Welcome to Our New Site and Blog

Dearest Guns,

Thank you for your patience. We’ve ripped off the Band-Aid and are finally proud to show off our big new beautiful site. We couldn’t have done it without you.

What’s behind all the change? The drive to build a new kind of experience came out of having a whole lot of pent-up ideas about the future of work — we needed to bust them out. And we were feeling a little confined–we wanted to have a two-way conversation with you guys, and our last site wasn’t set up for that.

Enter: the idea of getting our own blog on. Thrilling, terrifying, the right thing. We teach a class on it, for God’s sake. But suddenly we had a case of the jitters. Our big concern, the one many companies have, is can we sustain it? Nothing is more annoying than a corporate blog where the content doesn’t change. And so while we were waiting out the worst recession since the depression, like all of you, we decided to get to test out some of our ideas on Twitter. Doing so helped us build our confidence (thank you, Biz Stone). We learned what you guys cared about and what you didn’t. And the exercise itself helped us to discover career content everywhere — in pop culture, in the economy, in the tales you lived to tell from the job-hunting front lines. Of course, not everything can be said in 140 characters, which is why after 18 months of active tweeting we’re ready for the next step. Hopefully you will be too.

You’ll see a few big changes on the site: 

A New, Streamlined Look. I remember our first logo, designed by my sister, Judy, who instinctively knew to put the logo in the box. Today, everyone has a boxed-in logo because of the requirements of their Facebook and Twitter icons. That said, with our new look, we thought it was time that our “Guns” came out of the box for good.

Gigs, Front and Center. It’s no surprise that the best-trafficked part of our site is the Gig Board. We’ve simplified the user experience to offer you easy access to all the jobs that are fit to print. And we’ve put in a handy “filter by discipline” feature you’ve been ask for–for, well, about 10 years. (we hear you, we really do … )

Mentorship and Coaching. You’ll start to see Hired Guns avatars of our bloggers–our peeps. When we surveyed you, your number-one request (after “more Gigs please”) was more stories about other Guns making their way in the real world. With our new site, there’s a whole new posse of Guns blogging out some great career advice. Some will be specific to the vertical you work in–whether it’s User Experience, Marketing, or advice for first-time managers. We’ll be rolling out a couple of new bloggers every week or so, tackling different subjects. And we’ll have a crew of DIYers giving tales from the front lines. Almost all of them, in addition to being experts in their field of choice, are also darn good mentors (otherwise we wouldn’t have asked them to write for us). If you’re looking for a leg up in your field or industry, you have a new kind of career coach, one who gets your industry because he or she is in the thick of it, in a senior capacity.

Career Advice and News. We realized we were sitting on a treasure trove of good content that was not very SEO friendly. We already write our Gig Alerts from scratch. So writing more original content just forced us to change our routine–which is proving to be a lot more fun than expected from a corporate culture perspective (warning: subliminal lesson just snuck in). We’ll also be inviting industry experts to guest post and asking authors who are writing about the future of work to chime in. And I’ll be writing a weekly post that takes a rock ‘n’ roll song and weaves it together with career management and advice. After writing about careers for 10 years, I wanted a new challenge. Hope you’ll come along for the slow ride.

More Community Organizing. With polls like our monthly Optimism Index and contests like What’s Your Twesume? and Pimp My Blog, we’re going to have some serious fun this year. With our polls in particular, we’re looking to help show the world what and how the Guns community is thinking. Of course, this only works if you play….We’ve added in a bunch of social sharing tools, too, so please “like,” tweet, and do whatever you want to add your two cents. And there will be comments. We have but one over-arching request: do not add chaos to the universe. (If you want to know more about what that means, read our house rules.)

Many industries look to creative classers to show them the way. (Thank you, Aaron Sorkin, for The Social Network, which helped Web 2.0 displace Wall Street as the industry to aspire to.) And although things are still tough, it’s in large part the tech sector that’s pulling us out of this recession. We can use this influence in a lot of ways, but what if we showed people that it’s not just what we produce but how we produce it that makes us truly innovative. Maybe, just maybe, together we’ll be able to take work (and our country) to the next place.

Thank you so much for your support and advice.

Ally Hemming
Top Gun

Image: Enokson/flickr]

About this Gun

Allison Hemming

Allison Hemming

is Top Gun at The Hired Guns and the founder of The Hired Guns Academy. A noted career authority, Allison has helped thousands of individuals assume leadership roles in organizations through effective career and personal brand management. Follow @TheHiredGuns.