The official stuff:
I am an author, speaker, teacher, and salary negotiation expert based in New York City.
I focus on career development for the digital economy, showing people how new media, technology and branding can advance their career.
I am passionate about sports, obsessed with technology, immersed in social media, dedicated to running, and energized by the city.
You can see my work history on my LinkedIn page:
But also be sure to get the full backstory to the right.
How it all started…
I was born with a wicked Boston accent in the city of Dorchester, Mass at the same hospital as Ted Kennedy and share the same birthday as Bill Clinton. Despite this, I have only a passing interest in politics and instead chose to follow the city’s second religion, Boston Red Sox baseball.
My Italian mother worked in the health care field. From her I developed a strong desire to help others, the innate need to be passionate about everything, and the ability to cook a killer lasagna from scratch.
My Irish father worked as an accountant. The upside is that I am obsessive with numbers and details. The downside is that with red hair and fair skin, I get sunburned by the moon on a cloudy night. Going back another generation, his father was a teacher and the author of a Latin book, which means I am equally adept at the written word.
As a child I was a geek before geeks were cool. I owned original Star Wars figures; I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons in a friend’s basement; I once won a Rubik’s cube contest.
To offset this nerdom, I immersed myself in sports. The neighborhood kids and I would play just about any sport imaginable from dawn till dusk, and my Dad was there to bring me to my first game at Fenway Park, marvel at Larry Bird, cheer when the US beat the Soviets, and groan when the ball went through Buckner’s legs.
My creativity and tech skills were dormant and waiting to emerge when my parents bought me my first computer, a Commodore 64. Good move. This fueled my passion for technology enough to select Computer Information Systems as my major entering Bryant College.
If college life was a transition for some, it was a complete metamorphosis for me. As I grew out of my Boston accent (oh, the laughs when I said the word “party”), I grew into my own.
I was ready for the real world.
A Life-Changing Decision
My first job doing tech support gave me a base of problem solving and technical skills, while my second job as the third employee at a startup gave me a driving entrepreneurial spirit. Both of these would prove extremely valuable assets.
But without a doubt the biggest turning point in my life came from honoring a New Years resolution. As the internet era dawned, I said “Sign me up” and moved to Seattle in 1998 just as the boom began. I embraced uncertainty and risk by relocating 3,000 miles away to a city where I knew no one. And by following my love for sports, I ensured I would never be bored at work again.
The position of “Producer” at ESPN.com meant that I was coordinating designers, programmers, editors, and production into a seamless unit. In return I absorbed their skill set, learning Photoshop, HTML, marketing, sales, and launching my first web column to millions. In short, this was what I was born to do.
Media Capital of the World
“You will LOVE New York,” my friend Cheryl assured me, as she tried to address my concerns about transferring from Seattle. I paused and said, “OK. But does a box of cereal REALLY cost $6?” In the laundry list of questions about rent and apartments and crime and lack of epic mountain bike trails, somehow this worry spilled out of my mouth. And then another frantic phone call immediately after signing a lease. The amount was even more than I braced myself for. Was I making the right decision? Was New York right for me? I was feeling a little scared.
My world didn’t change the next day. Everyone’s did. Call me naive or stupid or brave, I had decided to move to New York, and nothing was going to change my mind. The strength I saw in the people over the next year resonated with me. I was now one of them.
More than 10 years later, New York still seems like the only place in the world that can match my optimism and energy level. If your work ethic is genuine and your passion is real, the city will reward you with access to world-class media, publishers, and universities, and like-minded people to help you along the way. And while it is necessary to escape sometimes to pursue other passions — entertaining nieces and nephews, mountain biking epic trails, exploring foreign countries, driving the perfect twisty road — it always welcomes you back.
How Can I Help You?
Hi, my name is Jim. How can I help you?