Wherein I Use My Powers for Good

I often tell myself it’s a blessing to know the thing you’re amazing at, even if it’s not an amazing thing. But sometimes, just knowing what you’re good at can lead to something amazing.

Lots of people go through their whole lives and never figure out what they’re the best at doing. For me, apparently, that is posting stuff on Facebook. It’s underwhelming as far as superpowers go, but you play the hand you’re dealt.

I accepted long ago that the big accomplishment of my life was not going to be curing cancer. I’m not entirely sure I could perform CPR successfully, much less come up with some medical advancement. I resigned myself to the fact that my special gift is the ability to use words and pictures on social media to manipulate people for fun and profit.

I’ve tried to deploy this talent on behalf of companies I admire. I wasn’t saving the world, but I was providing for my family, and that was enough.

Mostly.

However, my personality type is INFP, aka “the Idealist.” You might imagine, someone whose personality is described as an idealist has a bit of a tough time reconciling a career in marketing and advertising. While the work has been rewarding in terms of being creatively challenging and fun, there’s always been an itch that the pursuit of commercial gain does not scratch.

Soon, that will be changing.

I am thrilled to announce that this month, I will be joining Audacity Factory as the Senior Manager of Social Marketing, specifically to work towards their vision of ending modern slavery and human trafficking.

The brilliant and hilarious Joe Schmidt, who I worked with during my tenure at CafePress, invited me to come on board. They have big plans for 2016, and they wanted someone with experience getting a big reaction out of people on social media. I’d demonstrated I could do that in service of selling t-shirts and coffee mugs. Was I interested in doing it on behalf of a humanitarian cause?

Believe me, I look a lot more like Edna Mode than Gal Gadot...
Believe me, I look a lot more like Edna Mode than Gal Gadot…

Gee, let’s see. Would I be willing to use my (admittedly laughable) superpowers to fight actual evil?

WELL, OF COURSE I WOULD. DUH.

That said, this is kind of terrifying. I’ve done a lot of social media marketing for big brands, but this is my first time working for a charitable cause. I’m only beginning to understand the scope of the issue. True to their name, Audacity Factory has some truly audacious goals.

Over the course of my career, I’ve been blessed to have a lot of amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. I’ve gained so much from every company who’s hired me, and I hope I’ve contributed something to them as well. This feels both unexpected, and yet it makes absolute perfect sense.

2 Comments


  1. ·

    Getting satisfaction from work can take many forms. I once went from one of the first webmaster jobs to one with much higher pay but far less visible/tangible results from my work. It took me a long while to figure out why I was unhappy there. I liked my coworkers. I was treated well by management. I generally got to leave my work at work, which is rare in the IT realm. But I couldn’t point to anything and say, “I did that” and feel pride in it.
    My current job isn’t glamorous or exciting. The work ranges from tedious to stressful, but I feel it is *important* because it supports the work of hundreds of researchers, each of whom is working to make the world a better place. It doesn’t hurt that I’m respected by coworkers and management, and I can even be myself without fear of negativity. So, that’s why I’m still here 15 years later and hope to have a long run ahead of me.

    Reply
    1. Kat
      ·

      I think your conditions of satisfaction also change over the course of your life. I’ve said several times that CafePress was the perfect job, just ten years too late. It was a great job with fantastic coworkers, just a poor fit for that season of my life.

      This feels like it’s not just a good fit, but good timing, which is a rare thing indeed.

      Reply

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