About two months ago I announced that I had been hired for a new job at Quartz. As of last week, I’m no longer there. The reason: After a lot of conversations with our leadership, the consensus among all of us was that it didn’t make sense for Quartz yet to have someone in the role I was hired for. They’re brand new, their events arm is even newer, and they just don’t need to have a full-time content director for it at this moment. I was the one to raise this concern in the first place, they agreed with me, and I think it speaks very highly of them that they understand when and why something isn’t working rather than to keep trying to shove a square peg into a round hole (to use a favorite phrase of one of my former bosses at Google).
I have a ton of faith in Kevin Delaney’s fantastic team at Quartz and will continue to be one of their biggest fans (and potentially an editorial contributor as well soon). We are on great terms and my departure is not a jab against them at all. The fact of the matter is — and this doesn’t get talked about very much at all in the realm of “state of work” punditry — small, growing companies often over-hire. The more I talk about it privately with friends and colleagues, the more I hear about others’ experiences with extremely similar situations. I’ve heard about it from people who were hired to run PR at start-ups that didn’t need it, executives who didn’t really need assistants, and journalists who were hired in a frenzy of “online-only” staffing in the original days of digital journalism only to have their bosses realize they now had too many writers. It happens.
So. Me. Now. For a long time I’ve wanted to work “for myself,” taking on both short-term gigs and longer projects, and now it finally looks like I will be able to do that. I’m taking on some freelance writing, exploring a few strategy and branded-content consulting gigs, and also trying to see what else is out there. I’ve really never done this before. Being in charge of my own schedule and work is exciting, more than a little scary, and will probably provide a ton of learning experiences. I’m extremely grateful to those who have stepped in already with advice, war stories, and potential new opportunities (THANK YOU!) that have made me a lot less scared already.
The self-promotional bit: I can write. (The hoary old startups-VC-social-media beat is where I have the most expertise, but my real writing interests these days lie in outdoors culture, social enterprise, travel, and geology — in case you have been struggling to get that plate-tectonics beat covered lately.) I can also edit. I managed a branded-content project at Google as well as handled some more traditional product and launch marketing, so I can do that sort of thing as well. If you’re interested in hiring me for anything, please do drop me a line. Firstname dot lastname at gmail dot com.
Happy Monday, everyone, and onward to new adventures.