Looking back as I move forward

I still need to pack. You would have no idea that I am leaving in less than a week.

(Here’s a nice tune to listen to while reading this.)

Tonight would have been a fantastic night to put a dent in my large pile of laundry, the vast amount of needing-to-be-filled boxes of personal belongings that lay empty in my room and necessary tasks like that.

But, alas, here I am– sipping Johnny Black, watching Monday Night Football and writing this blog (#IllProcrastinateTomorrow).

For those of you reading this that have not heard, I have taken a job with the Silicon Valley Business Journal in San Jose, California as their new Social Engagement Manager.

I am starting in two weeks – on December 17, 2012 (#WowThatsFast).

(This means I’ll be hopping in my car with one of my buddies and driving from Connecticut to California making stops in Louisville, Dallas and the Grand Canyon, to name a few. We leave Sunday morning, December 9, 2012. #WowThatsFast #IKnowRight)

My new position at the Journal promises to be an incredibly challenging and rewarding one. I will be taking over the day-to-day management of the Journal’s social media platforms, developing and implementing best practices and guidelines for social media use at our publication in addition to other properties across the country as well as taking over a couple different content verticals for the Silicon Valley website and print product (that means I’ll be writing again, Mom).

Aside from the excitement I have for the work I’ll be doing, I am thrilled to begin working with Greg Baumann, Editor-in-Cheif of the Journal, and his staff in their San Jose newsroom. We have some pretty ambitious goals for 2013 and I’m ready to hit the ground running as soon as I get there. If you haven’t heard of the Silicon Valley Business Journal yet, I promise you will very soon.

(To my future colleagues at the Journal and other companies around Silicon Valley, let’s connect. Here is my Facebook and Twitter. Say hello!)

______

Taking this job means I am leaving the Record-Journal after two years as their New Media Specialist. I started at the RJ in December of 2010 when I was about 6 months and 8 different media/tech/nonsense jobs separated from my journalism and political science degrees from the University of Connecticut.

For some ludicrous reason, they hired me to lead a digital revolution of sorts in their Meriden, Connecticut location even though I had no “real” newsroom experience. It truly blows my mind – even to this day. I will forever be in debt to this company for giving me my first break.

(Carolyn and Liz, thank you for believing in and taking a risk on me.)

The job wasn’t always easy and there were more frustrating days than otherwise. But, as I look back on the past 24 months professionally, I wouldn’t change a thing. Our new media team flipped our newsroom on its side and put it back together to flow more efficiently in the current digital media landscape. Our social media presence in the community has grown exponentially and has become an integral part of our news gathering and reporting process. Our website is a developing, vibrant product of its own and is no longer an after thought. Our digital revenue continues to grow and we are doing new creative and unique projects with local advertisers each month.

It’s crazy to think where we were 2 years ago — posting only 4 stories to the web each night, a lack of focus in the social space and banner/tile ads pasted all over our site (#Progress).

“Leave a place in better shape than you found it in.” I am confident and pleased to say that as I depart for the west coast, we have become a more digitally talented newsroom that covers the hell out of our part of Connecticut. I could not be more proud to have been a part of the growth in this newsroom.

(We’ve won several awards in the past two years for digital things: web architecture, social media initiatives, multimedia journalism, online advertising, online news, etc. This is me bragging about our tiny team of web journalism ninjas in Meriden, CT.)

UPDATE: December 5, 2012 (11:00 a.m.)

This Youtube clip from Michael Scott’s farewell episode of The Office pretty much sums up how I feel this week:

_____

For as excited as I am about this enormous step I am about to take, I am also quite terrified. I mean, really, think about it. THINK ABOUT IT.

(Everyone has said that feeling this way is completely normal, which, of course, totally makes it immediately less terrifying #NuhUH.)

I think it goes without saying that I am going all-in here. I’ve sold my car (#LongLiveMissDaisy) and have upgraded to a newer model (#DaisyDuke). I’ve sold my bed (thanks, Randall). I’m packing up my entire life and driving across the country to an area that I have never been and where I really don’t know anyone.

It’s some exceptionally gut-wrenching stuff.

The hardest part, I must say, is leaving my friends and family who have had such a big impact on me and my career so far. But, to be honest, it is this strong, wide-spread network of family and friends that support me no matter what that gives me the confidence to make this move. Each and every one of you have become an important part of who I am and who I want to be. I’m taking you all with me in my heart as I take this leap.

In closing, it’s truly hard to really explain how I feel right now – reflecting back on my life and career to this point while also looking forward to this next challenge.

I am excited and I am terrified. But, most of all, I am grateful — grateful for this opportunity, grateful for the opportunities that have preceded this one, grateful for a wonderful support system of friends and family that give me strength beyond words, grateful for lessons I’ve learned and am learning each day (#UsuallyTheHardWay) and grateful for a chance to follow my dreams across the country.

(#GoUConn)

This is where I come from, what has made me who I am and what I'll be taking with me as I go. Some pictures really do say 1,000 words. This one says much more.

Some pictures are worth a thousand words. Sometimes, a thousand words aren’t enough.

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5 comments

  1. Nick Forte · · Reply

    Good luck my friend. Hopefully I can find my way out there and visit. Wheel & deal!!!

  2. Randall Deane · · Reply

    Hey Alex, best wishes. The odds for success are greatly in your favor as well as The Force.

    However, be careful and seek help when needed. Once, a great while ago when I buckled into a similar forward moving roller coaster, I got the “runs” for several weeks. Yes, the “runs”, and I’m not talking happy feet. I was as shocked as those close to me. It brought whole new meaning to the cliche, “it scared the shit out of me”, but I learned from it.

    I found out this is commonly called an Anxiety Attack. I know I’ve given too much info. already, but in the spirit of “break a leg kid”, I share this with you so that should something similar happen perhaps it won’t last as long.

  3. Outstanding work over again. I am looking forward for your next post;)

  4. […] before would have made it all easier. It has not. I still feel many of the same emotions I felt two years ago in the weeks, days approaching my move. I still get sick to my stomach. It’s gut-wrenching […]

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