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So, a scant 11 days ago I blogged about making this year a year of playing to your strengths. Karma has a funny way of making you walk the talk, because a few days later Edvisors, the company I’ve been with for six and a half years, and I agreed to part ways. We each have different strengths, and we both want to take those strengths in different directions. For example, my love of things like public speaking, new marketing, social media, and the ever-evolving relationship between marketing and technology are areas I want to more fully explore, and those don’t always integrate with the world of financial aid as well as they should.

If we’ve worked together in my work at Edvisors, you’ll likely get an update as to whom you’ll be working with next. If we’ve collaborated in the past, I hope to do so again, especially as there are several opportunities I’m looking at for my next move that promise increased collaboration and exploration. I’ll still remain connected to financial aid here and there; for example, I’ll still be presenting at College Goal Sunday at the end of the month.

As this transition progresses, a few things are on my mind:

  • Six and a half years is a lot of unwinding. To the extent that your marketing or media product/service/system can make transitioning roles easier, faster, cleaner, and less painful, please always plan for those eventualities when you’re designing product or slinging code. I’m running into an issue now where Google Analytics does not let you transfer analytics from one account to another; the workaround is to remove access for a certain user on a site by site basis, but this is obviously much less than ideal.
  • Sorting out and separating personal from professional is harder than ever, because professional things can easily bleed over into personal and vice versa. Amber Naslund pointed this out recently in a post about boundaries. Where do you, the person, and your work begin and end? The catchphrase in social media last year was “be human”, but there’s also the quandary of when the human and the company need to part ways, who gets what in the divorce? I’m approaching by area of focus. Work I did that relates to Edvisors’ core mission is clearly theirs. I’m fairly certain they don’t want my Warcraft videos or coffee roasting techniques guides.
  • A corollary is to explore, but keep your home base strong, sage advice from Chris Brogan. Six and a half years ago, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and social media weren’t more than vague ideas in someone’s mind. Now, having a personal brand that incorporates what you do professionally but isn’t married to your professional life is more important than ever. Companies change. People change. Markets and economies change. Life changes. If you aren’t doing at least a little work to ensure that you exist outside of your work, then the day will come when your work will vanish – and you’ll have that much more trouble getting resettled. Invest at least a little time in yourself and your reputation now to provide for unforeseen contingencies later.

I’m eager and excited about the fresh starts ahead. There’s so much opportunity, so many different ways we can make a difference together. I’m ever thankful and grateful for everyone who subscribes to this blog, who listens to Marketing Over Coffee, who has stayed in touch on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn over the years. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will bring.

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