With the exception of a brief stint I had working at an ad agency out of college, my entire career up until last August was with the same employer. I started this collection of business cards – all with the same logo – with titles that progressed from my entry level position to intern, and then all the way up to vice president. I fantasized about one day framing them when I got to a senior enough position. Now that just seems ridiculous (and smug). It’s easy to get caught up in climbing the ladder. I mean, it’s a good thing to be ambitious and driven to get to the next level. But for me, the next level wasn’t the next rung on the ladder but the cape I acquired when I decided to jump off of it.
After I quit, I kept finding my old business cards everywhere; in pockets, purses, and suitcases, all reminding me what I had just left behind. Self doubt swirled and clouded my new vision for myself as I started to second guess my decision. What am I doing? Who am I now? That’s when I decided to make a business card for myself. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to be doing (marketing? writing? strategy? consulting? communications?) so I put ALL of it on the card and ordered 20 of them from Moo. I didn’t intend to give them to anyone. (And I didn’t, except for my parents and in-laws as some kind of silly proof that I was still doing something.) I guess in a way they were more like transitional confidence or security cards. I needed something to hold on to, literally and figuratively.
Then, two weeks ago, I ordered my latest business cards that I was so excited to give out at Altitude Summit last week. Alt Summit is a conference for creative entrepreneurs and exchanging business cards is a huge part of it.
As I met new people, it was an amazing thing – so empowering – to proudly exclaim almost like an announcement to the universe, as I handed them my card,
“Hi, I’m Rachel and I am a blogger.”