On rolling with the punches.

In my first week or so with The HSUS, after I really started getting to know who everyone is and what they do and got to see firsthand how the different departments work together and how easy it seemed to be to get to try new things and move into different roles, I thought … OK, this is really cool. Is this web thing really what I have my heart set on, nah, but it’s kind of fun and I’m learning new things and I get to do a ton of copy editing. Maybe after a year or two of doing this and coming out on the other side of this awesome redesign, I’ll start looking into moving around. Social media fiend that I am, it could be really fun to do that for a while. Or maybe a spot will open up with the magazines. I could be here a long time testing out all different roles and departments. Sweet!

Turns out, I didn’t have to wait long at all before that happened.

I hesitate to call it a promotion, per se, though I did blast that out over Facebook because it’s easier than explaining the actual situation. (If my salary goes up, it will be, technically!) I’ve been reassigned.

My web partner and I were told that we’ve completely torn through the entire backlog of tasks that they assembled a web team to tackle. We were brought in to alleviate some of the nitty-gritty necessities like checking web pages for broken links, improving the language of highly trafficked pages, making sure those pages were action-oriented and driving people to donate, and then we were starting to think up some fun new content for the long-term plan for the site. I didn’t know they were hiring two people, but they seem to have picked us based on our strengths—me for my writing background and my partner for her technical prowess.

So I was a little confused as to why they would want to move one of us, hoping it wasn’t a negative reflection of my web work thus far. On the contrary, apparently it was a matter of one team’s need trumping another’s comfort and they specifically chose me because they wanted a writer in the role. My job performance was indicative of my potential to excel, so I’m headed over to join the email marketing team.

I’ve been here ONE MONTH and they brought me in Monday morning, before I’d been properly caffeinated I might add, to ask me if I’d be open to taking a different role.

Me, verbally: “Yeah! Wow, sounds exciting! Sure!”635818581544771405-1393048111_200%20(6)

Me, mentally: “WHAT.”


At first glance, the job description sounds like nonsense. It’s probably not even something I would have applied to had I seen it on the career page way back when. But now that I know that the positions around here are just the wordiest of words and in reality, the responsibilities are just a mouthful of simpler tasks, I feel a little better. I’ve been assured that I’ll get to be creative and do more original writing, and really, that’s all I need to hear.

So! The ol’ resume has been updated again. Same department (Digital Marketing), but a different team (email instead of web).

I was this: 

Web Marketing Specialist

  • Maintain web content; editing, updating, and overhauling content where necessary.
  • Write, edit, and produce new web content for humanesociety.org and associated web properties.
  • Coordinate with program staff to ensure related web content is up-to-date, relevant, and action-oriented.
  • Work with the Web Marketing Manager to ensure all web content adheres to content strategy, is consistent in voice and tone, and is action-focused and goal-oriented.
  • Work with Web Development team to implement and maintain web-specific marketing technology.
  • Work with other digital channels to create effective web content packages that can be distributed across other online platforms such as email and social media.

And now I’m this:

Email Marketing Strategist

  • Develop, implement, and disseminate digital content related to email marketing, including all phases of content review, quality control, and sending to appropriate audiences using segmentation strategies.
  • Manage projects between departments based on priority and timing of digital campaigns.
  • Work directly with creative and technology teams to get necessary assets for campaigns.
  • Maintain, review, and update live digital campaign content.
  • Analyze email campaign performance and provide reports and recommendations.
  • Provide cross-checking and quality control for team members’ content as needed.
  • Research trends and creative innovative opportunities in the digital marketing space.


And now I get to empty my brain of everything I’ve learned over the past month to make room for all new stuff. When I met with my new senior manager, she told me she was impressed with how calm I seemed to be about the whole thing:


(Put me wherever you want me, as long as I get to keep working here!)

It just feels nice to know my talents are being utilized, that they had a need and chose to fill it with me. I’ve left past work experiences feeling severely underappreciated, sometimes downright invisible, and that is so clearly not going to be the case here.

Anyway, it got me thinking about some of those past work experiences. At my last job, the announcement of my “promotion” (and whopping $0.25 raise) from Publishing Assistant to Editor was made with about as much fanfare as telling someone they have something on their face. Tail end of a meeting, “oh, by the way” style. Gee … thanks?

I’ve always gotten positive feedback from readers, even when my editors failed to offer any sort of encouragement. And though I’ve always been proud to see my name in print the way some yearn to see their name in lights, the recognition hasn’t mattered much. I just want to know that I’m telling a good story.

So to aspiring journos, don’t do it for the glory (there is none). Say yes to everything. Voice your opinion, but don’t hesitate to do something that scares you. “Everything happens for a reason.” Whether it’s a tricky assignment or a new job description, be confident in your capabilities. Writers are their own worst critics, but try to see what others see in you and take the plunge!

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