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Need advice from people in Marketing, Colorado, or anyone in general

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

Ok, so I made a thread a while back asking about getting my foot in the door. Now I'm in a bit of a jam. My foot is securely in the door, but the rest of my body is stuck outside. Allow me to explain.

I currently work for a department at Colorado College. My job title is Paraprofessional, which I translate as Latin for Department Bitch. I make copies, I put stuff online, and occasionally I actually use what I learned and teach a lab here or there. While a great jumping off point if I wanted to do anything related to my major or anything in academia, I'm not heading down that path and therefore cannot wait for this job to end. I signed a 1 year contract which ends June 30. Moving on.

I am very close with the people at CC's Career Center, and was told about a job opening in Basalt, CO (outside of Aspen). I applied for the position, and was offered a phone interview. The interview went extremely well, and I got the impression that they were going to offer my a job eventually. However, they were looking for someone to start relatively soon, as in December. I told them about my contract, and they said something to the effect of "Quit!"

The next day, I received an email asking that I come out to Basalt for a second, in person interview. I just got back. They offered me a job, and they want me to start in December, January at the latest. So, here's the problem:

1. I could probably find a way to get out of my job now, but it would not be easy. I might lose any hope of getting recommendations from all those PhDs, should I ever apply to grad school.

2. While it would be a healthy increase in salary (about 8k), it's also much more expensive to live near Aspen.

3. If they want me this badly, then the logic would follow that I could get a job doing similar things at other resorts as well, right? I'm thinking specifically of Vail, as I know people there, I know the mountain, etc.

So, what do people think? I know this is my decision, and trust me, I'm going to do whatever I feel is right in the end, but I would love some input from you guys, especially those involved in marketing (that's what I'd be doing) and those who live in the mountains, and very much especially those who do marketing in the mountains. Thanks for reading all of this if you did!
post #2 of 20
Be up front with your current employer and discuss the situation with your boss & explain your concern about references to grad school. If you really are just doing menial office work, they should be able to replace you fairly easily. Your current employer is in education, their goal is to help you develop a career you will enjoy and excel at. If they are even somewhat reasonable, they should back you all the way. You could even offer to help find your replacement should you decide to leave. Any time you leave a job, make it as amicable as possible and offer to help in the transition.

Now, as for living in Aspen and probably not making a ton of cash, well that is your decision. Does the lifestyle/job outweigh the lack of $$$?
post #3 of 20
As someone who lives in Aspen, it isn't cheap. Hell, unless you have a couple big movies or invented windows it is painful to live here. That being said, there are lots of people who have rentals available. They do that to help make it possible for them to live here. Check out the paper you should be able to find something relatively reasonable. You could also drive from Carbondale or Glenwood and save a couple of dollars (not much really). No matter what ski area you look at the cost of living is brutal, we live here for the lifestyle. If you are into this only for money then the ski industry is probably not for you. This time of year most positions are filled or filling quickly so I wouldn't wait too long to decide.

My advice, move here enjoy life, ski everyday. You'll come to realize that everyone on the Front Range may pay less to live but we have more fun.
post #4 of 20
An old joke from our area (and I presume others) , fitting for ski towns:

"How do you become a millionaire in <pick preference>?

Move there with two."

Don't burn your bridges and keep all options available for after getting your ya-yas out......or not.
post #5 of 20

Job/Career Decision

Years ago I met a young woman who was an Asst/Asst in marketing and sales at Northstar at Tahoe. She was very professional and good at her job. For the past 10 years she has been Vice President of Mrkt and Sales for Booth Creek Ski Holdings (numerous resorts). It certainly can be done in the Ski Industry. Good luck and hard work.
post #6 of 20
You're probably most likely to find the most openings in the resorts that are large corporations, but the applicant pool will also be quite large. The smaller resorts will have less competition, but tend to hire from within.

However, CC does have a good rep in state, that should help with the job search.

For those who talk about the expense of living in ski towns, have you looked at the tuition at CC lately?
post #7 of 20
Clearly you are an ethical person who is concerned about their commitments. Explain your situation to your supervisor and personnel department and give them a letter offering your resignation with the explaination that the proposed opportunity for professional growth income, and personal fulfillment is simply too great to turn down. Thank them for all that they have done to help you grow your career, and for being a good employer and friend. Offer to assist them to transition your duties to another person over a reasonable period of time (not more than 30 days or the limit of your new job availability).

Even though this strategy does not leave them a choice, it does not burn bridges. No one would deny your reasonable notice to leave under these circumstances. In addition, no one wants some one working where their heart is in another place. Good luck in your new position.
post #8 of 20
You say you signed a 1 year contract. Read it. What does it say about early termination. Good luck.
post #9 of 20
Yeah that's the thing. Typically in my line of work, contracts are not guaranteed but more like at-will. So that means they have no loyalty either and could can you. But if it's academia they are rolling in money compared with some sectors of the economy.

It's a touchy situation but you might even consider bringing this up with your current employer. You certainly have "walk away" leverage for increase in $$ or whatever. Realistically, what are future prospects with those folks?

