From my blog at www.edwardsson.com:
Here’s what I’ve been thinking. I’m a long way north of my fortieth birthday. I’ve just parted ways with your typical mid-career corporate gig, a job that demanded the
From my blog at www.edwardsson.com:
Here’s what I’ve been thinking. I’m a long way north of my fortieth birthday. I’ve just parted ways with your typical mid-career corporate gig, a job that demanded the sort of focus and commitment entrepreneurs devote to their startups, but without the excitement and satisfaction. If I dive right back into the same old labor pool, I’ll probably find myself in much the same place again, with bureaucratic bosses calling the shots for the rest of my working days. It’s about time I reinvented myself. Again.
The last bit of career reinvention I did was in the mid 1990s. Back then, geography was still a huge constraint when it came to work and business opportunities. The Web was in its infancy, and the only people buying anything from Amazon.com were academics hunting for obscure tomes about 19th Century Venezuelan economic development. Hardly anyone used the Internet as an significant tool for their career.
On the other hand, Information Technology was ubiquitous and booming. I was a linguist in Australia then, with a relocation to the USA in my future. When it came to portable marketability, the technogeek tribe clearly had a big edge on the language nerd camp. Cue the career reinvention.
It seems to me that career reinvention is like creating a new recipe for soup. You take various ingredients, in the form of skills and personal interests and economic opportunities, and you mix them together to make career soup. And if some new cooking methods have come along since the last time you tried to create soup, you might end up with a uniquely satisfying concoction.
So what do you get when you take an unquenchable love of words, a degree in linguistics, a knack for technology, and a wildly eclectic range of other interests, and then you mix it all together in the global market cauldron called the Internet?
You get a Naming Consultant, that’s what. Yes, really. That’s an actual thing, and I propose to turn myself into it. Actually, I’ve been doing the job on a sort of pro bono basis for years anyway. I’ve been obsessed with names since childhood. That’s when I realized my own name was rather odd by Australian standards of the 1970s. The first thing I ever named by myself was my dog Bindy, which is Australian for “prickly grass seeds that get stuck to your socks, your shoelaces, and your dog”. I’ve been naming things ever since.
In recent years, I’ve gone so far as to think up businesses and products and alter egos, thus providing a steady supply of new things to name. America’s veneration of entrepreneurialism has a lot to do with these endeavors, but my favorite part has always been the naming. My Kickstarter campaign to launch a bamboo balance bike for pre-schoolers failed utterly, but I’m still very proud of Scooty Boo. In the hands of a real product development team, that catchy little brand could go a long way.
Naming Consultant it is, then. Heads up, branding gurus and marketing elancers and slogan peddlers on Fiverr, there’s a new kid in town. Well, technically he’s a new late middle aged guy, but that’s not really the point. The point is, he’s going to start naming stuff for money in a patch of the Internet near you. Name on!
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