Written February 3, 2014

First, let me apologize that things have been quiet around here for the last month. Things have been a little crazy to say the least! Let’s start at the…. start?

If you know me personally, or if you follow my blog here, chances are you know that I relocated my family to Phoenix in June of 2013 to take my chances in a serious market place.

I was rewarded with a “Social Media Marketing Manager” position at a small 5-member start-up in Chandler. I had a nice office with a balcony overlooking downtown Chandler. I was making great money and I finally back in a head space where I was getting paid to do nothing but bury my head in social media and internet marketing strategies.

Then came December 6th… Just like every Friday before that, I went to collect my paycheck. I was given a line about “waiting on our investors” and that we would have our paychecks come Monday.

Monday, December 9th rolls around. Me, being the studious little employee, put in another work day with no mention of pay.

Then, Tuesday, December 10th. I pull up to work. Door’s locked. I patiently take a seat out front and wait for my co-workers and boss to show up. Then a head pokes around the corner telling me to come in the back door. I enter through the back to find my boss in a sort of disarray I hadn’t seen him in before. Exclaiming that “We’ve gotta get all the valuables out of the office before they come change the locks on us!

Turns out someone hadn’t been paying rent, and as it was the 10th of the month – eviction was upon us. We were told to all continue working from home and that we’d have a new office in no time and get all caught up on our withheld paychecks and commissions.

Come December 22nd, still no sign of going back to work. Amy and I left for our Christmas vacation that we had planned for several months. All the while I was assured that I was being paid for all the time I was “laid off” and that by January 1st I’d be all caught up on pay and we’d be in our new lavish offices.

To spare the gory details, none of that ever panned out. At the end of the saga  I was out – on the low end – near $2,000 in paychecks and commission I never received, and potentially more depending on when my “lay-off” period ended.

It was clear by January 4th (over a month since last being paid) that I needed to find a new company to work for, so I hit the trail.

Armed with the coolest resume you’ve ever seen. A personal brand I had been building over the last three months, 54-episodes of a radio show, YouTube tutorials and case studies of what I was capable of, and having been cited on some of the biggest marketing blogs around – I knew I’d be okay.

Again, I can’t stress the importance of branding yourself as a professional in your industry. No matter what you do – you must have a personal brand. Even if you’ve been with the same company for 20 years, you might not be there tomorrow. And if you wait to start building your brand until you actually need it – it’s too late.

It’s 2014. Companies – at least the ones you want to work for – don’t want to hire some no body. They want to hire someone who’s already groomed and ready to rock. Not someone they need to train and babysit. They want someone who’s going to take the reins and go for it. A rock star.

So, I identified a handful of companies I wanted to work for and sent out some resumes. I soon took four interviews. When all of the follow up interviews had finished, I was offered three out of four jobs. All three offering a raise over my previous position.

One job I was offered was a “Sales & Marketing” position for a “Fortune 150” company. I initially accepted this position because, let’s be honest, that last line I fed you sounds pretty bad ass. But after one day on the job, it was obvious that it just wasn’t me. Too much direct sales, not enough marketing.

The second job I was offered was “Marketing & Event Coordination” for a company who was extremely out of date, but had a solid business model. They needed me to do a lot of things, things I wasn’t real passionate about. Again, this one just wasn’t me.

The final job I was offered was “Marketing” for a 4-time INC 500, ICIC top 15 (and hall of famer), ICIC #1 fastest growing Inner City Business, and INC 500’s #1 woman owned business. This company preaches innovation and creativity. They bleed everything that I’m all about. I knew this was place for me. They’ve been paying to outsource all of their social media marketing for a handful of years, but have now picked me to bring it all in-house.

I know, 100%, that this company never would have looked at me if I didn’t have all the pieces in place before reaching out to them. If I didn’t over deliver on the resume, and have the body of work already in place – and nailed the interviews – they would have moved right along.

Opportunity met preparation and landed my family and I back on our feet.

Oh, and the title said I was offered four jobs. That’s more of a freelance contract I took on. I’ll announce that when it goes public. For now, hang tight and stay tuned.

Get excited!

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About The Author

Dallas McLaughlin

Dallas is a badged Google Partner, certified in both Google AdWords and Google Analytics. Dallas helps business owners understand how to succeed in a digital first world. Utilizing innovation and unparalleled strategy, Dallas has successfully executed hundreds of search engine optimization, social media marketing and pay-per-click advertising campaigns.

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