Since you're reading this blog there is a good chance that you read other blogs. And you probably spend some time interacting with people on social media. Well, imagine "doing social media" as a job. And then imagine doing it for one of the most recognized internet brands.
In this week's My Job Story, we feature Cherylyn Feierabend. Cherylyn, who goes by Cj, is a Social Media Advocacy Specialist for GoDaddy. Yes, that GoDaddy, the domain name and web hosting company with the great ads (including some very popular Super Bowl commercials). GoDaddy is one of the most well known brands on the internet; more domain names are registered at GoDaddy than any other company in the world! Cj has been at GoDaddy for six years and in her current position for two years.
High Demand, Low Supply: How did you get where you are now?
Cj Feierabend: I was relatively successfully at a young age. I started working in fast food, moved up to retail, and from there started working in the credit reporting industry. When the company I was with closed its doors, I found a great opportunity with a software developer. I worked there for three years and then we fell on some hard times and I was forced to find a new employer. I went back into credit reporting with a company that would allow me to move back to Arizona where my family lives. Once I returned I was lucky enough to earn myself a position at Insight, a local computer reseller. Insight grew, went public, and continues to be an organization I'm proud to have worked for. I took off a few years to have children and in that time I worked from home with my own business, which was a music and movement program for toddlers. I also sold Avon, was a remote administrative assistant for a successful podcasting network, and I had my own parenting podcast on the network as well. Once my kids were in school I wanted to rejoin the workforce world and a recruiter at GoDaddy said she thought I'd be a great fit. Following that lead was the best thing I've ever done for my career!
HDLS: How do you describe your job?
Cj: My elevator pitch is, "It's my job to make people feel good about using GoDaddy so much that they want to share positive thoughts about the company through their social channels." If someone isn't familiar with GoDaddy or social media, I would tell them that I work with communities to create advocates for our company who are customers and fans of what we're accomplishing, mostly with Small Businesses, Web Pros, and Women in Tech.
HDLS: How did you get this current job?
Cj: I originally started on the ground floor at GoDaddy, like most people do, solving technical issues for customers and providing consultations on what products would best serve their needs. When I discovered there was a Social Media team at GoDaddy, I shadowed them to learn more about their department. I quickly moved (within 6 months) to that department after a month of training in our executive support department. I would field tweets, Facebook posts and comments in regards to any and all types of issues, many the same as the support team would be receiving via a phone call. I moved into my current position after a department re-organization in 2013.
HDLS: What's a typical day like for you?
Cj: I always like to say that GoDaddy is more a way of life than just a job, so a typical day is really as rare as a unicorn. On any given day I could be working from one of our offices, working from home, or traveling for a conference. Most days I spend in front of my computer reading blogs, responding to emails, and reviewing or sharing content on social media channels. Since most of my work revolves around projects, I go through my to-do list for the day each morning and prioritize project activities, reach out to whomever I may need content or answers from, or do the research needed to find the information necessary to complete a task. This could be reading blogs, reviewing hashtags on Twitter from a recent conference, or spending time on conference calls.
HDLS: Is there a particularly memorable day?
Cj: My most memorable day was October 8, 2014. That was the day we launched the .NYC domain in New York City. I’d spent the previous weeks working with pickle companies, pizzerias, and Task Rabbits all over New York and New Jersey to have pickles and pizzas delivered to businesses throughout the day as a barge with a huge GoDaddy .NYC advertisement traveled up and down the Hudson River. It was a crazy day because I was busy tweeting to companies all day to tell them to look outside for the barge and to enjoy their pizza and pickles. It’s been over a year ago now and people still remember that day. It went by fast because it was so much fun, but it’s one of my favorite memories because of that and I’m proud of all the work I put into it to make it happen.
HDLS: What are the best parts of your job?
Cj: The best parts of my job are meeting new people, building new friendships, and sending gifts!
HDLS: Sending gifts? If someone says nice things about GoDaddy online you might send them a gift?
Cj: I have a program that was brainstormed a couple years ago with a co-worker and it’s grown into what I call the “Gift Advocacy Project.” We sometimes like to surprise and delight some of our social media fans by sending them an unexpected gift. The cool part of the program is that I actually purchase the gifts from customers who are selling their products on their GoDaddy hosted website. This makes it even more awesome because everyone is essentially winning. The recipient of the awesome gift gets both the gift and the recognition for being most excellent, the sender of the gift gets both a sale and the recognition for selling such awesome products (we tweet what we’re sending and mention their Twitter account) and of course, GoDaddy because we’re making people happy and helping them be successful. Win. Win. Win!
HDLS: What was your first job?
Cj: Unless you count babysitting or doing inventory for my dad where he worked, my official first job was as a cashier at Wendy's.
HDLS: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Cj: I always wanted to be an elementary school teacher. Working with kids is important to me.
HDLS: What is the best career advice you have ever received?
Cj: I've heard it many times and it's so true, "Do work that you love and you'll love the work that you do."
HDLS: What about the worst career advice?
Cj: Anytime someone suggests quitting a job to look for better opportunities when you're not financially stable enough to do so.
HDLS: What career advice would you give your younger self?
Cj: Be kind. Say yes. Volunteer often.
HDLS: Is "doing social media" at work is just like it is for your personal social media?
Cj: I would say that it’s completely different, yet it has elements of sameness because our staff is always encouraged to speak in their own voice and personality. We don’t treat our social media accounts like big, corporate entities. We try to sign all of our tweets and comments and make sure that people we’re communicating with know and feel like they are talking to actual human beings. Although there are definitely some intense issues at times and we’re careful to make sure responses are thoroughly correct before posting.
HDLS: You mentioned "Women in Tech". Can you tell us more about that?
Cj: GoDaddy has many internal groups who work together for different causes. One of them is GDWIT (GoDaddy Women in Technology). We have speakers who come in and talk with us about inspiring women in the technology field and helping address the issues of salary parity between the genders as well as encouraging women to follow their passions. We’ve had women like Maria Klawe (the President of Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California) speak and it’s always amazing to hear what these incredible women have to say. Many of our employees also attend the Grace Hopper Convention annually and our CEO, Blake Irving, has spoken there for the last two years.
Cj's job sure sounds like a lot of fun! And her job story is a great example of starting at the "ground level" and working hard to grow. It's also clear that she loves her work. Cj lives in Mesa, Arizona with her daughter and son. Follow GoDaddy on Twitter and Facebook. Thank you Cj for sharing your job story!