Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My New Job as a Knowledge Sharing Community Manager

Today I resigned from my role as Strategic Marketing & Sales Manager at Tanner James Management Consultants.

It always feels weird, but also nice, resigning from a job when you aren’t leaving because you are unhappy. It feels weird because there is nothing wrong with the role, I enjoy it. It isn’t like I hate it and can’t wait to get out. It also feels nice because it is a career move and not one made in unhappiness. It means that I can leave with good relationships intact. The bosses are genuinely happy for me.

It has been almost 3 years since I joined Tanner James and I have learnt plenty. I haven’t just learnt things about business but also things about myself and I am very very grateful for the opportunity John Howarth and Ian McDermott, the Directors, have provided me.

Mrs Oyster and I have some family goals which we need to fund so a move or asking for a raise was always on the cards but I wasn’t going to worry about it for a while. It wasn’t like I was unhappy!

But then I got a Seek job alert on the email which was a little different. It wasn’t the usual “we are a leading IT company blah blah selling software/blue cable/boring stuff to the government”. That’s most or the “marketing” jobs in Canberra. Instead, as I read it I thought “now that is the kinda job description I would write for myself if I could create my own role”.

So I went for an interview and got offered the job and in a month’s time I will be the Community Manager at Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute.

The Institute is a not-for-profit entity which  brings together the public and private sectors to build and share the know-how and expertise necessary to ensure that carbon capture and storage (CCS) can make a significant impact on reducing the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

CCS can reduce some 20 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emission reductions necessary between now and 2050. At the moment CCS can be done although it hasn’t been implemented on a commercially viable level and doesn't have widespread adoption. As such, the Institute is focussed on supporting projects and sharing their knowledge to assist more than 3,000 projects which need to get off the ground over the next four decades.

Should be awesome working on something that can have a global impact. It is excellent that an organisation realises the importance of this type of role and that the emphasis for knowledge sharing through communities is coming from the top down. I think one of the advantages is that it is not an old organisation and so they aren’t trying to retrospectively fit social media and a knowledge sharing approach.

One of the things that drew me to the role was a quote I have stuck on my office wall from a Fast Company interview with Alex Bogusky,

So, I have to ask," I start. "Is there any notion of a midlife crisis in this? You do happen to be 46." Cradling a cup of chamomile tea, Bogusky releases a quiet laugh. "Yeah, just happen to be," he smiles. "You know, I'm not completely unaware that that's what this could be." He pauses, looking off to the Rockies.

"I'm trying to think ... midlife crises occur generally because we fear death, right? And I'm pretty sure I don't fear death. So maybe, what do I fear?" He pauses again.

"What I fear -- actually, I'll tell you what it is -- what I fear is, I fear" -- his eyes start to pink around the rims, his voice cracks -- "I fear a moment when my children are older, and they look at me and say, 'What did you do? The world is like a spiralling cesspool. You were an adult, you needed to do something, I was just a kid. What did you do?' I want to be able to say, I did this, this, and this. And did my best. Yeah, that's it. It is a midlife crisis, and it's not my death. It's the fear of not being able to say that you tried, in all sincerity. I think it's a new kind of midlife crisis."

As Community Manager, I will be facilitating the sharing of that knowledge in the CCS community and working towards making a difference in the world.


Gavin Heaton said...

Congrats on the new gig - and good luck. Good to see you taking on new challenges ;)

Scott said...

What a great quote! I don't fear death at all but I do feel like I could be spending more of my waking life contributing in meaningful ways to the overall improvement if the human race. It gnaws away at me all the time.

Daniel Oyston said...

@Gavin, thanks heaps.
@Scott, yes it is a cracker quote. I get a little "chokey" when I read it. Maybe I am getting soft in my old age.

I can definitley relate to your comment/feeling as well.

James Duthie said...

I'm a little slow off the mark, but congrats on the new role Oyst. A noble cause indeed. So this is what happens when you have kids hey...? Guess it's my turn soon then.

Daniel Oyston said...

@James thx mate. Start next Monday so am in clean up wind down mode now at current role.

Yes this is what happens when you get married, have kids ... you have to grow up! Do you want some practice, I can send Zac down to Melb for a few weeks if you like. He's only 2 ... doesn't eat much ..

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great role. Congrats and good luck.

Daniel Oyston said...

Thanks Carl. Checked out your blog. Looks good. Will visit it regularly