I’ve privately told a few people already, but I’m ready to make it official (like a referee with a whistle or gangster with a pistol)! Last week I accepted a job with J.C. Hart as its Digital Marketing Specialist. I start on Thursday, and I couldn’t be more amped! A journey that started in January of this year has come to an end, and I couldn’t be happier with where my feet landed! So many emotions go into an announcement like this, especially because it signals a huge step for me as a marketing professional. For the last six-plus years I’ve been a “hired gun”. As a consultant, I’ve had a lot of great wins with a lot of great companies like Deep Ripples, BLASTmedia, V3im, SiliconANGLE, ExactTarget, and New Haircut just to name a few. But I’m hanging up my full-time consulting hat, and dawning a new full-time on-brand marketer hat.
The job search isn’t fun. When you’re being courted for a new job from a position of power (reads: already have a great job) that’s fun. But when you don’t have that good job to lean on, it can be devastating to hear the phrase, “We’ve gone with someone else.” I had a lot of interviews over the past seven months with some awesome companies…and interviews I thought I nailed! Unfortunately, I heard my fair-share of no’s over the past seven months. If I had one key takeaway from my experience it would be this: Don’t let the word no stop you. If I had given up my search for a great opportunity after my first no, or second, or third…I wouldn’t be in the spot I am today announcing this awesome next-step in my marketing career.
January through June of this year I did a lot of backchannel looking for jobs and pushing the ball down the field on a couple of potentially great opportunities. But there were some huge life changes that were coming my way in August, so I decided to finally flex my network muscle. Building relationships is something that I’ve taken very seriously for a very long time. So on July 24th I sent out an email to 48 people in my trust-circle, activating them as someone to potentially help me in my quest.
I took the email very seriously too, so much so that I had my friend Kara Findley optimize it for me. Kara is a friend from both of our former ExactTarget days, and when I asked her to help me with the email, I thought it was already perfect. Two minutes later and what felt like 40 changes I immediately said to myself, “Crap this is way better.” LOL (Kara is really good at what she does) So I had a few more friends look at it, and then I hit send. I obviously personalized it to each person, but here is a copy of one I sent:
A huge life change is happening for me on August 1 – namely becoming the single parent of my two nephews. My work has gotten some good press lately, which seems like a great time to take the next step in my career. If you know of any opportunities that might be a good fit, would you please help introduce me?
What I’m looking for: Mid-level marketing manager position with room to grow. Salary and benefits suitable for a family man.
Link to my resume: Here
More details: My next move marketing job blog post here
I would greatly appreciate any help you can offer during this transition in my life!
What is new in your life? I hope you’ve been doing great, and thank you for your continued friendship and support!
PS: I thought this was a great post: http://prtini.com/4-reasons-your-pr-program-will-fail/. I think you could do an entire post on #2, mobile gap because so many clients/websites are expectations-dumb here.
PSS: #skypecoffee soon? I’d love to get on your calendar.
I share this with you because an opinion I’m very strong of, is the opinion that you have to ask for what you want. The people around you in your trust-circle, sphere of influence, whatever-you-choose-to-call-it are folks that want to help. But the first step is letting them know that you need help. Remember, they have busy lives too — you can’t expect them to be keeping a keen tab on your life. The next step is to give them a very clear outcome of your ask and specifics to how they can help. I identified the position I was looking for, compensation, linked them to my resume and lastly linked them to a blog post depicting everything in much greater detail.
Well did it work Ryan?
Heather Whaling is the friend I sent the email to above. She is the Owner & President of Geben Communication. Heather is someone I connected with two years ago through my normal routine of finding awesome people to dig deeper with. Heather is someone who was consistently popping up in my digital life. Whether it was a guest post somewhere, tweeting at someone I knew, or otherwise doing something that other people noticed — I noticed. So I started a conversation with her and asked her to grab #skypecoffee and connect on a deeper level.
Two years later, she’s someone I considered to be one of my top business friends + minds, and is someone I felt comfortable with leaning on for an ask as big as job recommendations.
Timing is everything. Heather had just heard of an opportunity in Indianapolis, and she made an introduction that quickly became a very serious opportunity. Think about that. Heather, in Ohio, made a recommendation in Indianapolis for me (and I lived in Indianapolis). Use the Internet to your advantage, seriously people.
A month later I had accepted that opportunity, and am set to begin the next step in my marketing career.
J.C. Hart is a phenomenal company. For more than 30 years, the J.C. Hart Company has been developing, building, and managing distinctive apartment communities. Bluntly put, they’re the best of the best. As their Digital Marketing Specialist I’ll take the lead on all of our digital marketing efforts, and really perfecting our processes of data collection and optimizing the customer journey. The first time I sat down with my boss Mark Juleen, I knew it was going to be a great fit. I’m going to be given a tone of responsibilities (which as self-motivated guy I needed) but also given the opportunity to learn from someone who is damn good at what they do.
We’re looking to position J.C. Hart as the industry leader in apartment marketing. From social to inbound, what about the apartment on-boarding process can be improved? What do you expect but aren’t getting out of your apartment community? How do you create value-add to a one time purchase, but year-long experience? There is so much to think about, it gets my juices flowing just writing about it. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. Taking an existing brand and moving it to the next level of success is like a kid in a candy store to an growth marketer like myself.
There is a tone of on-brand experience I’m going to gain in this opportunity. But there is one aspect about the J.C. Hart offer that is best described as the 100 pounds of icing on the cake. J.C. Hart has been approved for a $43 million residential/retail development along the 500 block of Massachusetts Avenue. Part of the development is the first digital media board in downtown Indianapolis. Think Time Square, without the 24-7 ads. Being a part of the marketing team that is bringing this next step of digital innovation to Indianapolis was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Now granted, there are a lot of hurdles to get over, but the digital media wall is something that any marketer would covet…immensely. I’m super stoked at the possibilities!
So there it is and that’s the news! I’ve accepted an offer from J.C. Hart to become their Digital Marketing Specialist. I start Thursday! To all of those who have been supporting me from day one, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, it means the world to me. You rock.