Personal Log
Changing Gears in 2013: The In-House to Agency Transition
January 14, 2013

An offer received. A contract signed. The move inevitable. Time to let the cat out of the bag.

Over two and a half years ago I made an invaluable decision to accept an in-house position with the Keane Insurance Group. At the end of January I will be stepping down as Keane’s web and SEO manager and starting at Evolve Digital Labs as the new director of SEO to take another step in my career.

One simply does not start a new job.

A Difficult Choice.

The decision to accept this opportunity was literally not easy for me to make. I cannot disseminate every single detail at this moment, but I can honestly tell those of you reading this that I had my doubts.

The doubts did not procure from me doubting my own ability. Nor did they happen overnight. The doubting came from whether or not this was the correct move for my family and I at this time. If there is one piece of advice I can give right now, it would be to put your family first no matter what the situation is.

Now to add to this, I wasn’t necessarily unhappy with my current position or employer. In fact, it is the exact opposite as I feel I have been spoiled working at place like Keane. Hard to give up working at such a wonderful place. I was comfortable. I had flexibility. I had an excellent workplace. I had few complaints.

Getting Over the Doubt.

I had to ask myself:

  • Is this the right career move?
  • is this the right company?
  • Is it the right time to make this move?

Not only did I have to answer ‘yes’ to those questions, I also had to be sure that my current employers needs were taken care of before departing. I’ve never been the type of person to up and leave from my responsibilities and obligations when there are no other options to execute them at the same time.

After carefully considering the options and being sure I could make the transition easy on all parties I came to the conclusion that it was indeed time to advance and move forward. Evolve Digital Labs here I come.

A Farewell to Keane.

I cannot say enough about working here for the last few years. In more ways than I ever thought, it saddens me to leave. I’m going to miss everyone.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for my co-workers, executive management and the owner John Keane. When you are a part of an office environment that feels more like a family, you will understand. Maybe some of you have experienced this before, but if you have not; leaving that is like leaving your own family.

Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads.

Hello Evolve.

Two weeks from today I will officially plant myself at Evolve Digital Labs. I’m ecstatic as I look forward to getting to know my team and diving in.

The puzzle pieces fit. This company is doing it right and I have a wonderful feeling they are going places in the future.  I will not lie though. The move is a bit intimidating and overwhelming, but my shear excitement to join Evolve’s team and be a part of their future supercedes all else.

Here’s to kicking off 2013 with a bang, my new boss and co-workers. Cheers!

About author

Michael J. Kovis

This is a little something about me. Catch me on Google+.

There are 18 comments

  • Anthony Pensabene (or Content Muse when dressed in costume) says:

    congratulations, dude and that’s awesome for Evolve.

    i don’t have a fam yet, just my shakespeare action figure and me at the moment, but i respect putting your family first; a friend often jokes that he is fifth in line at home behind, kids, wife, and pets.

    very good to hear. well, more awesomeness on this choo-choo we call ’13 i reckon. all aboard!

  • Congrats Mike –

    I know you’re going to kill it at Evolve and they’re lucky to have you. Good luck and keep us updated.


  • Joel says:

    Congrats on the move. Exciting to see what will come of it.

  • Iain says:

    Congrats. I can empathise more than I can say!

  • Gaz Copeland says:

    Excellent news Michael and totally agree with what you say. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING changes when you have a family to consider and to make a move such as this isn’t easy.

    Congratulations to both yourself, and your new employer.

  • Congrats Michael, it’s always great to read posts about balancing/prioritizing work and life from another SEO. I wish you the best of luck at Evolve – just stay away from my verticals 😉

  • Chris Dyson says:

    Good luck in the new job…

    Sounds like an excellent new challenge, some times we have to take on a little risk so we don’t become stagnant.

  • Derek Mabie says:

    Welcome aboard, I agree with the comments above…we are very lucky and equally excited. Growth and challenge is good. Can’t Wait.

  • Jason Brown says:

    Thank you for sharing. It is hard to get up and leave for the unknown, when you have comfort in the known. I wish I could take that same step forward. I look forward to hearing about this new chapter as it unfolds. Congrats again my friend.

  • From talking with you over the past year, I know that Evolve hired a good person and a smart marketer. Congrats on the move.

  • Anthony Moore says:

    Congrats Michael!

    Thanks for letting us in on your thought process here. As John Henry mentioned, it’s refreshing to see how you handle the work/life routine.

    Good luck!

  • Barry Adams says:

    Congrats on the move, dude! I went from in-house to agency as well 2 years ago and haven’t looked back since! It’s a different & challenging environment but I found it brought out the best in me, so I think the SEO world better beware with an unleashed Michael Kovis. 🙂

  • Alessio says:


    great move man! happy to hear it, and I’m sure you’re gonna do amazing things over there!

    congrats again! and again! and again! and again!

  • Nice one Michael good luck with the new job!

  • AJ Kohn says:

    Congratulations and good luck Michael. I’m so glad to see the ‘family first’ ethos and am sure you’ll slay it over at Evolve.

  • Nick Eubanks says:

    In-house to agency is a big move my friend. I know you’ve been getting anxious to flex your talent muscles and this seems to be the most opportunistic path for you to do so.

    Best of luck and if possible, you should write more 🙂

  • Congrats, Michael! Glad to hear you’re being dynamic and continuing to grow and learn. Like all transitions, I’m sure this one will be challenging, but don’t lose sight of your goals. You’re gonna rock this!

  • jared "parrot" wallace says:

    I understand, somewhat, the difficulty in making that decision. My family and I felt the same when we moved to San Marcos for me to go to Texas State. We had to leave all our friends behind. Sounds like you have your priorities in order, and I’m sure your transition will be as good as ours turned out to be 🙂

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