As I reflect back on all that happened in 2023, my heart is full.
My oldest daughter graduated from high school and is off to college. I got to explore the world with my amazing husband, with trips to Greece and Hawaii. Professionally, I got to watch my business really thrive in its ninth year, especially with the release of my book!
In the early years of #SocialSchool4EDU, my mindset was all about growth, growth, growth, bigger, bigger, bigger, more, more, more. I wanted to serve more schools, impact more people, and put out as much content as possible. I was very numbers-oriented and felt like a failure when I didn’t hit my stretch goals.
And while I will always want to expand my influence, my focus has shifted to the meaningfulness of one-on-one interactions. I would rather impact a smaller number of people in a greater way than spread myself too thin. I would rather see lives changed because of my guidance than become just another voice in the noise of self-promotion. That’s what today’s blog is all about. I received an incredibly humbling, anonymous testimonial from one of my members, and I have their permission to reshare the story here. I hope that it inspires you to find your own moments of impact in the new year!
No pressure on responding, but I wanted to send you a professional update and note of thanks. It is a bit long-winded. You have guided me as I pitched moving into a full-time communication role in my organization and as I negotiated my salary, so I thought it was fitting to let you know how you continue to have a huge impact on my success.
I recently applied for a Director of Communications position at an organization about 30 minutes from home. I had no interest in moving jobs–honestly couldn’t think of worse timing. But the new position’s compensation was $30-$40k more than my current role serving a larger organization, so I felt like I’d be dumb not to at least put my hat in the ring and see what happened.
I was super transparent with my supervisor. I really thought the experience would help me see where my gaps were that would keep me from moving into a bigger role. They were very supportive.
Long story short, I made it to the final round of interviews. The new organization requested “homework” which included a press release and social posts introducing a new high-level hire, a crisis messaging plan for a specific incident, and an entire marketing campaign recruiting families with certain interests to engage with their organization. A TON of work.
I had 4 days while wrapping up the end of the term in my current role, celebrating my child’s birthday AND attending a rustic camp. It boiled down to having 1.5 days at most to get all the homework done.
I immediately went to the #SocialSchool4EDU membership tools. I customized templates for the social posts highlighting the new hire. I used crisis templates from a webinar I attended last summer. The real saving grace, though, was the marketing plan webinar tools I learned from a specific webinar. I literally listened to the webinar in the background as I went through my process and filled in the worksheets. It led me to some pretty brilliant ideas.
I got the job. They said they didn’t want to steal me from the other school district, but I made it impossible for them not to choose me. My work was so thorough that I blew them away.
My current district ended up countering with a $20k+ raise and summer flexibility to allow me to spend more time with my family. My supervisor said some of the nicest, most encouraging things anyone has said to me in my professional capacity and committed to helping me set some long-term career goals so they can help me get there.
I think the thought of losing me was a good wake-up call for my organization. And this whole process was a significant wake-up call for me to see my professional worth and that my role is valued. While I left a good chunk of change on the table, I chose to stay in my district where my heart is and where there is a lot more work to be done with an incredible team. Luckily the other organization, while super disappointed, was understanding.
All in all, I feel proud of myself and for our profession that my small district is willing to dedicate more resources to the school communicator role. And I’m grateful for the SocialSchool4EDU tools that have given me the confidence to continue to grow and showcase my skills.
I hope you know the work you do matters. I have experienced the impact personally and am so grateful for all you have done for the communication profession.
Yay! And thanks!
Wow, my heart. I am just so proud of this community we’ve built and the people it’s empowered. If you’d like to learn more about membership, designed to support, train, and inspire school PR professionals on social media, just click here!