What was I doing all this time? The short answer is, I was copywriting for a vape/CBD company and practically ignored updating my personal site. Now, I’m doing it out of necessity. I should be writing more for my own site, and that is something I plan to do now that I have the time and energy to do so.
For those who are unaware, I was let go from my job on November 19. I was heading to a friend’s wedding in Modesto after spending a few eventful days in the San Francisco Bay Area and had taken a half-day so I could go and have fun. I got the news when the Amtrak train was stopped because of a death on the tracks. I believe it was a message from the universe: you need to branch out beyond what you’re doing right now.
The job itself was fun and paid well (special thanks to Jonathan for making it happen, as well as the amazing coworkers who made the job something I looked forward to doing on a daily basis). Unfortunately, the government (indirectly) regulated the hell out of the industry. Writing in a highly regulated industry requires a very close relationship with the legal team. I had a lot of fun doing that too and learning the ins and outs of an industry I thought was just marketing some sort of fad. Over time, I had grown to somewhat appreciate our mission and did everything I could to help both our retail and wholesale customers.
There were plenty of unique restrictions: we couldn’t advertise on the Internet or social media (heck, even talking about it could get you in trouble on Facebook and Instagram at least). I saw these as challenges that we could overcome and learned quite a bit about search engine optimization (SEO) in the process. Managing content for four different sites and contributing on occasion to a fifth, the job gave me a lot of freedom editorial-wise, with my coworkers and the legal department serving as de facto editors.
Overall, eCig Distributors didn’t give me just a new step in my career. I know a lot of jobs like to say that “we’re a family” and how big of a red flag that was, but I had the pleasure of working alongside some really awesome people. If it wasn’t for being acquired by another company and USPS banning the shipping of vaping products, I’d still be finding ways and means to advocate for our customers.
The advocacy, which was hosted on our wholesale site (eJuices.co) was called The State of Vape. It was something I took very seriously and took ownership of on a near-daily basis, finding new ways to advocate for an industry I had complete ignorance of nearly two and a half years ago. One of my coworkers, who unfortunately passed away recently, was a tremendous help and a great source of information in the industry when I was starting out. Russell, you’ll be greatly missed.
The truth is, this question is a bit unanswerable at this moment. I’ve put in a few job applications here and there. I’ve looked into breaking into a new industry; I’ve also looked at getting back into media (which may be the bigger hill to climb at this point). Thankfully, some old clients have offered some work in the meantime while I get back on my feet.
If you’re hiring or know someone who needs the skills of an experienced writer, you can always contact me. In these new times, I’m practically living on the computer anyway. I’m open to learning something new or doing something familiar. That’s all I have to say about this for now, but definitely expect me to write more for my personal website going forward.
I believe in signs from the universe too. I was a hairdresser, and my signs were me breaking my hand and having my scissors thrown away at the airport. Wishing you a good time with your freelance writing, Jose!