- Do you know him as an inner city high school teacher?
- A rich architect who helps rebuilding efforts globally after natural disasters?
- Do you know him as a great help in planning your high school reunion outside of Boston, but just couldn’t place the face to the name, and then were you disappointed when he couldn’t show up due to a last minute work conflict?
- Wasn’t he the guy who you met in a chat room back in the early 90s who kept complaining about his probation officer?
- Or wait, was he that angry guy from Toronto who tried to settle his demons through alcohol and shopping on the self-help forum.
He’s hard to place, I know. But chances are you have crossed paths with him.
Jason has been around for decades, reinventing himself more frequently than Madonna ever did. He’s been all the personas above, and more. One time he was planning a much needed cruise, with someone else’s wife who he’d met online, but unfortunately due to a mix up with the bank, someone took his identity and his financial accounts were frozen. Right before the cruise, too, what a bummer.
Jason is whoever I want him to be. I am his writer, director, producer, and casting agent. I tell him when it’s time to take a time out, and who he wants to be when he grows up, or younger, or older. I tell him when it’s time to wake up. Jason is my alter ego.
Most recently Jason was a 23 year old slacker whose parents decided it was time he did something with his life. Since he couldn’t get into college, they suggested he start learning on line, to find something, anything that interested him. When his internship crashed and burned, because he was always late and the folks he worked with got sick of hearing him talk about Kim Kardashian and Tai Chi, they finally got HR to boot his butt. That left him web surfing. He found out about open courseware and started to see what interested him. Marketing looks cool, he thought to himself. And so he started.
His parents were so excited that he showed an interest in something that might one day pay off. (hahahahaha, I know, but they didn’t.) He kept at it, so his dad let him try some stuff out with his plumbing business, since the kid couldn’t snake a drain to save his life.
They never knew if it worked, it’s a plumbing business after all. But the online ad placements cost less than lawyers undoubtedly would if he didn’t do something, so they let him go, keeping a tight rein on the budgets. One day his mom found a job idea online that looked good for him to try out. She forwarded it to him.
He created a resume from scratch, since he’d never had one before (it can be viewed here, tweaked to protect the innocent and Jason’s puppeteer). He was ready to send it in when he reread the job listing. After clarifying with his mom what a cover letter was, he wrote one (it can be viewed here). After setting up a matching profile on a social media site, he figured he was done, and just in time for a Keeping up with the Kardashian’s marathon this weekend.
His mom came and nagged him to see if he had heard anything back, and he hadn’t. She said he should follow up, to make sure they got the resume, because of course everyone follows up on every resume they ever get, so there must be a mix up. (see follow up email here). Since all good things must come to an end, the marathon was over, and he was back to surfing online. He checked his social media job profile, and decided to poke around this site. He joined some groups, reached out to some people. In the course of 5 hours he got 16 solid connections and an invitation to interview for a job.
Is this how you know Jason?
If you’re a recruiter, probably. You might even know him this way if you’re a coordinator or a freelancer also looking for a job. But, as it turns out, you might have connected with Jason if you are a senior copywriter, account director, Founding Partner, or even a VP of Marketing, (Seriously people, do you even CARE who you’re connected to?)
Jason never did hear back from that job he applied to. Turns out his skill set wasn’t up to snuff. (They were probably looking for someone who could type more than 36 WPM). At least the person reviewing the resume was shocked enough to mention his submission in jest. Jason seems to have that effect; he definitely stands out amongst the crowd, especially in his anonymity.
So how do YOU know Jason?
(How many of you are running to your social media profiles to check for oddities or people named Jason?)
While I agree it takes a special kind of crazy who finds comfort in visualizing hacking into a former co-worker’s audio player to add in carefully placed gunfire sound effects timed perfectly to relaxation yoga soundtracks, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one out there that has an alter-ego. And I’m certainly not the only one who develops fully formed personas. They are used all the time, in things like novels, movies, plays, and oh, what’s that silly industry that everyone makes fun of ….. oh right …. MARKETING.
Jason keeps me on my game.
If you don’t know Jason, chances are you will someday.