A Hybrid Professional, what is that? Until recently, when people ask me what I do, my most common answer was I am a freelance travel and scuba diving writer. Most of my online work has been in that niche. However, a couple of random events had me starting to rethink that answer.
- A new acquaintance had remarked a number of times that I had done more things, knew more things, been more places and had more experiences than any ten people she knew.
- I was interviewing for an assignment to write some copy for a new resort. I asked some questions about their online marketing plan. They did not have one, so the task changed to developing one.
- I heard the term Hybrid Professional.
“Instead of a string of past roles and responsibilities, hybrids are masters of combining multiple professional identities together into a robust recipe. Whereas non-hybrids are a list of ingredients, hybrids are a dish full of flavors that meld together.” – Sarabeth Berk, Ph.D.
My father had a quote hanging over his desk at home. It said “Be A Jack Of All Trades And A Master Of One.” For many years, I felt that was my motto as well. However, there were many times when I saw myself as a master of more than one trade. The principal of being a Hybrid Professional is another way to say that I am “A Jack Of All Trades And A Master OfMore Than ONE.
He also had another sign over his desk.
Work Eight Hours
Sleep Eight Hours
But Not The Same Eight Hours
My Hybrid Professional Background
The concept of Hybrid interested me because it pulled together many of my vast experiences under one title.
- I spent twenty years as an enlisted member of the US Army. Most of the time in the Communications Electronics field. Those assignments were the same as managers in similar private sector companies. Four years of my military experience was assigned to the Army Signal School as a Senior Instructor. My duties there had me teaching electronics but also developing curriculum, writing testing material and writing technical manuals. The school was accredited as a college level tech school and my position as a full professor.
- I started the army shortly after high school. After my military schooling, I started to go to college at night. When I finally got all the required courses to graduate, instead of the required 120 semester hours I had 180. Later I had enough credits for an MBA, however, I did not have enough at any one university because of reassignments to get a degree. I did get a graduate level certificate from USC in Managing Information Systems.
- While in the Army, I started a number of small businesses. Military pay was not that great.
- I started my love of photography when I was in Junior High School. While in the military, I had some part-time jobs with photography, photographed a number of weddings and special events. I successfully completed the Air force’s Photojournalism correspondent program.
- After I retired from the army, I started to work for American Online. I started as a call center agent, became a supervisor the day my 90-day probationary period was reached. Another three months I was a manager with 120 under me, growing to become the department manager with 250 people in another 90 days. Shortly before reaching my one-year mark with AOL, I was promoted to a project manager position reporting to the Senior Vice President.
My first “project” was to move to Germany for a year to develop the customer service for a joint venture between AOL and Bertelsmann. My task was to help build the customer service department and instill the “AOL Culture” into the new operation. It also involved training the General Managers for the three country specific customer service organizations. The closest job title translation was Chief Technical Officer (CTO). That was not my last experience with a c level position with AOL.
My next project with AOL was a very sensitive one at the time. It involved exploring the possibility of doing some customer service support offshore. At that time it was not a common activity. My due diligence lead the company to start an email and live chat center in the Philippines. It was the first stand-alone center for the Philippines, an industry that is the third largest sector of their economy now. I directed the start up and became the company’s first President and CEO. After the first year, My boss took over the position as an addition task to his Senior Vice President position at AOL. I moved back to the US but maintained the role as Chairmen of the Board.
My final major project with AOL was titled “Best Practices Manager”. The open part of the project was reviewing stats to determine what worked best and what did not. It involved travel to ten different locations to talk to staff and suggest improvements. A sensitive portion of the task was observing and evaluating the General Managers and other senior staff.
- Vice President and Marketing Manager, Arizona Resort.
- Managing Consultant (Marketing) White Rock Resort.
- Marketing Director, Greater Subic Tourism Bureau.
- President (owner) Seahorse Tours (Tour Operator/ Travel Agency)
- Professor (English and Marketing), Freeport College
Moving Forward In This World
In the off-line world, I have been becoming increasingly involved with different management and marketing projects. It only makes sense that I continue that trend online as well. See more about me at my Upwork profile