Also, give yourself ample time to transition should you decide to do so. In today's market there's a lot of mobility, but you want to leave if you are leaving on good terms with plenty of time for training. But it sounds like the position you have is more of a clerical position with the potential for a "real" more meaningful job later. Careful with false promises - I've seen people strung along for years at lower pay only to have something blindside their plans.

Good luck with your decision!
post #10 of 20
Originally Posted by HookedOnWinter View Post

1. I could probably find a way to get out of my job now, but it would not be easy. I might lose any hope of getting recommendations from all those PhDs, should I ever apply to grad school.
If the new employer is allowing you to start in January, that is plenty of notice to your current employer. I would give them as much notice as possible, and offer to help recruit and train a replacement. Send them a resignation letter stating as such that way it is on record that you were very cognizant of leaving in good order. It could prevent them from causing you problems down the road.
post #11 of 20
A follow up to what I said above. Colleges and Universities are very mindful of preventing any type of lawsuit. I you leave in the proper way, the HR department will not allow anyone to try and cause you problems.
post #12 of 20
As an employer my advice is to be up front, start with "I really like working here, and you have been a great boss, but" and offer at least 2 weeks notice, the employer will know that you plan on going anyway and will most likely let you our of the contract.

No employer want someone working that does not want to be there, it is counterproductive and disruptive. I usually pay 2 weeks and let them off then unless I need them to train a replacement.

Don't burn bridges, you never know when you may need them as a reference.

Follow your dreams, just don't change them very often, the only thing an employer can ask or look at anymore is past work experience. Since training is expensive they will pass on anyone that looks like they will only stay a short time.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your advice. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do, but if I do decide to take this position, I think I know how to go about getting out of my current one. To clear up a few things:

my current position is a dead end one. My contract ends June 30 (says so on it). I will not, and cannot stay on after that, at least not in my current position. I will not get a raise, bonus, or anything else like that. This job is over June 30.

My job, while clerical for the most part, does require some knowledge. I do teach certain labs that someone who was not in the same major would not be able to get right away. I answer some students' questions that would not be readily apparent to someone with a different background.

The biggest thing now is that the offer isn't for much more than I'm making now. It is, except that living expenses there are a whole lot more than here.

And to the person who mentioned CC's tuition, here's to financial aid!
post #14 of 20
Just my $.02, from a business perspective, most managers and many grad schools put a lot more weight on reviews from current and past managers than anything you did in school. In fact outside of your first job it is highly unlikely that you would even be asked questions about college. The same thing for references, a good managerial reference is going to get you a lot farther than a reference from a Phd you had in college. I'm sure it is different for different industries but my experience in sales/marketing is that you should take that job that gives you an opportunity to prove yourself and move up even if it means loosing a reference from a job in which you aren't using your full potential.
post #15 of 20
You current job is just that - a job - and not a career, plus you hate it!
The second sounds to me like it's what you want to do, so off you go, says I.

Always be upfront & never burn bridges.
HOWEVER, if they fail to see the importance of the offer made to you I would not extend to them anything more than what they are merely offering you - a position for pay.

As for the PhD'ers - they are suppose to be smart, so they of all people should understand. If not, they are not worth your admiration and respect!

Th@'s my wooden nickle!
post #16 of 20
Not sure if thread starter was talking about a new job in ski industry marketing or some other kind of marketing in a part of Colorado near ski areas, but…
what exactly are the three or four main things a person would do working in the marketing department of a major ski area?
post #17 of 20
I don't know enough to comment on the particulars of your situation, but it seems like you should be able to both be honest and upfront and start the new job that you want on December 1st. One year or academic calendar contracts for instructional staff are a different kettle of fish from employment arrangements for adminstrative types, since, while it's a pain to replace the Department Gopher, you don't have classes to cover.

However, on the recommendation front, here is a piece of advice (from the father of a recent college graduate). If you think you may need faculty letters of recommendation for grad or professional school admission down the road, get them now, before you head for snow country. You can probably put them on file in the placement office. If you will be needing recommendations or references down the road for subsequent jobs or steps in your career, it is not so important that you button that down before you leave.
post #18 of 20
Since Colorado College does their classes one at a time in 3-1/2 weeks, it seems like they could be pretty flexible about replacing you for the labs, since the current one never lasts more than another three weeks or so.
post #19 of 20
Which department are you in at CC (you can answer in PM if you want)? I know one of the dean's over there, and several recent graduates. (The cryptic remarks make me think that you're in the chem dept for some reason.) Anyway, I know a couple guys that had similar positions to yours (dept bitch ) that left early on their "contract" to pursue better positions. There's no animosity, they still get invited back for different events and the career dept brags about both their placement and current careers.

Talk it over with your supervising professors (one of them is bound to be a "mentor" type, right?) - I think that you'll find out it is easier to leave on good terms than you think.

post #20 of 20
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
what exactly are the three or four main things a person would do working in the marketing department of a major ski area?
Hmmm, a few main things would depend upon what the person's defined position is in the department. But, ski area marketing departments typically handle traditional and intereactive advertising, along with resort branding, print collateral, signage, media, public relations, internal communications, snow reporting, events, sponsorships and sponsored athletes...whew! I bet I even forgot a few things there, but needless to say, there's a ton of different elements to marketing at a resort.
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