If my life is going to be like this every sixth months, I am going to have to sign up for some intense meditation sessions. (Though I probably should anyway.) Half a year ago I was promoted, training, interviewing, hired, moving, and anniversarying – all in the same cluster of weeks. In the current Fall/Winter ’09 version of this roller coaster, I was dealing with working full-time, contracting on the side, being offered a full-time dream job, discovering a lump in my breast (ultrasound early next year), and sensing hints of a promotion from a team of people I really enjoy and respect. (Note latter use of present tense verbs.)
Much to no one’s surprise, there’s been a lot on my mind in the last couple of months. The real story, though, is how this all came about. Even though I am not at all surprised that it happened to me this way – the onset and resolution seem very fitting – it is still amusing. Now I can be one of those stories.
I got my new job through Twitter.
It all came about while I was checking my HootSuite dashboard (I HEART HOOTSUITE), and Moxsie tweeted about a new drop of Heydays hitting the virtual shelves. It said “[something something] sneakers.” I got excited, checked it out, and seriously fell in love with the shoes. Then my heart was broken because they don’t come in women’s sizes – I’m not talking “Wah, they don’t make shoes for women,” I mean “Dammit, they don’t have these in men’s size 6 [my size in men’s footwear]?” Naturally, I published my whine into the ether and tweeted my dismay at Heyday’s negligence toward the female sneaker-loving community. Because, you know, the most productive way to whine is broadcasting through virtual outlets where you may or may not have an audience.
Well, turns out someone was paying attention, because in a couple of minutes @moxsie tweeted back, commiserating over the loss I wouldn’t even have an opportunity to feel, and offering that if I wanted I could have a coupon code for the site. What? Retailers feel like they need to ask that? Yes, of course I wanted a coupon code. And that’s how I came to share the 25% off they were promoting with this post. (Code may now be defunct.)
After posting the code, I thanked @moxsie and went along with my day. I went to lunch, came back, and found an e-mail in my inbox from Moxsie’s marketing department. It was a note that they had clicked on my blog via my Twitter profile and noticed that I was a San Francisco Bay Guardian Style Editorial Intern. They asked if the SFBG would be interested in a goodie basket. (The Guardian’s great at what they do and I had a valuable learning experience there, but they do not do Web and they do not do fashion. They’d be like, “Web Fashion? Is that a band?” Kidding. I love them. Anyway…) I kindly told them that was a generous offer, but declined as best I could while keeping lines open. They asked how I learned about Moxsie. I had a hard time remembering specifics, so I rattled off any of the ways that initially led me to them: my start in virtual retail Web marketing, shopseen (RIP), Urbanity, or any number of style blogs that I hop to and from periodically.
They wrote back saying that they’d been thinking of hosting an independent designer, social media, press event one day, and that I seemed like a good person to stay in touch with. Would I be interested in doing some marketing contracting projects for them?
Umm, yes? I tried really hard to contain my giddiness when I wrote Moxsie back (so I probably came off somewhat awkward and overly formal and anal retentive), and the rest is history. I started writing their blogs. I designed a couple of ads. I laid out some newsletters. This is seriously all the fun stuff I love about the computer-based word and image world. Every week of contracting I felt like I was composing my own lifestyle magazine, and for someone who once dreamed of being Editor in Chief of Cosmopolitan but started falling out of love with suggestions to wear thongs as scrunchies while being increasingly intrigued by independent designers and creators, there couldn’t be a better job description.
Eventually a position in Moxsie Marketing was in the works to open in January, and I am still grateful that I was included in the pool vying for the spot. I applied, interviewed, and got the job! I’m a person of many interests and potential vocations, but Moxsie has presented a track on which I can see myself in it for the long run – and without any foreseeable hurdle of boredom.
So in summary, I got my new job through Twitter. I threw an arbitrary statement out into the world, and it became relevant because my Web presence was perfectly supported with active pingbacks and quality content. Make no mistake about it, it takes time and work to build and maintain my online networking, but the Moxsie situation still feels like it kind of fell into my lap, in a smooth, easygoing way – one that seems promising, a natural extension of what I’ve enjoyed devoting my attention to.
You’ll hear a lot of advice these days that “You want to network? Oh, you should start a blog!” But that’s such an empty suggestion. The result is thousands of poorly written essays saying very little at all, let alone repeating a lot of way old geriatric-in-Web-terms shit. No, I don’t think everybody should start a blog, because not everybody is good at generating content. If you have the ability to write, draw, or find cool stuff – and you understand the value in building connections with people beyond your range of vision (and are not concerned by it) – then by all means, register an account or two.
But for everyone else with the less abstract networking mind saying, “I don’t get Twitter…” Doode. Relax. You don’t have to “get Twitter.” In fact, for some people, it may be better that you don’t. Because you may be standing in between them and their dream job.
Taking a breather.
I’m stoked. For the first time, I’m taking a break in between new ventures and heading up to Tahoe tomorrow morning. (In the past I’ve bumped jobs up against each other like cars in LA traffic.) I’m looking forward to breathing crisp air, drinking spiked spiced cider, and bumming fireside. I have no hopes to exert my energy beyond snowshoeing, but I will stare at cute snowboarders. (Just sayin’! Just because you have a full plate in front of you does not mean you can’t look at what other people ordered.) There’s a lot to be planned and executed in reviving Khamai Dance Company (LEE LEE IS ENGAGED!) and getting the Santa Clara University Asian Pacific Islander Alumni Chapter off the ground. It’s gonna be a good week. And then Billiam comes home. And then I’ll turn 26. And then I find out what’s in my boob. And then I’ll join Moxsie.