Digital’s Made Me a Mobile Employee

24Jul08

The following entry was written for the Edelman Digital blog.

At the start of the month, I enjoyed reading Steve’s Ad Age article about Digital Nomads. In his post, he said that as employees connected by technology and social networks, we’re becoming incredibly mobile. A few weeks later, I’m suddenly experiencing this first hand. Last week, I was offered a really great opportunity to transfer to Edelman’s Chicago office. It was an easy decision to make for two key reasons that I think are worth sharing.

Most of my belongings are digital. I was amazed when I noticed that the majority of my belongings fit into three medium-sized boxes and a carry-on bag. The largest amount of clutter I own is digital. I have taken hundreds of photos and bought and collected thousands of songs, books, podcasts and videos, but all of this content is stored in Flickr, iTunes, YouTube, Google Reader and my computer and is not taking up any space in my suitcase. I won’t even talk about how much clutter I have in my inbox that constantly reminds me how I love living in a post snail mail world. It reminds me of Steve’s Media Green post. He says, “people are amazed when they come into my apartment or office and see no paper at all.” I’m finally getting to that point and it allows me to keep the media I love, yet remain incredibly nimble.

My social networks transcend geography. Four years ago when I moved away from home to start my undergrad studies in Boston, I remember saying goodbye to all of my friends and having the dreaded feeling that comes when you prepare to move to a new city on your own and know you’ll find an entirely new set of unfamiliar people.

I can honestly say that I’ve not had that feeling once since deciding to make this move. Of course I’ll miss my friends and colleagues in NY, but I’ve been connecting with Rick, Mary, Leah, Phil, Danielle, Michael, Dan, Allie, Steve, Annie, Jill, Carla and other colleagues in Chicago on sites like Twitter, Facebook and PROpenMic since college and my first days at Edelman. Now as I prepare to join them in Chicago, they’ve been welcoming me into their team, emailing and DMing me advice on what neighborhoods I should live in and even offering me a place to stay while I look for an apartment. It’s indicative of a company that takes care of its employees and really awesome colleagues who have quickly become good friends. However, it also shows how social networks have helped me nurture incredible relationships in our company that extend way beyond our NY office.

If I ever have a similar opportunity to work with our other offices in DC, LA, Seattle, London, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Australia, Shanghai… I’ll be happy knowing that I can DM Michael, Gary, Natasha, David, Marshall, Jason, Simon, Jonny, Wolfgang, Bjoern, Olga, Thiane, Con, Adam…for advice and help with the transition.

Image from Oh, Mandy on Flickr

-Amanda Mooney

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