Guest Post: Synchronized Skater to Social Media Director

An acquaintance from college is the author of Lagniappe’s first guest post. I met Sally-Anne Kaminski in a journalism class, and loved to hear stories about one of her passions — synchronized skating, as well has her dream to be a news anchor. Welcome Sally-Anne! Leave her a comment here or find her on twitter @socialskipper.

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When Jenna sent out a tweet looking for guest bloggers for Lagniappe, I jumped at the opportunity to write. Not long ago, Jenna was writing about me. About a year after I graduated from Miami University in Ohio, she was tasked with interviewing successful young Miami alumni for her job in Miami’s Marketing Communications department. A few emails and a phone call later, she had everything she needed to do my profile. And when it went live on Miami’s site, it was pretty freaking cool.

Those that know me well would agree that I have a pretty expressive, bubbly personality. So all those years ago, I gushed to Jenna about how much I LOVED my job. In fact, I even referred to it as “my dream job.” Cringe.

Looking back, the “first job” novelty hadn’t yet worn off. I was 22, working full-time in a field related to my degree, making money, living on my own – sure, it felt like a dream maybe. But to say it was my “dream job” was definitely an overstatement. Especially considering that my “dream job” for so many years growing up was to become a news anchor.

The two and a half years I spent as an Account Executive were great. I got solid training, learned a lot about advertising, and had started to build a reputation for being a very hard worker. But what I had also learned was that … I was getting bored, despite how much I liked it. But what did I want to do? I wasn’t sure, but what I was known most for around the office was my complete and utter obsession with social media. I always had my phone handy, checking my Facebook inbox or my Twitter feed. I read Mashable multiple times a day and would spend my lunch hour debating different social media topics with my coworkers just for fun. (They thought I was nuts!) People teased me for always being connected. In fact, my dad swears that my iPhone is permanently attached to my hand. I didn’t know it then, but I was subconsciously building my future career.

Our company wasn’t even involved in social media at the time, but when they decided to make the leap, they came to the one person they knew could help — me. And I was nervous – not because I didn’t know about social media, but because I had never done it professionally. Social media was something I did in my free time, as my hobby. Who knew back in 2005 when I was one of the original members of Facebook, writing on my friends’ walls, that someday I’d be helping a Fortune 500 company figure out how they should use it! I managed two successful integrated social media campaigns at my company and loved every minute of it before things changed again…

My company got sold. So if there was ever a time to make the leap and try to do social media full-time, that was it. Going through an acquisition is a strange experience. In fact, as I was interviewing, it was what everyone wanted to talk about. Not about me, but about my soon-to-be former employer. When I wasn’t being asked about the acquisition, my passion for social media must have shown through, because I not only landed the social media job I wanted – I landed a social media director job.

Would I tell Jenna now, if she were interviewing me like she did so many years ago, that my current job is my dream job? No. I’m a bit more realistic than that these days. But this job is a great fit for me, my coworkers are awesome, and it is a great stepping stone for what I want to do next – run my own social media consulting company.

My biggest piece of career advice when I meet with intern candidates or do informational interviews, as cliché as it sounds, is to not be afraid to do what interests you, even if it seems silly. My little social media hobby turned out to be a fantastic career! If you ever want to chat with me about social media, drop me a tweet – @socialskipper. I love to talk about my passion!


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Want to guest blog for Lagniappe? Drop me a line at sauberjr@gmail.com, or find me on twitter @cajunjen.

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