Natalie Sportelli was bitten by the writing bug at a young age, working her way from an Associate Content Producer role at Forbes to becoming the Head of Content at a hot new company called Thingtesting. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to have a role in content, this is the episode for you.
Natalie walked us through her content-related roles at Forbes, VC firm Lerer Hippeau, and Thingtesting, while she shared her best advice around leveraging your network to find new roles and how to get that promotion or raise at your current company. Listen to Episode 24 now on The Career Memos Podcast available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.
How Natalie followed her passion for writing all the way to Forbes.
If you love expressing yourself through writing, Natalie’s career journey is so inspiring. Throughout high school and college, Natalie found as many opportunities to put pen to paper as she could, from internships at CNBC, Forbes, and her college’s communications office, to eventually landing a permanent role at the coveted magazine.
At Forbes, Natalie had a multifaceted experience where she worked closely with contributing writers and supported Forbes’ infamous “lists” like their Forbes 400 and Billionaires round-ups. A big part of the role was fact-checking, which involved reading dozens of articles in a single day.
When Natalie landed an opportunity to work for the Under 30 channel, it was an exciting time to build a brand and support the 30 Under 30 summit, social media channels, advertising packages, and videos. She described it as being a “real life multimedia experience.”
How to navigate a role at a newer startup.
To date, Thingtesting is the smallest company I’ve featured on the podcast, coming in at just 5 employees! Their mission is to help people discover modern online ecommerce brands, and Natalie’s role helps capture trends and highlight things to consumers that they may not have thought about, better informing their purchasing decisions. She’s always staying one step ahead of the consumer, working on editing, social media, and even spending time digging into the data.
Does working at a startup sound intriguing to you? If so, Natalie’s advice is spot on. If you’re exploring the possibility of joining a small team, be excited to jump right in and take ownership of what you’re doing. An optimal personality type for a startup is someone who is creative, flexible, and agile.
If you’re already a fan or a follower of a company, you probably resonate deeply with their mission, and maybe even the founder, too.
Your career is a story.
Natalie’s boldest career advice is to seize opportunities. Don’t wait too long for the promotion or for the 1 year or the 3 year mark to move companies.
Visualize where you see yourself in 5-10 years. Every step of your career journey should lead you towards something you want to do more of. If you’re in a position where you’re thinking about switching roles or companies, think about what you love most about your current role. How can you do more of that? Or better yet, take out the parts you don’t love? And then make it a growth opportunity.
If you see an opportunity arise, take it. Careers are long, and it’s worth taking a risk from time to time.
“Having an opportunity to have your hands in a lot of different things is something that lends itself well to any content role. I learned a little bit about a lot and then was able to grow those skills over time.”