Living the dream.
That’s what I was doing. Traveling the world, eating fancy meals, testing out new products and building a beloved conference franchise. All my friends were jealous. But even though I was working hard and having a blast, something just wasn’t right. I missed the HR world and the community I had built there. A debate would rage on ATS deficiencies or candidate experience and I would be left out in the cold, like a little matchstick girl, looking through the window (granted I was doing it from Puerto Rico, Copenhagen or Vegas…but still).
But the idea that I could come into a completely new industry, build another successful community and make friends and business deals across the globe excited me. It was fantastic, and I learned so much. After taking the conference franchise across the ocean, setting up a formalized RFP process, creating a communications system that worked and initiating chapters (not to mention increasing revenue and price points), I decided that Galavanting Productions was ready to move on and take charge of the processes I designed. I loved my work there and the people both in the community and at Galavanting/TBEX are second to none, but in the end, I missed the world of HR and Recruiting. And I knew that my departure from Galavanting would leave the company in a better position than when I found it.(PS, I will always be part owner of Galavanting and do my best to attend the TBEX events. I DO still love travel!)
So, now I’m back, from outer space (or at least Chicago) and while I’ve revealed my super stealthy job hunt to a few friends, I’ve held back from blogging about it. And every single person I’ve spoken with wants to know why. And I don’t have a good reason. But they’ve been helping me take baby steps.
My friend Josh forced me to start reaching out to people privately.
My friend Sarah has been sending my resume out more than I have.
My friend Craig insisted I at LEAST change my LinkedIn profile to state that I was looking.
My friend Anne showed me how to focus my search.
My friend Geoff has given me pointers on ramping up my personal brand via speaking and blogging.
My friend John has allowed me to attend and blog about HR Demo and spent time with me on the phone identifying my professional needs.
My friend Kevin has helped me highlight and crystallize what I want and why I want it.
My friend William has given me idea after idea, all of which are tenable and doable and been available for advice at ungodly hours (at least for those of us who are parents).
My friend George has been willing to help with advice, background info and support.
My friend Laurie spent some serious time guiding me to what I really wanted instead of what I said I wanted.
My friend Jennifer explained how my current LinkedIn profile might be scaring off good job leads.
My friend Miles has been talking me up to heavens only knows who.
My friend Trish has encouraged me in my blogging.
My friend Rayanne has taught how to put on my red dress 🙂
My friend Gerry has called out of the blue to offer encouragement.
My friend Paul has urged me (countless times) to take my own advice.
My friend Jason allowed me to be part of his conference and document it, Maren-style.
My friend Jonathan gave me no-nonsense advice about what NEEDS to happen.
And loads more folks who have helped via phone, internet, Skype, chat, twitter, facebook, email (you get the point).
Anyway, they’ve all asked some variation of the same question…Why aren’t you out there? If you’re my friend and I don’t know you’re looking how in the world will anyone else?
I guess I was scared. I want to start right now with apologizing to job seekers. Being in-between jobs is a scary place to be and sometimes our advice can be hard nosed and not terribly empathetic. And even when you have left one job on good terms and have a plan to find a new one, the search can be confusing, scary, discouraging and not that fun.
Especially if you want to get it right. After weeks of talking to trusted friends and getting some fantastic advice, I know what I’m looking for. I know what I have to offer: marketing leadership, business development know-how, social media savvy, a killer work ethic and pretty sweet design chops.
I also know what I want: to work with smart and interesting people, to have an impact on a product I believe in and the opportunity to continue to hone my skills. It’s also very clear to me what I am not looking for and some very sage friends have told me to stick to my guns on this.
So that’s it. I’m looking. I plan on finding a job that is perfect for me. If you have an idea to share, call me at (402) 577-0760. If you have a question specifically about my search or would like a copy of my resume, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org