Time for a cool change

By now, many of you might have heard that I’m no longer with RecruitingBlogs.com and have found a new professional home at Galavanting Productions. Those of you who follow me closely will know that CEO Kim Mance and I are longtime friends and fierce collaborators and have been for at least 7 years now.

Galavanting Productions owns several properties including TravelBlogExchange.com, GoGalavanting.com and Galavanting.tv. I’ll be overseeing all marketing strategy for everyone of these projects, including the TBEX conferences (here’s the next one TBEX ’10) and our newest project TBEX Connect. I’ll also begin reviewing hotels for GoGalavanting.com, an online travel magazine for women as well as continuing to co-host Galavanting.tv with Kim and Courtney.

It’s a really exciting time and as someone who has been with the company from nearly the beginning, I can’t wait to see what will happen. I’m honestly wondering what will happen when Kim and I work together full time. It could get scary (good scary that is).

Speaking of scary, all this great stuff comes with a flip side, as things in life often do. To fully pursue the opportunities open to me, I have to say some goodbyes. In order to receive something your hand must be open, not a closed fist, still holding tightly to something that is no longer yours.

I have to leave an industry that has been my home for the last three years. I have to say goodbye to friends and colleagues who have been my “family on the road” and to professionals that opened their arms to a complete newcomer. I have to leave a job I know I am good at and a company I know I made better with my presence. I have to leave co-workers with whom I have inside jokes and a seamless integration of personalities. I need to remove myself from the daily conversations about recruiting and HR because my new role is in a different industry. I’ll have to say goodbye to a schedule I was used to and tasks I had gotten comfortable doing. I’d built my social hierarchy within a certain world and now I have to do it all over again.

I’m scared. And I feel alone.

Not because I’m not joining the coolest team ever or because the travel industry hasn’t welcomed me with open arms. But because I am actually quite a timid person and my mom told me 30 was going to be my toughest year and doggone it, I SO didn’t want her to be right. I’ve spent quite a few days thinking about all I’ll be missing. How RecruitFest! will be without me, about my friends heading to SHRM, about plans for RecruitingBlogs that I won’t be around to see come to fruition. And let’s be honest, that just blows.

So…I’m still scared and then I remembered (please indulge me):

I left home and moved out on my own at 16.

I dropped out of high school and went on to graduate college with honors.

I ate the worm.

I got pregnant with my son at 19 and found myself abandoned. I went on to marry a wonderful man who adopted our son.

I climbed a wall of ice even though I was scared to death.

I put an 8 ft long python around my neck to conquer my fear of snakes.

I put my head through a windshield and never lost consciousness.

I traveled across the Adriatic Sea through Rome with a double lung infection, pneumonia and pleurisy.

I took care of abandoned Roma babies and listened to children cry and confess things that should never happen to children.

I delivered three children with no pain medication.

I watched a business my family put its heart, soul and savings into fail, miserably.

I auditioned for American Idol (oh YES, I did)

I walked headfirst into an industry I knew nothing about and learned what I could and served where I could and for three years was proud to call that industry my professional home. I can do it again.

What, exactly, do I have to be scared of? Right.

So I’ll say bye to the people I have to and keep those friendships I cherish and conquer this next big thing:



PS- I promise not every post will be this self-involved or maudlin. Stay tuned…if you want.

40 thoughts on “Time for a cool change

  1. Maren – I’m sad that I’d not got to spend much time with the only Nebraska social mediate that I’ve met in the last year. NE, being my home state from a long time ago. Its always been good for me to verbalize or share what is in front of me causing anxiety as it’s usual nothing like what my past experiences have already provided as my character builders. You’ve got a wonderful story that I’m sure will continue into the new chapter of MH taking the travel industry by storm and siege. Take care, Bryan –

    • thanks Bryan. I started realizing that I had nothing to be scared of and it was a turning point for me. That sure doesn’t mean I won’t miss the friends I made and the people I thought I had all the time in the world to get to know.

  2. I don’t think the travel industry will know what hit it. That is a good thing. You have a wonderful, full life ahead of you and I know you will be great at anything you set your mind to but given that GoGalavanting is like a baby for you and you get to be there as the first steps and full speed run take place…, how awesome is that??!!

    Best wishes always and I know those of us in your old space will still see you every now and again and that you will find success in whatever you decide to conquer.

    Change is good for the soul. And it’s even better for the mind. Fly, baby, fly!

    • Oh I will miss your daily dose of wisdom and I will miss watching people in awe of your beauty and energy whenever they see you. I hope in this case, you are right about change being good for the soul. I am getting a whole lot of it these days!

