Thank You For Sending Me An Angel

Urban Angel

I’ve been needlessly secretive about the new job I started this week, and I’m not sure just why. Perhaps it’s because I’m still pinching myself. The past few weeks have seemed pretty dreamlike, with a wonderful ten-day vacation in Spain also contributing to my giddiness. Here’s what has happened.

Despite the best intentions of all parties, it was clear that my 3-days-a-week gig at indie film distributor KinoSmith was not going to turn into a full-time salaried position with benefits and vacation. So a few months ago, I began yet another round of job searching, applying for just about everything with the words web, content, writer, or editor in the job description. I was encouraged that there seemed to be more of these positions showing up in my daily career alert emails, but I wasn’t getting as many interviews as I would have liked.

Then, in early October, many weeks after I’d applied, and during a particularly quiet spell, I received an email from Anthony Lucic at St. Michael’s Hospital inviting me to an interview for the position of Website Managing Editor. It had been so long that the original posting had disappeared from the web and I actually had no idea what the job description was anymore. Nevertheless, I was excited for several reasons. First, this was a position in the nonprofit sector, at one of Canada’s leading hospitals, and I could easily get excited about working in the healthcare field. Second, the position seemed interesting and challenging: writing and editing, but also a strong strategic component, where I’d be involved in planning the direction of both the public-facing site and the hospital’s intranet. Anthony was actually the incumbent in the position and had been on a secondment to another part of the hospital for several months, so he knew exactly what they were looking for. He interviewed me by phone at first, then invited me in for a more formal panel interview the next week. Finally, the week after, I was invited back for a second (third?) interview where I met the person I’d be reporting to, the hospital’s Director of Public Relations.

All this was happening with our long-planned trip to Spain just days away. In fact, the very afternoon we were leaving, I received a phone call from Anthony just half an hour before our taxi arrived, offering me the position. It made our vacation that much more enjoyable knowing I’d be coming back to start an exciting new job. Technically, it’s a contract position, and if Anthony’s secondment isn’t renewed, he’ll likely be returning to the position next fall, but I’m not worrying about that just yet. I’m looking forward to some new challenges related to managing a large corporate website. I’m hoping that the burgeoning field of content strategy will hold many new insights for me, and I’m bemused to be wrestling with both an unwieldy corporate CMS and the tortured prose of professionals and academics again.

P.S. The title of the post and the image both reference the iconic “Urban Angel” statue that has come to represent St. Michael’s Hospital. You can read more about it here. “Thank You For Sending Me An Angel” is a very fine song by Talking Heads from their second album (and my favourite), More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978).

5 thoughts on “Thank You For Sending Me An Angel

  1. Congrats James! What a great gig and a great way to start/end a vacation. Looking forward to see the photos on Flickr. Hope you guys are well!

  2. Awesome James! No doubt there will be challenges but it sounds like a great opportunity and with plenty of ways to put your skills to work.

  3. Thanks everyone! Brad, the photos are already up on Flickr but are a bit disorganized at the moment. I’m hoping to spend some time tagging and labelling and organizing them soon, but you can at least see where we were (and what we ate!) now.

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