perception of the program from one of "random placement" in a professional experience to students feeling their internships had been hand-picked for them. 


If your team has a need for my kind of experience, I'd love to talk about joining you. Because of my season of life (I'm a young parent), I'm seeking part-time or full-time remote positions or contract work, because it's a high priority to be here for these two: 

Can you blame me? :) 

Having worked partially from home in my last role, I do know that working from home with small children is more complicated than it sounds, but please know that I'm committed to finding (and making) dedicated time for my work. 

If you'd like to talk further, comment below, connect with me on LinkedIn, or download my resume to view my contact information. 

1 comment: