Marketing Anew – “Meet the New Boss – Same as the Old Boss”

I’m probably a bit young to be borrowing phrases from Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey; I’m only thirty-four years old, and most of The Who’s popular songs were recorded years before I was born. Yet the above lyrics from “Won’t Get Fooled Again” seemed particularly appropriate today, as I returned to work for XANT, Inc.

XANT was my employer prior to beginning my Master’s degree studies at Utah State University in August 2008, and once the bulk of my degree was completed earlier this year, I stopped by XANT’s offices in Provo to see if they had a need for some technical writing services. After interviewing for a number of positions with other companies, I ultimately decided to come back to work here, assisting the marketing and support departments by creating compelling written content and document designs for Web and print.

I have to admit, returning to a company where you have previously worked is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, there’s a comfort level with management and company culture that other new employees don’t have. You understand the product and company goals, you’re familiar with common company tropes and attitudes, and have a fairly clear picture of what’s expected of you right from the start.

On the other hand, sometimes it’s nice to go to a new company and have a completely fresh start. The trade-off to being comfortable with company culture is the potential for “shoehorning,” or getting stuck in a rut. It’s been two years, with countless hours spent honing the crafts of writing and teaching, while studying the principles of rhetoric and information literacy. You’re a different person now—but will management recognize that? And even though you know and “get” the company culture, it’s still an adjustment from writing about the merits of poetic language and extolling the virtues of English composition, to writing about lead conversion metrics and power dialer technology.

Thankfully, most of these concerns aren’t a problem with XANT. They’ve proven to be a quality organization in the past, with a growing base of clients and a solid commitment to producing outstanding product. One of the reasons I ultimately chose to come back was the knowledge that this commitment to integrity wasn’t just lip service, but was and is an integral part of XANT’s core business practices.

That being said, I do hope Sales and Marketing President Ken Krogue goes easy on me while I get my “sea legs” back under me. And I also hope that my time spent studying writing, technology, and information literacy will ultimately benefit you, the readers, and the company’s clients. One of the biggest challenges companies face today is the need for employees to continuously improve basic technology literacies. Finding productive, intrinsic ways to increase employees’ use and comfort with technology tools pays huge dividends in saved time and money. Though much of my work here will focus on XANT’s products and services, I hope that ultimately the knowledge and skills I have gained can serve not just our clients’ needs, but also serve a greater public good by giving people tools to improve their own skills and learning with technology.

In any case, it’s good to be back . . . now all I have to do is talk management into giving me my old cushy office back and a shiny new computer . . . pretty please? Anyone?

-Steve Watts
Marketing and Technical Writer

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