  3. Awwww Maren, you’re leaving us so soon! Well at least I got to share my umbrella with you one rainy day in London. Seriously, it was good to meet you and thanks for promoting my blogs, but with reference to American idol, I must say I found your voice, as Randy Jackson would say ‘aaaaight, but a little pitchy’ :-) Only kidding. Why not try out next again season?

    Have fun in your new job.



    • I still remember you sharing your umbrella! It was so very “London” to me :) I will miss your writing very much, especially the dual titles.

  4. Whenever you climb one mountain, there’s always another one yet to climb. Sounds like you’ve figured that out. My best wishes to you Maren. Your HR family will always be here for you. Can’t wait to see what new adventures await you in your new role. Knock ’em dead girl!

    • Thanks Trish. You really are one of the brightest and best in the space and that’s been obvious since even before I met you face to face. I can’t wait to see what you do as well.

  5. I’m so happy for you on this next new venture you’re going on Maren – but I ain’t letting you go!

    You’ve been a great friend and advisor to me – even though we met though and communicate mostly via – but the conversations we’ve had on the phone, in person, in the car driving for hours have all been very valuable and much appreciated.

    I’ll continue to follow you and your adventures and learn from you as a strong woman, mother, wife and entrepreneur. You may change industries, but I don’t ever want you to change YOU, because that’s why I love you. :)

    • And I won’t let you go either Miss Jen! Friends who will forgive when you pass out and drool all over yourself in their car AND save you when you’re stranded in the Cincy airport are hard to find :) I have loved our conversations and learned so much from you. I’ll try to only change for the better.

  6. We’re very lucky, and my apologies to the recruiting industry for ripping her away. And you guys are right, I’m sure the travelsphere will never be the same with the force of Maren Hogan fully applied!


    • Thanks William. Sorry that phone call was never fully realized. I’ll miss your marketing insight and I still have my book! :)

  7. Holy moly girl. If you’ve accomplished all that, and you’re only 30, I cannot IMAGINE what the next decade will bring. Congrats & see you at #TBEX. :-)

    • Thanks Steve. Like the others, you taught me a great deal. Everyone knows you’re the smarty in the group. Not sure I ever “owned” this world but I do plan on planting my flag!

    • LOL. Thanks. No videos will ever be released of that fateful day. I did get my hair did for free though. Thanks Garnier Fructis! :)

  8. You are “the light” and will shine brightly where ever you decide to venture. We’re all just blessed it was within our space for as long as it was. I look forward to seeing all you do in your new space and where this road eventually takes you but I have a feeling that you’ll be calling this home for quite some time. Loved the post, it was as authentic as you. XOXO

    • Thanks Traci. I’ll still never forget the first time I saw you in Florida. Talk about sunshine. Thanks for the well wishes. I wish all of you the same!

    • Thanks Animal. And thanks for the invite to do the show. June 30th, it’s on the calendar. Nice knowing you…REALLY :)

  9. Maren-
    I so admire your boldness, and zest for life. You should be so proud of all of your wonderful accomplishments. I admire all that you have done, and am so excited for your future endeavors.
    We will be looking forward to following you on your new Journey!
    Much happiness!
    Your friend,

    • Shenee, thanks for your support and belief in me. I am looking forward to future endeavors, whatever the road looks like.

  10. Maren,

    A powerful post and I have always enjoyed your Twitter feed. I am sorry we did not get to spend more time together at the few events we met in person but I am glad we met.

    Best of luck, not that you need any, and do not unfollow all us recruiting types ;-)



    • I could never unfollow the “recruiting types” there would be a huge gaping hold. I wish I’d spent more time getting to know everyone. A mistake I will not repeat!

  11. Strangely none of those things would scare me more than the Idol audition. (1. How did I not know about that and 2. Do you have tapes?) BTW you’re going to make Anthony Bourdain look like David Attenborough.

    • Miles, please see response to Leanne below. I never tell anyone about American Idol because it was more stupid than brave. I rehearsed for like three weeks. I am blushing right now :)

  12. Maren:
    You are a talented writer and a true thought leader. Good luck with your new endeavor. Based on your work in the recruiting industry, I think that everyone would agree that you will be successful in the travel industry too.

  13. Maren, you were one of the first people I started chatting with on RecruitingBlogs.com, what feels like a lifetime ago, but is only two years ago! We will miss you, I will miss you, and can’t wait to hear how the next chapters in your life will unfold. Best of luck, there’s no doubt you will be successful.

  14. Loved your post, Maren. One thing is certain you will never be alone – You are truly magnetic. I wish you all the best in your new endeavor. Your voice, your presence, your energy will be sorely missed…


  15. Maren,

    I look forward to following your exploits on twitter and seeing you grow with your next big adventure. And remember #MarenIsHot no matter where she is :-).


  16. Pingback: A year of poorly worded, inconsistent posts. YAY ME! « Marenated

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