When you’re building a team, each role is best filled by someone on a range between generalists and specialists. The first is flexible but lacking expertise, and the latter is experienced but lacking range.
Of course, like the term use among animals, most of us are somewhere on a spectrum, but it still can be a helpful prism to see your applicant pool. Some celebrate the generalist and others honor the specialist but both are necessary and nuanced. And perhaps most important to remember: anyone can move along that spectrum, depending on their willingness and adaptability. But be conscious of your choices.
We at Technically Philly are in the process of hiring our first reporter — to begin as an independent contractor expected to make something like $30,000 in a 12-month period. That’s a respectable, entry-level salary for a young, hungry reporter in a big market.
Unless you think otherwise. A freelancer friend of mine gave me a little grief, said she had a $30,000 salary when she started in 2004, expecting the total to have gone up in the ensuing years. I tried to remind her that in the years since she started, the momentum on subscription declines and advertising reductions have accelerated, not to mention a recession that stalled, if not shrunk, salary growth.
In short, her argument seemed to redouble my confidence that our small startup, for-profit technology news site was doing alright to budget $30,000 for a young reporter who would focus on reporting, social media and outreach. Her argument did something else though. It made me think there may still be shocks left in this generation-long restructuring in news from higher-yield print monopoly to lower-yield, online competition.
“The centerpiece of the American Jobs Act is an extension and expansion of the cut in payroll taxes, worth $240 billion, under which the tax paid by employees would be cut in half through 2012. Smaller businesses would also get a cut in their payroll taxes, as well as a tax holiday for hiring new employees.” Also: $4k to any business that hires an employee that has been looking for a job for six months.
Beyond the fact that those proposals aren’t actually in place yet, I wanted to share the basic, common reasons for why independent contractors and freelancers are still the way of the world, particularly in publishing.
But the rules are a little bit different in the mission-orientated nonprofit world. I am the first in this role, creating what the media and marketing department of ours should look like.
And already, it’s time to bring on an intern this summer to help me with my role as Director of Media and Social Marketing in our Center City Philadelphia headquarters at 15th and Locust streets. The good news is that because I hate so much being unable to pay an intern, I’m looking to make it a meaningful learning experience.
See the formal Content and Media internship description here, but the short of it is that I’ll be looking for someone sharp and engaged and interested in social advocacy, the Web and content.
You’ll work with me on creating community and audience building via social media, including our yet to be officially released blog. I’ll be expecting 15-20 hours a week, but for the right candidate, I’m going to be flexible in time and space.
Has anyone ever successfully used an elevator pitch?
I don’t know if I believe preparing a 15-second statement about myself in preparation for when a professional idol, mentor or potential employer-of-my-dream-job asks for it, perhaps in an elevator, is really anything more than HR lingo.
I now know a handful of bright people – some family, some friends, some young all smart and competent – who are victims of what is becoming a growing economic hysteria, made worse by media… and blogs. This from the Washington Post:
New unemployment figures from the Department of Labor show average new jobless claims for the past four weeks up more than 200,000 from a year ago to their highest level since Dec. 1982.
The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll found job cuts reaching a broad swath of Americans: nearly two in 10 reported they or someone in their household had lost a job in the past few months, and almost three in 10 said their household had been hit with a pay cut or reduced hours at work.” [Source]