Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

Reflecting Back on Five Years of Internet Research
June 26, 2007, 5:03 am
Filed under: Research, Thoughts

Today marks the 5-year anniversary of when I started my career in internet research. I was reflecting on this over the past weekend as I was experiencing a first in my life – my first time riding an upside-down roller coaster. Yes, I know – being 28 and never having ridden a roller coaster is pretty sad. I rode Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain at Disney World plenty of times as a kid, but until I went to King’s Island this weekend and rode Face Off and Vortex, I’d never been on a roller coaster that takes you in all directions. It was scary at first, but I went with someone I trusted and who told me what to expect and I had a wonderful experience. I cannot wait to defy the laws of gravity again.

My beginnings in internet research started out in a very similar manner. My goals never actually included internet research. It was a necessity based on the fact that I was still waiting tables 1 ½ years after graduating from college. I waited tables to put myself through school, and I have the utmost respect for restaurant workers, but I never dreamed I would graduate with honors and still be doing it nearly 2 years later. I moved up to Cincinnati from Florida in 2002 to take a job as an internet researcher with a local recruiting company. To be quite honest it was a scary move for me. I was moving 1000 miles away from everything that was familiar to me, to take a job which I really didn’t know much about in a city in which I knew two people. My research training consisted of one week with the girl who had held my job two years prior, and then I was on my own. To this day, however, I am thankful to Jon and Melissa for taking a chance on me and giving me the opportunity to be the researcher in their office.

Along the way I found people whom I trusted and who guided me in learning the in’s and out’s of internet research. Yvonne Hallman was the first of these. She was the first person referred to me through the MRI network as a seasoned researcher, and she discussed different resources with me and how to use them. Another person who was key to helping me develop early on as a researcher was Heidi Bolinger. She and I started off in research around the same time. We met at a regional conference and were both concerned with the fact that there weren’t any sessions at the conference that were relevant to our work. We began communicating back and forth to establish some training and recognition of the research function within the MRI system. Tino Langner, who was helping us head up this lobby from the corporate standpoint, provided important training and feedback, and assisted Heidi and me in building up a discussion group for researchers within the MRI system. We could then communicate easily with each other and share ideas and search techniques. There were many other people I consider as influential in helping me get to this milestone that were part of the MRI family; too many to mention. All of them offered tidbits of advice from their own experiences and I took it all in.

You will come to points in your life where your current situation is not moving you forward in your own personal and professional growth goals. I experienced this when I was a competitive swimmer and I left one team to join a team coached by more experienced coaches. I loved my first coach – he later became an employer and trusted friend to me while I was a county lifeguard – but even he realized I needed more of a challenge. Good coaches, and good employers, will realize this and encourage people to pursue their dreams and goals. Most of course will encourage you to do this while staying with the company, but there are instances where this is just not possible. I joined SearchPath in the summer of 2006 for this reason; to expand my career in internet research and experience more. While beginning this new chapter of my research career, I have developed relationships with some phenomenal people along the way. These people have stretched me, encouraged me to try new things, and helped me develop both professionally and personally. Jim Stroud has been a wonderful mentor to me and I consider him not just a source of research knowledge, but a friend as well. I have learned so much from Shally Steckerl, from Rob McIntosh, from Mark Berger, from Dan Sweet, Glenn Gutmacher, Rithesh Nair, Joel Cheesman, Amitai Givertz, Suzy Tonini, Dave Mendoza, Maureen Sharib, Karen Mattonen, Guy Kawasaki, and so many others that I can’t even begin to name everyone. Friendships that I have developed within my SearchPath family – Amanda Williams, Paul Wolfe, Andrew Devore, James Cutter, Mary Ann Geis, and many others – each of these individuals took personal time to reach out to me and befriend me. Tom and Amy Johnston – they gave me this opportunity, and I know it’s been an uncomfortable one at times for them to have someone work remotely outside of the office. They gave me freedom to be creative with research and to spread my wings and develop professionally.

As I reflect back on the past five years, there are some very important lessons that I’ve learned along the way:

  • ALWAYS take a chance. The biggest mistake you can make is being afraid of making any. You never know what wonderful opportunity lies around an unfamiliar corner.
  • Be patient. I read a book about a successful entrepreneur who when asked about his ‘overnight success’ replied, “Becoming an overnight success was the longest night of my life.”
  • If you think you’ve arrived, you have a long way left to go.
  • Never pass up an opportunity to learn.
  • Humility is an important part of the learning process. Never assume that you can’t learn anything new, or that you’ve ‘heard this all before’. If you knew it all, you’d already be successful in that area.
  • Reading keeps your mind sharp. Read daily.
  • Having more than one mentor for different aspects of your life is important. Every person has strengths and weaknesses; take advantage of learning from their strengths and know that they are constantly working on their own weaknesses.
  • Have integrity in all that you do – nothing tarnishes a good name worse, or quicker, than dishonesty.
  • Be kind to everyone. Take each person at face value; don’t judge a person based on someone else’s opinion. Form your own.
  • Don’t be afraid to stand up for something that is important to you. That’s how new ideas get recognized and accomplished.
  • Work hard, but play hard too. Don’t neglect simple pleasures in your life.
  • If you want opportunity or a chance to try something new, ASK! You’ll never get to experience new things if you never ask for the chance to do so.
  • Lastly, and most importantly to me, be appreciative of the people who sow into your life. No one ever becomes successful in any endeavor on their own. Success is always a team effort – never forget to thank those who were an integral part in your success.

Thank you to all of the people who have played a part in the past 5 years of my life. Those who know me well know that I have a strong faith foundation, and I personally know where this comes from. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have been given in these years and the relationships I have built, and I am looking forward to many more to come.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I suspect many of these sources/sourcers of info (like me) that you cite are people you have not physically met. It is quite likely that future learning in the digital age will come from a high percentage of such virtual relationships. An interesting development that should open people up a wider range of educational influences, regardless of where they live, their life circumstances, etc.

Glenn Gutmacher

Comment by Glenn

You are always willing share and someone with genuine interest in helping others… you will do great …………!

Comment by Rithesh


You are indeed a very humble and kind person. I never miss your posts.
Your recent “Reflecting Back on Five Years of Internet Research” made an interesting reading.

Selvaraj Natarajan
Top Recruiting Solutions
Coimbatore, India.

Comment by Selly Nat

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