dispatch 030 // week 20, day 7 - trip a little light fantastic with me
Never did I ever think it would take _twenty_ weeks. And after weathering many multi-month recruiting conversations that sent me on emotional rollercoasters with ultimately unsatisfying endings, the one that landed acted more like a rocket. There were just twelve calendar days between intro coffee and offer, including two weekends and Thanksgiving. Quick under any circumstances, lighting-speed in the context of the last six months. (I'm glossing, slightly. In truth, the seeds were sown for this new role over a late-August Brooklyn backyard grill... but I had long ago assumed that ride had also ended.)
Tomorrow I am joining WeWork as the Director of Creative Operations and Production, Global Marketing. It's a big exciting job, with a very long title.
In 50 Ways to Get a Job, my friend Dev outlines a smart exercise where you visualize your career experiences as Lego bricks. Every time you pitch yourself you are making shapes from your collection. As the weeks and months wore on, I struggled and second-guessed all my configurations. I'd piece myself together, go in for a business-leaning job and be told I was too creative. ("We'd love to talk to you when we need a vision...")
Thank u, next. Then I'd take my bricks out, reform, and present for a creative role... only to hear back that I seemed more like the operations guy. (What do you do when you are professionally non-binary?!) So I tried building entirely new shapes with my set of bricks. Biz dev? Product management! The clock was ticking on my sanity, not to mention my bank account, when WeWork resurfaced. They have a big operations problem, inside their creative team. Perfect.
I joined Urban Compass in March 2015 because they were hiring their first producer for creative and marketing. When I joined it was a team of a dozen serving the brand and a few hundred real estate agents. They had just launched their second city and my first project was to pull off a massive top-to-bottom rebrand in under 3 months. I thought it would be an interesting role at one of the most promising startups in NYC. I had no idea what I was in for. None of us knew four years later there would be dozens of cities, thousands of agents.
At some point I realized everything I was doing at Compass came back to one existential question: "How do you produce top-tier, high-quality creative at scale?" I tried to see the future and build production systems that could anticipate the unknown terrain ahead. Like any good infrastructure project, there were slide decks, flow charts, and jokes about building a railroad. Pleased to hear much of the track still keeps the trains running, but I always felt like I never finished the grand vision. There were definitely no celebratory gold spikes.
I'm joining WeWork at a very different stage of their growth. The numbers are already head spinning: 280+ locations, 77+ cities, 23 countries... 385,000 desks. You have probably seen the headlines, they just announced another $3B in funding. They are an exciting company, doing lots of interesting things, but what really got me was the opportunity to get another crack at the puzzle. Intercontinental railroads are cool, but have you seen the global submarine fiber-optic cable map?!
Everyone seems to know someone who works for WeWork or in a WeWork. It is telling of their reach that I have also worked out of WeWork locations at times for my last two employers. As I get the lay of the land, I'd love to know if there is someone you love already there.
Thank you for all the love and support these past six months. I applied to more jobs this year than I have cumulatively in my entire career. For those of you who are looking now, or might be soon, happy to be a resource and moral support. There's no way I could have gotten through this without leaning on my network. Please know my obsessive job tracker spreadsheet and hard-learned lessons are here if you need them.
The new Mary Poppins is an utter delight. Listening daily.
The Favourite had me jaw-dropped most of the time... in the best way.
I don't normally rec Marvel films, everyone else does, but Spider-man is a total pleasure and features incredible groundbreaking animation that took 4x longer to animate than typical CG. I'm in awe.
Hey, girl. Connie Britton continues to be a genius and just picked up a Golden Globe nod for Dear John. She didn't get it for her outfitting on the show, though that alone is a reason to watch.
Quite taken by this New Yorker piece on the bond between two brilliant engineers: The Friendship That Made Google Huge.
Jessi wrote an insightful piece on the *Idea of Sheryl Sandberg*. Read and subscribe to her new regular column on LinkedIn.
I'm not a winter person, I'm worried for what 2019 might bring for our world... but I'm teaching Ryan to sing these Lin-Manuel Miranda lyrics:
Let's say you're lost in a park, sure
You can give in to the dark or
You can trip a little light fantastic with me
When you're alone in your room
Your choice's just embrace the gloom
Or you can trip a little light fantastic with me
For if you hide under the covers
You might never see the day
But if a spark can start inside your heart
Then you can always find the way
So when life is getting dreary
Just pretend that you're a leerie
As you trip a little light fantastic with me