RevisitProcorporateHeaderYep, the corporate life is totally for me.

Since I’m in a new role “in-house” after four years at agencies, it seemed like this was one of the best posts to revisit as part of looking back. I wrote the original six years ago before I was in totally free, creative environments. The fact that I knew then that I thrived in structure astounds me. That’s because I hadn’t seen what the other side looked like.

The four years I spent at agencies proved that the grass isn’t always greener. To start, the actual office can have a “corporate” or “Silicon Valley” feel, impacting how you perform. There’s been a trend away from the open floor plan, but big companies like Citigroup still think it’s a way to attract talent. Both of my agency employers had many exciting ways they adapted their work spaces to help employees stay collaborative and creative. In Texas, we rejected the cubical with a totally open floor plan with workstations at tables. You could literally look up and ask your colleague a question. But it also meant we all had headsets because we’d be on calls with different clients simultaneously. You had to work from home or squat in a conference room if you needed quiet. Some people LOVE that hustle and bustle, noise that actually helps them focus instead of distracts them. But that’s not me…

Here in Virginia, my other agency had a really amazing digital hub for our social media monitoring. You could project on screens, scroll through the news, and manage digital responsiveness in real-time. But if users were happy on Twitter, so there was no War Room to manage, you were still in the middle of everything. Little quirks from coworkers can become full-blown pet peeves. I actually moved to a cube at one point just to feel like someone wasn’t always coming up behind me.

The second thing that made agency life different was that there was always so much churn. Clients change or have lots of projects happening all at once. As a shared resource, you don’t just wear five hats, you also juggle balls, apples, and chainsaws. Bad habits also impact your productivity, and when there’s too much churn and not enough structure, everyone has bad habits. Now, I love change and can appreciate variety, but too much can be exhausting!

My own work has changed in the last several years. I’m really passionate about digital content strategy, creating systems that are sustainable and allow for brands to take that next step towards optimization and personalization. But to do that, you have to have time. Time to build the strategy, implement it, learn from it, and then grow it. If you’re shifting, you might not get the chance to see that hard work come to life.

You get the chance to own something big.

Have you changed your opinion of the workplace or environment that’s the best for you? What surprised you?


Going Back to the Beginning

July 20, 2016

“If I could turn back time…” “Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew/When I bit off more than I could chew…” “Oh the movie never ends/it goes on and on and on and on…” Yes, I just quoted some song lyrics. There’s nothing like meeting a new colleague who’s already checked out your blog. […]

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Breaking the Bullseye: Blog Series Roundup

August 28, 2015

Problem: You want to authentically engage with a variety of customers, but your boss claims messaging to all of them is time consuming and expensive. You’re not alone. Recently, I worked on a blog series for the Create Digital blog. There’s a natural struggle between using all those personalization tools at your fingertips, but doing […]

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Seven Years…

March 13, 2015

LinkedIn reminded me that it’s been seven years since I started this little blog. What’s crazy is that I’m not even focused on writing about tips, tricks, and perspectives — I’m focused on applying it. But with a little reminder comes a nudge to revisit the blog that started it all and reflect. Yep, this is […]

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#NEXTCHAT: Creating a Groundswell in HR

January 14, 2014

This post is featured on SHRM’s We Know Next blog. Join me January 15 at 3:00E for a #Nextchat on creating a groundswell in HR.  Much like a groundswell where a massive storm can create huge waves and a rise in the sea level, a groundswell among large groups of individuals — using the power […]

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Infographic: Efficiency of Dating Via App

December 11, 2013

Mobile technology is changing the way we do business. Whether it’s to apply to a job or just stay on top of a project while you’re on the road, your smartphone is an extension of your desk. But your smartphone is also an extension of your social life. Gone are the times when telling someone […]

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Think Profitably in 3 Steps

December 2, 2013

Thanks to concepts like the skunkworks team or Project X research group, everyone wants to have a chance to innovate and create without worrying about the cost of resources. Profitability is a banned idea. Unfortunately, limitless time and money just aren’t a reality for most businesses. Your business reality might be a world of tight […]

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Discussing Content Marketing at the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference

July 10, 2013

While my time at The Starr Conspiracy has had me focus on writing for clients and our agency, I have a chance to share some of my own insight with attendees of the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference. On Wednesday, July 24, I will be running a session on content marking for recruiters at The Hard Rock […]

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Lifelong Benefits of Laughter — Guest Post

July 1, 2013

Below is a guest post from Tali Kuhel sharing her perceptions on laughter, stress, and dating:  “Women who are highly successful, competitive and driven are most likely to experience a high level of stress”-Dr. Ken Nowack, women’s health specialist. As women take on broader and more demanding positions in the professional world their stress levels […]

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