As I’ve spent a lot of hours interviewing with a lot of companies over the past few months, I’ve realized a trend in the types of companies and people I’d potentially like to work for and the ones I have to fight the urge to roll my eyes at.
When I get pressed to discuss industry best practices in social media, I’ve literally started responding with “I don’t care.”
This might seem abrasive or arrogant, but frankly, people who ask these questions are the types of media professionals that don’t “get” the new waves of digital technologies that are constantly evolving. It’s like trying to keep up with SEO. If you introduce me to someone who’s been an expert in ever single change and best practice in SEO over the last 8 years, I’ll point out someone who is either full of shit or on some Rain Man level of information retention. You don’t want a historian who simply tracks changes over time running your social and community building programs if you’re trying to do anything interesting. You need someone who’s willing to learn, absorb and try new things, regardless if they are or are not in vogue with the rest of the industry.
Everyone is making this shit up as they go along. EVERYONE. I don’t care how much of a savant someone might seem in articulating the current state of social media, when it comes to predicting how tight behemoths like Facebook and Twitter make the collar on marketers, it’s anyone’s best guess until algorithms are changed and everyone sees how bad their marketing reach really is.
I suggest employers ask candidates what their thoughts are on specific problems. How would they solve them? Ask them what annoys them about the current state of affairs in marketing. Don’t ask them to recite what Brian Solis Gary Vaynerchuk are going on endlessly about lately.
If I, or any of the other candidates can’t look at your product or service with a fresh, objective, un-biased set of eyes and figure out a unique marketing strategy or approach, their value to your organization is and always be limited.
The companies I have been most excited about are the ones who don’t want anything to do with the status quo. Those are the places to be.
For most people, when you ask them “what was the happiest moment of your life?” you’d probably wind up getting a variety answers that were likely based on another person or group of people. “When my first child was born” or “when my wife and I got married” or “that family vacation where we went to the Grand Canyon.”
It makes sense that those are the types of answers that come to mind. The other day I read a prompt from my favorite astrologer Rob Brezny. He suggested writing down the top 5 most ecstatic moments in your life and taking enough time to write them down and dwell on them so that you were able to really remember them and feel them through you.
I did this exercise and all 5 of my moments were based on other people or groups of people. Ex-lovers and family were at the center of my top 5 moments that came to mind.
While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, it made me take pause. I didn’t have any solo moments of ecstasy that came to mind. No examples of great joy or pleasure or happiness while I was by myself. This caused me to take time and space to actually contemplate this. I tried not to force it or be convoluted in thinking up moments where I was mindfully happy without the input of others directly on the moment.
I’m glad I wasn’t too hard on myself for not coming up with these moments, because out of the blue a few just came to me as I came across a Charles Bukowski quote posted by my jiu jitsu idol Renzo Gracie.
I realized those moments were incredible. I was a full version of myself at those moments. I was giving more of myself to others and to myself at those moments. I was my best self. I was healthy. I was strong. I had energy for the world and I received the worlds energy as well. I was living fully.
So all of this is to say, maybe these solo moments should take up a few more places on my top 5 all-time moments. Maybe it needs to be a top 10, rather than 5 so I don’t feel like I’m excluding any dear memories. Or maybe it’s about prioritization of myself.
I’m not sure, but I love when exercises like this lead to sharp moments of perspective like this.
I really wanted to write a super long and articulate blog post about turning 30, but I simply can’t find the words. Too much has happened, too much is in the process of happening and it’s just bigger than me right now. I accept it.
So, Happy Birthday to Me! I am one tough, creative, resilient son of a gun. Time for cake and ice cream!