(This is part 3. You should start the story here if you haven’t already.)
I had commenced the butt-kicking and name-taking in my career at AT&T a year earlier. But as a creative dude, I salivated at the thought of a career (or side gig) making something.
In April of 2012, that opportunity arose at my church. I took a part-time job as the director of worship, but balked at that title in favor of “music guy and lead geek.”
I lead the music on Sunday mornings (selecting the songs and training/rehearsing with a band of musicians each week). If you are looking to put that into a business experience category, I’d file it somewhere in between delegation, project management, hitting a recurring hard deadline, working as a part of a team (and over a team), public speaking, live audiovisual setup and management, recruiting, and (borderline extreme) multitasking.
Another significant role I’ve undertaken for the church is web-mastery. I manage the content for our website, functioning as an editor for blog content and a writer for much of that content. I’ve also committed to sending out a weekly “News and Events” email, and haven’t missed a week!
In 2012, that email list averaged over a 35% open rate (approximately 200% of the non-profit industry average) and a 9% click rate (450% of the industry average). I think the related business “file” for that is apparent. I can (and do) write engaging content. Regularly.
My work for the church has been a fantastic creative outlet, but side gigs are side gigs, right? The only catch in the story is that my side gig required me to have Sunday mornings free. With the holiday season approaching, working in retail made for a Thanksgiving horizon line. Something would have to give.
So, in November of 2012, I went “all in” on a career change, and it didn’t go at all like I’d planned. You can read about that in the next chapter.