This last year has been an amazing year for my career, but it has not been an easy journey. The last three years since December 2009 when I graduated with my MS in Communications from Shippensburg has been full of rejection, false hopes and constantly working 60+ hours a week just to make ends meet. However, the last year has meant more to me than any in the past 30 of my life. I’d like to take time to thank each and every one of the people who have helped me attain some of my goals in 2012 (in no particular order).
1. My beautiful fiance Jackie and our wonderful family. I don’t know where I would be without Jackie and the kids. We have been together nearly 6 years and they have been the best years of my life. Without her, I know that I wouldn’t have had the drive and passion to reach for new goals and to push forward every day. I look forward to September 28, 2014 when her and I will begin the next phase in our life together.
2. My loving Parents. My parents have always supported me through great times and difficult times. While some would say that this is to be expected of parents, I have given my parents more than enough reasons to give up on me over the years. I have not always been who I am today, but have worked so hard every day to redeem myself for my past. My parents have never left my side and the support they have offered is invaluable.
3. Chris Dessi. This is one person on this list that I promise if I had never met, I would not be where I am with my career. The 2012 Social Media Summit was important in so many ways, with the main reason being meeting Mr. Chris Dessi. Any loyal reader of my blog certainly understands how Chris has been influential in my career over the past six months. For those of you that don’t know, Chris is the voice of social media in New York city and I have the amazing opportunity to have dinner with him after the SMS 2012. He told me not to give up or be frustrated with hardships. He taught me how to harness social media and how to help some of the businesses I work with grow. Most importantly, Chris taught me to never give up when reaching for my dream. I remember him saying, “No one want to hire you? Work for yourself. Show your excitement to others and they will begin to share your excitement. It won’t be work anymore.” Thanks Chris…
4. Rachel Strella. This was the second aspect of the Social Media Summit 2012 that made it such an important day in my career, I was able to meet Rachel Strella of Strella Social Media. Rachel has helped me understand not only how to use social media for small businesses, but gave me a business model that I can succeed with. Rachel’s advice is the cornerstone of my work, but she is always able to answer questions I may have along the way. Where Chris was my motivational influence, Rachel has been my ideological influence.
5. Steve Infanti. Harrisburg University’s Associate VP has been a great influence in my career in other ways. If I had never attended the 2011 Social Media Summit, I more than likely would not be currently representing 6 clients as well as a potential 10 more. While Steve didn’t specifically change my career direction, his involvement in the Social Media Summit in both 2011 and 2012 and BarCamp Harrisburg 2012 and 2013 helped lay my groundwork for a career in social media. He has also went out of his way to help me prepare my resume and even has helped in my search for a job.
6. My clients. Without people like Brett Meyers of Johnny Joe’s Sports Bar and Grill, Jason Phelan of the Gingerbread Man, Cathy Haynes of CONTACT Helpline and Ken Ross of Bethesda Mission, I would never have had the support system needed to succeed. Each one of these individuals has helped me in different ways, ways that I could never repay them for. This support helped enable me to never give up at reaching my goals and to keep making new goals, not getting complacent. To each of these individuals I am unbelievably grateful to.
7. Solutions for Advertising. I may have never even received my Masters Degree if it wasn’t for Solutions for Advertising. Peter Anderson is not only a boss to me, but one of my best friends. I did two different sets of internships with Solutions for Advertising, as well as my graduation project, compiling and writing our Media Kit and Brochure. Pete has always been there to help my succeed in my career, especially one day after the 2011 Social Media Summit. It was then that I realized that my future was in social media and made Pete aware of my desire to start a social media department of Solutions for Advertising, which is thriving to this day.
8. Bart Kaminski of KollisionMedia. Bart and I have been friends for many years and I have seen KollisionMedia get to the point where he is now having to hire people to keep up with all of his work. Bart has supported me throughout my current venture, including referring me a few clients along the way. I am sure that Bart and I will have a close working career in the future and that this successful year is just the first of many.
9. Tierney. The first thing I must mention is that Tierney gave me inspiration to write this blog with her latest entry at http://stoutsandstilettos.wordpress.com/. Not only that, she has been one of my closest followers, commenters, advisors and friends, even though we have only met in person twice. Tierney, understand that my blog and my business would not be where it is without you!
10. Everyone that passed on me for a job. With all of the positives on this list, it may seem strange that I am thanking everyone that passed on me for a job. Some of the jobs that I have applied for would not have challenged me, some would have been the wrong fit and some would have just been plain boring. I was willing at certain points to settle for a $12 an hour job, but I now realize that I am worth much more to a company. I don’t want a job, I want a rewarding and fulfilling career. So all of those people who told me I had the job, but that you just have to finish the interview process (3 different times!) I thank you for passing on me. I now realize how much I have to offer to employers.
To sum up, this journey that I’m on is only beginning and all of these people (as well as some I didn’t mention) have helped me to reach great success and the potential for even more!
Paul M. Miller