Back in my corporate days, I seldom appreciated the expression, “He wears a lot of hats”. Like, what exactly does that mean? Surely the employee was hired to do one job – so why bother taking on one, two or even three more roles? I couldn’t fathom why someone would want to wear another hat, so to speak. I couldn’t understand the need to constantly be busy… working a deadline… juggling balls in the air. Or as we like to call it on resumes: multitasking.
“Job incumbent XYZ has a keen ability to multitask and take on new responsibilities.”
And so, I was happy to fly under the radar; being outwardly ambitious while biding my time, knowing it was time for a change. And that change came in the form of maternity leave – in addition to being awarded a sweet little baby, I had twelve long months to care for him… and reinvent myself.
For a while, I wore two hats: mommy, and blogger.
Then, slowly but surely, I began to gain a new respect for multitasking. I began to look at my new hobby as a career, and my new career as a challenge. And I acknowledged that I didn’t graduate with a Bachelor of Commerce, and I didn’t toil in an office cubicle for nearly a decade, to simply wear one hat. For the first time in my life, I was ready – and excited – to take on more.
And then it clicked! All the times I’d regarded managers with disdain – all those times I’d rolled my eyes at those directors who wore “hats” – perhaps it wasn’t because they were overworked. Perhaps they weren’t taking on more work for the same pay. Perhaps they were simply ambitious individuals who loved their jobs. Who loved their contributions. Who loved life.
I’ve realized that you all know me at www.listentolena.com, but you may not know about some of my “side jobs”.
This year, I will wear the following hats:
1. Mother: Employed since 2008, I will always have this role. It is the “job” that brings me the most joy, the most stress, and certainly the most fulfillment. Although I would never want to be subjected to a performance evaluation.
2. Spouse: Employed since 2007, one of the easiest jobs I’ve ever had – I could actually do it with my eyes closed. But that may have something to do with the fact that I married my perfect match.
3. Writer: The truth is, I used to refer to myself as a “blogger”. I mean, this is a blog post I’m publishing, no? But as the years went by (employed since 2008), I realized that with the high caliber of my writing, professionalism and ability to consistently produce stellar content, I was actually selling myself short. Hence, I’ve now embraced my new job description: writer.
(Of course, as my blog – and writing – provide a vehicle for online influence, you may also find me as a Brand Ambassador/ Spokesperson for many of the products I love.)
4. Social Strategist: This year, I’ll continue working with Chatelaine to develop their Tasters and Testers panel. Cultivating the influence of bloggers across Canada, we’ll build a group of ambassadors that are passionate about food, fashion and lifestyle.
5. Social Outreach: In 2014, I’ll be heading up the #HBSocialKitchen blogger panel for Hamilton Beach Canada. Working closely with a talented group of online influencers, I’ll lead the discussion and manage the monthly campaigns.
6. Social Outreach: I’ll also be managing the blogger outreach for Werther’s Original, a new (and decidedly delicious) client. With tasty new offerings this year, it’s a treat (pun intended) to work with them.
7. Social Media Consultant: Once again, I’ll be partnering with PR companies and brands to develop best practices for working with bloggers. (This is a continued role since last March, when I was asked to speak on a panel at the Canadian Public Relations Society’s #PRBootcamp.)
8. Twitter Party Host: After hosting / moderating over 50 Twitter Parties in 2013, it’s safe to say that I may have a party (or two) on the radar this year. And, this year I have an exciting new collaboration: I’ll be co-hosting a monthly #FamilyTravelCA chat to discuss all things related to family vacations. Tune in on the last Tuesday of each month!
Okay, so eight hats. But you know what? It doesn’t feel like multitasking. It doesn’t feel like work. It feels awesome.