I try to keep the “social media madness” to a minimum here, because that’s not really what this blog is about. But this is where I document all my “life stuff” including career stuff, so I thought I would make note of it. And this post is really about the process of deciding what to tackle next in my work life, rather than the social media fishbowl of it all.
I am doing that “zig when people expect me to zag” thing again at work.
I am not ashamed to say that I am pretty much at the top of my game when it comes to what I do for a living. There are plenty of people with more Twitter followers, blog subscribers and a larger community of fanboys than me. (As you can see, I’m crying big buckets of jealous tears over that. 😉 Or not.)
But when it comes to the quality of my work, my clients’ and employers’ satisfaction level, the stuff I’ve learned-by-doing, and the creative variety of projects I’ve been blessed to work on… yeah. I submit, as humbly as I can under the circumstances, I’m pretty kickass.
I could comfortably keep doing this well, and getting paid to do it well, for a really long time. So it seems like the only thing left to do, is start doing something else.
The “something else” is something that I’ve actually been doing for a while now, but it hasn’t been my primary focus. It’s something that I’ve realized in the last few months, we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of its value for our clients. So after a lot of talking with my very smart bosses, I’m going to be putting on my mining gear and digging into this particular vein of awesome.
I’m really excited as I delve into this new area of specialization. It’s challenging in the same way that social media execution and activation were challenging to me in early 2007, when I took on my first big client project. It’s fascinating to me the same way that message boards and blogs were when I first dove into the social web on a personal level in 2002 or so. It’s exciting to me the same way that the BBS was when I used it to find the other comic geeks at IUS back in the early 90s. It’s also a little scary and intimidating.
And while I said I could comfortably keep doing what I’m doing for a long time, that wasn’t 100% accurate. The truth is, I need to be challenged. I need to be in over my head a little. Also, as a wise man (or maybe just a wise guy) once said, “a person doesn’t scale.” There’s only so much of me to go around. I can’t scale myself to do amazing work on multiple clients with fully-launched, highly-active social media programs.
My new specialization will let me continue to contribute to the success of my existing clients, and maintain those professional relationships (and even work with some new clients). It will allow me to better develop some talents that I haven’t had a chance to really let shine before.
I’ve always said I want to advance in my career but I have no interest in being a manager or supervisor. I prefer being a pace-setter and leading by example to being “the designated leader.” This move will allow me to grow without having to take on supervisory or managerial role that I know I wouldn’t be good at and wouldn’t be happy doing. I’ve seen too many ambitious friends bite off more than they could chew in that respect, and I want to learn from their mistakes.
I’m working with my fabulous employer to make a smooth and happy transition that will keep everyone happy.