It can only go up from here

2010 is coming to a close.

Let’s take a moment and chart the past two years:

  • April 2008: Laid off.
  • October 2008: Moved back in with folks.
  • January 2009: Earned M.Sc. with Honors in IT & Privacy Law from The John Marshall Law School.
  • Winter/Spring 2009: Created/Established Shadow Froggy Consulting.
  • March 2009: Attended TechShow, made a name for @econwriter5 and myself (oh, and got hit by a CTA bus).
  • May 2009: Attended Get-a-Life Conference put on by TotalAttorneys, got some business.
  • Summer-Fall 2009: Worked 3 jobs – content migration contract, adjunct professor and ghost blogging.
  • January 2010: Presented on “open v. closed” networks for “Navigating the Ethical Pitfalls of Social Media” webinar for martindale.com Connected, Texas Bar Journal open source article published.
  • March 2010: Accepted “real” job, attended TechShow again (of course!).
  • May 2010: Left “real” job, contracted by Time59 to write User Guides.
  • Summer 2010: Road trip! Started Travel Blog and blogged about road trip and NYC trip.
  • July-August 2010: Job interviews with the likes of TRUSTe, Forsythe and Grainger. Zero offers.
  • September 2010: Job rejection from EFF, random DM from Clio followed by an email that made more sense
  • October 2010: Contractor with TotalAttorneys to rewrite some content and Sean McGinnis of MicroMash Bar Review to write email marketing content, hired by Clio as its Community Manager.
  • November 2010: Attended Wisconsin Solo & Small Firm Conference, MILOfest, snowboarded Whistler Mountain in Canada (and missed, for the first time, Thanksgiving with the family).

Kind of a lot going on there, no? It all has served a purpose, though. As I’ve said, often, I’m a big believer in there being reasons for things. The past two years, I’ve come to accept that the reasons are not always clear when you want them, even demand them, to be. Reasons make themselves known on their own time, when they think you’re ready.

The reason I got laid off, or at least one reason, was so that I had to move back home. Moving back home meant I was 10 minutes from my brother and his family, which meant 10 minutes from Little Man, my nephew and godson with whom I’ve developed a special bond. He’s made such strides this year, it’s really heart warming and exciting. And being able to call my own shots has meant I’ve been able to help my brother and his family out a lot the past couple of years. Family comes first. Not even a second thought.

The conferences have introduced me to a number of excellent, well-respected and just downright cool people, TotalAttorneys and Clio among them. Open source articles came about from people I met at conferences, which very well might be code for “found me on Twitter.” And it is entirely possible all the business I got this year, and my position with Clio, came through Twitter. I’m rather amazed at the amount of business that gets conducted, both publicly and “privately” on Twitter. People tweet me, or send a DM first, and then email or call me if I haven’t responded in whatever time frame they’ve come to expect.

The job interviews did not come through Twitter, and I would not be surprised if my Twitter profile was a turn off and played a role in me not landing any of those positions. You can also argue that since those jobs did not come through Twitter, well, they weren’t meant to be. I don’t know what the answer is, but I am convinced there was something just not quite right about those positions with those companies. Nothing to do with lack of skill, knowledge or ability. The fit just wasn’t quite right, and from my end, it was a series of let downs. Doesn’t matter how many job rejections you get, how accustomed to them you think you’ve become, they are still hard.

It also seemed to say hey, what’s your problem? Focus on you, your company, not these other people, other companies. Been there. Done that. C’mon now, move on!

Oh. Right. The “real” job. A bad fit. It happens. Best to recognize and move on. Hence, road trip!

Actually, I think the road trip was a long time in coming. I never did take any time for myself after getting laid off. I wanted a job, figured my chances of getting one were good and I had a degree to finish. There is something to be said about “processing” something like a lay off. I don’t think I fully did that until I took my road trip, which was a pretty awesome trip. As was my trip to New York. The NBC Tour in New York springs readily to mind from NYC, though plenty of other interesting things happened, too, during the East Coast tour. And just about everything about the Midwest Tour road trip is memorable.

Memorable. A number of memorable things happened this year. I could not possibly have predicted the year would turn out as well as it has. I could not possibly predict I would get hired after a DM, a few emails and a couple phone calls. And given past experience, I could not predict I’d enjoy being Community Manager for Clio so much. I’m still a bit awed by how well it all fits together. I’m still a bit awed how it all happened.

Maybe awed is a better word for this year than weird. You have to admit though, the year has been weird. I’m probably leaving some things out too, simply because I can’t remember them.

You know what I keep thinking about, though? Tweeting. Some 39,000 tweets lead to a job that, so far, is better than anything I could have invented for myself.

Which reminds me, I owe someone from #MILOfest a blog on the impact of 40,000 tweets. Ha. Right. I passed the 40,000 tweet mark at #MILOfest. Consensus seems to be that I’ll past 50,000 tweets well before TechShow in April 2011.

2011. Next year. As Shania Twain so rightly put it: “It can only go up from here.”

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One Response to It can only go up from here

  1. Whoa! What a journey! Kudos to you for hanging in there and “letting” it work itself out. It is odd how things seem to sometimes come together, and when we reflect, we can follow the breadcrumbs and see it as the journey it was.

    Great post. I’d love to hear more about Little Man.

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