An Interview with Online Media Manager Charlotte Weatherington
A bond forms when two people start something new at the same time. And that's what happened with today's Bitch. Like many of my friends, Goodwill brought Charlotte and I together. Around the time I was beginning to blog for them and cohost their shopping events, Charlotte was coming onboard as their new online media manager. We met at an event and became fast friends. We took our friendship to the next level when we decided to try FB Live for the first time, and not because we were good at it, actually, the opposite. We shot the whole video sideways. Live. On Goodwill's Facebook page. *shrug emoji
How many people do you know who do a version of your job, ten, twenty, a million? I know two, and Charlotte is one of them. I don't know that we've ever talked about social media, we mostly talk about tripods (because we both keep buying the wrong ones) and how I keep seeing versions of her cat in feminist t-shirt ads (#feministcat), but I take great comfort in knowing that if I have a question about social media, there's a new person on my advisory council. Meet my friend, Gizmo's mom, Charlotte Weatherington!
What is your job title and where do you work?
I am the Online Media Manager for Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee.
When did you first learn about this field of work? How did you know it was what you wanted to do?
I was pegged pretty early on as a strong writer, and it was something I enjoyed. So, as I began exploring career fields, I knew I wanted to pursue an occupation that had a pretty heavy writing element to it. Eventually, I found public relations, and I fell in love. In my eyes, it’s the perfect blend of writing, communication and strategy.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
If you can write, you can do anything.
Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned or that helped improve the way you work?
For better or for worse, in general, most people are fairly forgetful. So that means two things: 1). Don’t beat yourself up over something you said or did that, in hindsight, you felt was out of character, embarrassing or even mildly offensive. There’s a good chance that whoever was present will forget about it, or is too wrapped up in something weird they said or did to care about your little hiccup. Learn from your mistake and move on. And, 2). Don’t be afraid to speak up or remind a coworker if you feel like a deliverable you’ve asked for has fallen by the wayside. Particularly as women, I think we’re conditioned by society to be hypersensitive to coming across as “nagging” or “belligerent.” Don’t overthink it. Just ask.
What would you do with two more hours a day?
While it was challenging, I found my time spent pursuing a master’s degree to be very rewarding. If money wasn’t an issue, I think it would be fascinating to use that extra time to pursue a doctorate degree in public relations.
What is your greatest success, or something you’re most proud of related to what you do?
I’m proud of myself for pursuing the Online Media Manager position with Goodwill. I enjoyed the agency I worked with previously very much - I was comfortable in my work, writing, pitching to media, branding, etc. The people were some of the best in the business, and I had what I felt were some major wins while I was there. But, when the position with Goodwill became available, something just seemed right. It was out of my comfort zone, for sure — digital marketing requires a particular strain of ingenuity, and it’s a medium where less words is more — but taking into consideration the direction marketing and public relations is taking in favor of digital and online media and the chance to work with a brand like Goodwill, the opportunity was too good to pass by. Working for a nonprofit comes with its own unique set of challenges, but, thankfully, I work with a fantastic team of people who all believe in not only me, but also our mission of changing lives through education, training and employment. That can make all the difference some days!
How do you decompress at the end of the work day?
I soak in the time I have to spend with my husband Casey and follow our kitty Gizmo (#feministcat) around. If I feel the need to go out after work, I enjoy treasure hunting at Goodwill or another one of my favorite stores around our neighborhood.
What’s a fear that keeps you up at night?
It doesn’t necessarily keep me up at night, but sometimes I worry that I’m not writing enough and/or that I’ll become stagnant in my work and skillset. But then I remind myself that if I want to write more, I just have to do it. And, working for a nonprofit like Goodwill is so dynamic with countless opportunities to grow and learn from the industry and the people I work with. The only surefire way for me to become stagnant would be for me to begin to believe my fears and become blind to the opportunities I already have access to.
What is one thing everyone gets wrong about what you do?
Sometimes, people refer to me as a social media manager. While that’s understandable, and social media is a very important aspect of my job, my responsibilities encapsulate so much more than that, including using strategic methods to boost Goodwill’s SEO rankings, responding to online reviews and providing my professional input for PR and marketing campaigns.
What does self care look like in your life?
Talking with Casey, playing with Gizmo, eating vegan food, reading, shopping. Social media gets a bad rap, but I think even it can be a form of self care in moderation if you see it as a way to enjoy the creativity and positivity of others rather than trying to use it for comparison.
What helps when you’re stuck? Do you have a motto or quote that inspires/motivates you?
I just remember that you win some and you lose some. Acknowledge your wins with moderation, but don’t beat yourself up over the missed opportunities. Everything balances out in the end, I think.
Are there any women who helped pave the way for your success?
First and foremost, my mom! She homeschooled me and my sisters through middle and high school and has always helped me think outside the box and shoot for the moon when looking for career development and job opportunities. Otherwise, my bosses — who were women — at the agency were influential in my development. The standard they held me to and the time they invested in me to grow as a young professional is invaluable and will stay with me for a long time.
Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite TV show and what is your favorite snack?
I think Parks and Recreation was probably the most impactful TV show for me, with The Office as a close second. And, I could eat Chex cereal all day every day.
All photos courtesy of Charlotte Weatherington