All those years of selling technology, promoting the company or the products, through marketing, advertising, public relations; investor relations meant selling the hope and the dream of success.
In Jakarta, I sold my own company’s photography services. My partners and I built an impressive library of stock photos and marketed them for advertising and editorial content. Before the age of digital cameras, we housed and curated thousands of Kodachrome slides. I then went on to represent two commercial photographers when I moved back to Boston. Lugging huge portfolios, I met with advertising executives to obtain work such as annual reports for my artists. I should know how to do this for myself and my novel.
Meanwhile, back in “how to keep up some form of income” world, I spent the better part of the afternoon on a very enlightening exercise for the department of unemployment. Interesting side note: to put a really politically correct/happy face on the division, it has undergone several name changes including the Department of Employment SECURITY (?) and now its uplifting moniker: The Career Center. But I digress. The exercise was a workbook aptly sub-titled A Guide to Educational and Career Planning. The booklet walked you through a series of questions; what you like to do, what your competencies are, attitude toward certain kinds of work and self-estimates about personality traits. It was actually fascinating and an exercise in dropping the pretense of “What should I be doing,” to just thinking of possibilities.
After tallying up the resulting numbers you were left with a summary code. Another booklet identified occupations within that code as well as the next closest codes. My code came up as SEA which immediately brought to mind the NASDAQ ticker symbol of my old employer. Which brought to mind “selling” the company to investors. The reality is that each letter stands for a type of occupation. S is social such as educational and social services, E is enterprising such as managerial or sales positions, and A is artistic, musical or literary occupations.
I am educating myself to sell my dream of writing. This week I set a goal for outreach/marketing/selling. So far, I have one date and two promises of readings/book signings. Starting small and local but that’s the only way I know to build ground swell for this career.
Here’s what I thought I would be when I grew up…