Jack of Many Trades, Master of a Few
March 11, 2016 5:33 AM   Subscribe

I'm borrowing the conceit of a recent Ask MeFi question about building a new career out of skills I have. My special snowflake stiff is in the

I recently lost my job of two years as a Web Producer. This is, in many ways, fine. I was looking to leave anyway. I just wanted to have something to jump to before I got pushed. In this job I did the following:

- Build HTML Email Newsletters, using a CMS, and from PDF mockups
- Email list management, including segmentation, list uploads, and campaign tracking
- Build and update reports on email clicks and and opens for client campaigns
- Coordinate and track status of deliverables for email newsletter ad deployments
- Build articles and landing pages for medical sites using the CMS

Before that, I was a community and data person for a startup, doing a lot of the same stuff with a bit more of a marketing focus, plus social media.

I've also been, slowly, teaching myself JavaScript and jQuery, so I can hopefully make a jump to Front-End Web Development. So far, though, I haven't had HR people beating down my door when I send them résumés, though. (Here's what I've been working on as a learning project.)

Here's what I can do, and what I like doing:
- Building stuff with HTML and CSS. I'm no designer, but I can go from a mockup to a finished product without a lot of fuss
- Writing, including technical writing. I've done some freelance stuff here and there, but I don't know if I want to make a career out of that.
- Researching, especially research on best practices, systems, and structures. One of the best things I did at my old job was figure out how to largely automate adding tracking codes to email lists with 12 lines of Visual Basic scripting, instead of manually adding it to each listing in the column by hand. (A major point of frustration at my last job, though, was butting heads with bosses who didn't want to change any processes.)
- Learning new technology skills. I'm a self-driven learner, but I do better when I have a project to apply my learning to.
- Q/A testing and copy editing, though I don't have experience with tool-based Q/A stuff.

I can quote my "Don't want to do" section straight from castlebravo 'cause it overlaps almost perfectly
Here's what I want to avoid:

Answering phone calls from the general public
Extreme and ongoing overtime or always needing to be on call 24/7. I can sprint for short projects, but I need some balance here.
Conflict, tension, high pressure
Having people report to me. Been there, didn't like it.
To this, I'll add:
- Long, recurring meetings. I really prefer having a chance to deep-dive into a project at least once a day to scrambling between several projects.
- Web advertising. Generally, so much of what goes on around online advertising is gross and scummy, and I don't like to be involved. If I'm doing something advertising adjacent, fine, but I don't want to set up tracking scripts, do ad buys, or trafficking of ads.

So, what should I be looking for? I've been mostly applying for similar roles to my old one, but also shooting for stuff in Front End Web Development, as well as some digital marketing stuff when it's not too close to the advertising side. I've got tunnel vision, and I'm not sure what else I should be considering. I sort of fell into this line of work, and I don't want to fall into another that I won't be terribly happy in.
posted by SansPoint to Work & Money (5 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
You could be an ebook developer. HTML and CSS but little to no Javascript; typically adapt designs rather than create them from scratch; lots of QA and device-related troubleshooting. Upside: Get to work on fun/interesting books, some of the time. Can be done freelance. Downside: Pay grade is nowhere near what you could get as a front-end dev. I'm happy to steer you toward more info if this sounds interesting. MeMail me.
posted by libraryhead at 5:46 AM on March 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Weirdly, have you thought about Cloud Marketing? It's not a lot to do with web design, but you use the same elements and all of that email experience you have is relevant.

My thought was Salesforce's Pardot. Here's a Solution Engineer job (it's in Australia but you can see the overlap.)

Other such companies are Marketo and Eloqua. You can also do this within an enterprise, so start searching for jobs with these descriptions.

I'd recommend getting certified in one of the three along with getting certified in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

I'm a Salesforce consultant and I work for a large consulting firm. What I like about it is you go in, you assess, you design, you execute and you move on.

But Salesforce is pretty great, and relatively easy to learn. Tons of support on-line with videos.

Good luck!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:48 AM on March 11, 2016

You might look into Digital Marketing positions; where I work, the Digital Marketing team does a lot of the things you're interested in (HTML, CSS, JS/JQuery, automation, light copy editing).
posted by neushoorn at 6:03 AM on March 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Couple other relevant data points I missed. (Should have waited until I finished my coffee...)

- Single location job. I don't drive, or even have a license. I take the subway everywhere.
- Not interested in relocating either.
- My previous job earned $43,000 / yr, which was below market where I live (New York), but I really can't afford to make much less than that.

Thanks so far, though!
posted by SansPoint at 6:34 AM on March 11, 2016

If you were based in the UK, I'd probably get you in for an interview.

You might want to look into adding UX/UI design skills/wireframing to your resume, as that's the other half of what you've been doing in a lot of organisations. My current job is a mixture of both and I really enjoy it. I'm essentially a technical project manager/UX designer/content person and it never, ever gets boring.

I do it for a marketing agency, but increasingly companies with large websites/marketing teams have their own in-house UX/digital teams.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:24 AM on March 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

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