Slow and steady. Slow and steady. Deep breaths.
Last night I had a realization and a premonition that everything would work out in the next several months (job wise). First, since I’ve been wracking my brain for years on what business to start, I began to think about what I already know and virtual assistant came to mind. But then I decided that I could specialize — I could set up and run Twitter accounts (and other social media) for businesses and organizations who can’t spare the manpower to do it right.
I love Twitter. I’ve probably had six or eight different accounts depending on what I was working on. On Tuesday of this week I went to a “start up” meeting that I was very excited about. Something along the lines of using Twitter to leverage your marketing. It was being taught by a local marketing professor and I won’t say much more except I found it very disappointing. I could have taught it. I could have done a better job. I “get” Twitter.
I felt proud. I taught myself how to master it and how to get genuine followers. I even know that it’s not right for every one or every business. For example, as a private citizen I would not want one. But as a business owner, blogger, seller on eBay, or all the other hats I’ve worn in recent years, it made sense. If you want attention, it’s a good idea to be active on Twitter.
So at 1 a.m. last night I was making myself a LinkedIn account and a Twitter account that is in my real name — this is a momentous thing. I created it in my name because I decided to go for “doing business as” my name because it’s simpler, and easier for people to find me. And I wanted to stop hiding.
Everything I’ve done online has been anonymous. I’ve hidden behind nicknames and business names, but now I’ve stepped out from behind the shadows. I’m me, and I’m putting myself out there to try to find three or four businesses who need me to handle their Twitter accounts for them. Naturally the first place I thought of is the place I volunteer and they don’t even have a Twitter account.
This morning I was supposed to meet with my supervisor and the director of the nonprofit. The meeting got postponed for a bit and so I sat with my two supervisors and talked. I was upfront with them; they know I don’t want to go get a boring job and leave them behind. They made it clear to me that they like having me around. I find this so special, seeing as though they are both so young and confident.
Eventually we had our meeting with the director and I signed a bunch of paperwork. Starting Monday I will get paid for some of the work I do there. For now it’s extremely minimal, only about 3 hours a month. But the point is I am in the door. I will be someone they can turn to when they need more help or when they make some big changes that are coming up. In the last year they’ve had a chance to watch me work and get to know me and they liked what they saw.
When I was done, my two supervisors and the receptionist were practically high-fiving me. They knew what it meant. The last two or three people to get hired to work there full time started out this way. I can’t tell you how honored I feel.
And when we spoke earlier we chatted about how to make their nonprofit stick out in a city that has many, many nonprofits, and I came up with an amazing idea which they loved. Anything is possible, maybe that idea will happen — if not, I have more ideas. It turns out I am an Idea Person! As a kid I always wanted to be Samantha from Bewitched, not for her ability to do magic, but for the way she always saved the day with a jingle or marketing plan.
The point is, that even though I don’t have that college degree, I do have a lot of work experience over many fields. I know a lot — much more than I usually admit. What I don’t know about the legal system is made up for by the fact that I know so many other things, practical things, and a fair amount about marketing and that I’m super flexible to be whatever they need me to be in the coming months.
I’m an asset.
And even if they only hire me now and then, or half time, I can continue to see if I can Tweet for other businesses. There’s no telling where this might lead.
I’m busy, too. I’ve got the breakfast for the hungry/homeless tomorrow morning, and on Sunday I’ll go to church and then drive to Portland to spend the night with my daughter whose birthday is Monday. Then I will actually be meeting with my STBX’s attorney so that we can get a feel for one another. My husband told me to get information so that we can decide if he should just get the money they agreed upon at the trial last October. Funny with all his bravado I think he’s relying on me to provide him with the information and make the decision for him.
He was all smoke and mirrors.
So I’m trying not to get all hyper and nervous. I just want to stay grounded and know that I’m not committing myself to anything I cannot do. That I still have the security of living with my parents and I don’t have to do everything at once. But the difference is that now I am willing to work really hard and not give up, as I have always done before.
I realize all of this probably sounds pretty menial to people who have confidence, a formal education, and actual careers, but I have not worked for money for about ten years, and at 57 wondered if I’d ever be hired again.
I’m glad to be alive. I’m excited about the future.
Thanks, as always, for reading.