At the end of today (2/8/2012) I will be unemployed… but only for a week. :) I have accepted a new position, and am leaving the fine people of Mercent behind. On the 15th, I will be starting as the Associate Director of Search Marketing at 1-800-Contacts.

So the question I have gotten a lot, as you might imagine, is why? Why leave behind a gig where you can work from home, basically set your own hours, are strategically involved in the direction of the company, etc etc. Why?

Well.. it hasn’t been an easy decision. Mercent is a great company with a great future. There are little things here and there that irk me, but spend 3+ years at a company and you will always have that. What it really breaks down to is this: I am here, Mercent is there.

Mercent is in Seattle, and I live in Utah. I’ve only ever worked for Mercent remotely as a “hoboworker” as I like to call it – working from my basement, various coffee shops and cafes, airports and hotels. It’s not bad, to be honest.. I have 2 out of 3 kids that have never known dad to not work in the basement. When you need a break and take a stroll around the office, I head upstairs and toss my kids around for a bit. There are some fantastic benefits to the hoboworking lifestyle. But there are trade-offs.

It’s lonely. :) It’s not like I can see my coworkers whenever I want – I only see them every few months at the most. All that back and forth has to happen via email, phone, IM, and so on. Which means a lot of times it just doesn’t happen. But that is fairly easy to get around.. When your job is long-term strategy and immediate product input, it really helps to be in the same room with the other stakeholders. When you have to build a team, get executive buy-in, and really affect change within the organization, you need to be there. There’s a bit more to it than all that, but suffice it to say that the only real option I could see for continuing to be (or possibly only to feel) successful in my job was to move to Seattle. And I don’t want to move to Seattle. :) It’s a fine town, but I have a good thing going here.

So – Taking a job here in Utah. It’s very close to home (although still multiplies my commute by like 1000), has great benefits, and from what I can tell from the interview process is full of awesome people. I also think the change in lifestyle will be great for my family. I’m really looking forward to it.

So that’s the update. Feel free to comment – let me know if you think I’m crazy. We’ll see. :)

2 thoughts on “Officially Unemployed

  1. Hi Rick, I stumbled upon your blog and really related to this post. I own a fast growing 15 person DRTV media agency in Florida (Winter Park in the Orlando metro). I’ve recruited and moved most of my team from out of state because I too believe in the power of in-person collaboration. I am now building a digital direct response department and am looking for high quality search experts that I can move to Florida and help me build this. Total comp and relo package is very strong and I’m hoping to be introduced to those that might be interested. Thank you Rick and good luck with everything. Best Regards, Lee

  2. Thanks for the comment Lee. I’ve been back in-house now for almost exactly a year, and while it’s been an adjustment I definitely feel like I am able to have more of an impact on the organization. I do miss a lot of the lifestyle I once enjoyed though. :)
    Good luck with your hiring! Finding people is not easy (I’m actually hiring someone right now as well). I have had the best luck with LinkedIn job listings, actively reaching out to folks on LinkedIn, and using twitter chats like #seochat or #ppcchat to network with other search marketers. If I think of anyone or hear of anyone looking that’s willing to move, I’ll keep you in mind!


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