Networking, New Jobs, and Next Plans for Boulder Domination*
I quit my job in Minneapolis back in November to pursue a freelance, self-employed, work-from-coffee-shops kind of career path. I got off to a pretty decent start, landed enough contract and client work to get by, and get moving on my plans to leave Minnesota long enough to hop around and explore some new places.
When I decided to move to Boulder, I’d planned to consider part-time work, but wanted to initially keep freelancing so that I’d have time to explore the community and get settled.
Be prepared to modify your plans
I met Grace Boyle through the blogging community and mutual blog friend and Colorado girl, Sharalyn Hartwell. Between Grace and Cali Harris, I was encouraged to attend Ignite Boulder 7 and learn about the community, the start-up scene, and just meet people in a fun (read: there’s wine and beer!) setting.
I could write a whole separate post on how much I loved the event (and might after tomorrow’s Ignite 8!), but will stick to the point here. I was able to meet so many (friendly, welcoming) people in this community, and knew after that night that I was going to love living and working here.
The next morning, Grace invited me to stop into her office at Lijit Networks to meet her coworkers and continue networking my way into the tech community, even if I wasn’t sure how I’d be a part of it once I landed here.
That was back in December, and after a series of conversations with the Vice President of Market Development that ranged from informal chats about possible upcoming job openings, to all-afternoon interviews with other brainiacs on the management team, I accepted a job with Lijit as a Publisher Services Manager.
A seamless fit
The beauty of this job for me is that it’s part-time for the time being, which for someone with her hands already in a lot of other projects, worked out perfectly. I’ve been there a week now, and am absolutely loving it so far.
My professional background is in online media buying (Campbell Mithun and Adfusion, both Minneapolis agencies), and my personal hobby list is topped by blogging, blog-reading, and blog-friend-making. The fact that this role is based on a knowledge and utilization of all of the above is an absolutely beautiful thing.
My time in the office is spent identifying new users (blog-hopping, reading, and hunting), making introductions (meeting people, networking), and helping bloggers get set up with Lijit search and stats (something I already used and loved, prior to this opportunity ever being on the table). I get to learn a side of the tech business I’ve never been a part of (start-up scenes, search, etc.) and am surrounded by brilliant minds who are introducing me not only to new knowledge and professional growth, but hiking, biking, Paleo (I’m learning about it, I’m not doing it), and how the Rock Chalk Jayhawk cheer started. It’s incredible being in a role where I’m actually getting paid to do a lot of what I was already doing (reading blogs), but even cooler when I realize that I get paid to not only find awesome new blogs, but to also check up on and check out loud and proud Lijit users FAILblog, LOLcats, and Lamebook.com.
Moral of the story
While relationship-building proved to be a massively significant factor in landing what’s a serendipitously perfect job right now (and my professional background lends itself quite nicely to what I’m going to be doing), those relationships started because I just jumped right in and put myself where my soon-to-be colleagues were hanging out, reading, Tweeting, and Igniting.
So… I got involved and then got a job. What’s next? Work hard, play hard, right? This city seems to have that completely nailed down, and I can totally fox with that. I’m learning to hike… maybe one of these days I should put on a pair of skis and give that a shot, huh?
*Ok, so maybe not domination. But I do intend to be a super involved part of this community.