By David Thalberg – President, Stryker-Munley Group Los Angeles/Orange County
When I woke up this morning, I found a number of notifications on my phone congratulating me on my “workiversary.” Hm. Interesting. I wondered: “which work? And what anniversary?”
Like many of you, I’ve had a number of different jobs over the years (after being with one organization for many years).
So: what “anniversary” was I celebrating? Turns out it is my “7th anniversary at Thalberg Group.” Certainly you know Thalberg Group, don’t you? If not, please check out this “masterpiece” of a website (Thank you, GoDaddy!)
A little history: About 7 years ago, I was “laid off” as the Executive Director of Public Relations from my last true agency job. It happened over the summer. It also happened the day before my wife left for a business trip to Asia, so I chose not to tell her about it until she got back about a week later. (Wise choice.)
I immediately got on the horn and reached out to my connections in the industry to see what roles were available in-house, or what introductions could be made so I could secure that next agency job… fast.
After a number of meetings, phone calls, interviews, etc., there really was nothing promising on the horizon. A few friends/colleagues sent project work my way. That was interesting. Although I wasn’t “managing” a team, I was digging back in to my roots: writing press releases, pitching media, developing strategies for clients. It wasn’t 9–5 (but what job really is?), so I had time to continue outreach for a “traditional” full-time job, but also had additional time to spend with my young kids.
It was “weird” not getting dressed early and heading to an office. I discovered the best times I could get work done from our apartment (when kids were in school) and then the best spots around town with free wi-fi (and likely upped my coffee consumption). I had lots of lunches and “drinks” meetings.
I was — like many others out there — a “consultant.” Such a freewheeling word, “consultant.” (I liked it better than “freelancer.”) Yet there was something still not sitting right with me. I was a “company man.” I was used to having a regular paycheck, benefits and a team around me. Now I was one of the many working from Starbucks, Grey Dog, the public library or my kitchen. I needed more.
So, I founded “The Thalberg Group.” My idea was that I would show potential clients (and ex-colleagues) that I didn’t drop off the map, but started my own company. I was more than a freelancer. As a “group,” I would lead all strategy and business development, but had a team of experts I could call on at a moment’s notice, depending on the type of business I was bringing in.
This was exciting. People “got it.” Why work for someone else when you could develop your own business, bring in other professionals to service certain areas, and make a significant amount of money? In theory, it really was terrific.
After a time, bigger pieces of business came in and it seemed as if The Thalberg Group’s business plan maybe wasn’t spot on. Maybe I needed more — something substantial. For years a good friend suggested we work together. Finally, some business came in that warranted this. After a few successful accounts, we decided to start fresh with a new brand name and brand identity: BrandStand. So after just one year… the end of The Thalberg Group.
But not to LinkedIn. To LinkedIn, The Thalberg Group still survives (and flourishes?) Interestingly, Facebook feels the same way — I still get notifications of views of The Thalberg Group FB page every few weeks. But LinkedIn is the one who (that?) sends out the anniversary announcement. Today, it’s 7 years.
Now, I suppose I could put an end date on my term at The Thalberg Group. That would put an end to these anniversary celebrations. (I could do the same for the company I founded with my friend as well, as I’ve moved on from that, but he continues the business.) I now lead the Southern California office of Stryker-Munley Group, a PR & marketing agency with (today) 9 offices around the country. My bio on LinkedIn notes that I am President of SMG-LA, plus founder of BrandStand and of The Thalberg Group.
Why don’t I close out BrandStand and The Thalberg Group? Am I secretly being very strategic? The fact that I get 3 work anniversaries a year isn’t a bad thing, is it? Today I’ve received “congratulations” from a number of people who receive notifications about these types of anniversaries. I will likely get more congratulations when my BrandStand anniversary comes up in just a few days, and then again with SMG-LA. This could lead to new business opportunities — because out of sight, out of mind, right?
Does Anyone Else Think This Way???
So thank you, LinkedIn, for recognizing the 7th Anniversary of The Thalberg Group, my 6th anniversary at BrandStand and my upcoming 4th anniversary with Stryker-Munley Group. And just in case that’s not enough, my 21st wedding anniversary is in just 10 days and my __th birthday is at the end of the month.