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If I Could Reimagine My Work

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

If I Could Reimagine My Work

In keeping with the theme of reimagining how we would work, we decided to ask various BK staff members what they would be ideally doing right now if they weren't already working in publishing, and would they still consider switching careers at a later point? The answers were surprising:

Steve Piersanti, BK President and Publisher: "I always wanted to be a history professor focusing on ancient history such as the Romans, Greeks or ancient Egypt. But at this juncture, I am probably not inclined to pursue that option."

Arielle Kesweder, Associate Operations Director: "If other barriers to entry weren't there, I think I'd be working in either broadcasting or podcasting. Probably producing stories in one way or another. Or supporting those who are doing that. As for whether I would do this now, the effort it would take to change my life to follow that path just seems like more work than any reward I would find having done it."

David Marshall, VP, Editorial and Digital: "Book publishing is my work reimagined! I would otherwise be in the same industry as I was before--software development. And yes, sometimes I do think about going back to software and using everything I have learned in publishing."

Neal Maillet, Editorial Director: "I would be a firefighter or law enforcement ranger for the Bureau of Land Management or Forest Service. Really. I had two job offers to start a career towards these goals when a publishing job opened up in Portland and I got married. Who knows, maybe I would be burned to death by now. I may decide to go back to it one day--if in my old age I can make sure I don't burn anything down."

Mike Crowley, Associate Marketing Director: "I’d be an archeologist. Neanderthals. i have a strange fascination with Neanderthals. If they took volunteers at Sima de los Huesos, I’d be there right now!"

Kristen Frantz, VP, Marketing: "I love kids and enjoy spending time with my girls and my nieces and nephews. I have also enjoyed being a co-leader for my daughter’s girl scout troop and participating my girls’ sports and other actitivies. So I have thought about being a teacher. Probably in elementary or preschool. I could see still doing that one day, but sometimes I wonder if I would have enough patience and discipline to do it. I can be a bit of a softie with my own kids, so a full room of kids might do me in!"

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial: "I have no idea if this is based on fact, but I have this idea in my head that the members of the film board of censors do nothing but sit around watching movies all day so that they can rate them as PG, R, NC-17 or whatever. I love film and would like nothing better than to get the first look at all new movies before anyone else just so at the end I can slap a rating on them and say,'My work is done...on to the next one!' If anyone offered me the gig, I am ready! A close second would be the (entirely fictitious but totally feasible) job of playing and keeping company all day with all the animals that are brought into a shelter (no other job requirements though I don't mind cleaning the poop), but I think that would ultimately break my heart."

Leslie Crandell, Executive Manager, Digital Subscription and Corporate Sales: "Start my own photography business, where I would travel and teach workshops at scenic locations around the world."

Maria Jesus Aguilo, Director, Subsidiary Rights: "Actually, a theme for me these days, as I approach 50, has been how utterly lucky I have been job-wise. I still remember vividly when I first heard of the Frankfurt Book Fair, sitting in a classroom for one of my classes in a publishing course at the University of Barcelona in 1990. A light flickered on and I thought: that’s where I want to go! I had not even heard of subsidiary rights until that day, but I knew right away that this is what I wanted to do. It was a pretty straight line from there, and I went to Frankfurt for the first time 8 years later, at 30 years old. I still love my job so much, that I don’t find myself thinking of anything else very often. However, if pressed, I imagine that I would enjoy taking care of the physically vulnerable, so maybe a geriatric nurse. I think I would enjoy the direct impact that my care would have in the comfort and well-being of those who cannot take care of themselves. A neonatal nurse as well, to make sure that babies are healthy, warm and well-fed! "


Charlotte Ashlock
Charlotte Ashlock

Oh my god Neal. "Who knows, maybe I would be burned to death by now."  What is wrong with you??? 

December 2, 2015