21 8 / 2012

So you wanna be a __________? That might change.

This is for all the advertising students and new grads out there. The hopefuls who are determined to be a (insert job title here). The ones who can’t wait to think up REAL campaigns, have REAL budgets, deal with REAL clients. I’m talking to you.  

You’re probably thinking this is how your career path will go: 

  • Go to school
  • Choose a side (creative, business, account or client)
  • Build a portfolio 
  • Go on interviews
  • Meet industry professionals 
  • Get your foot in the door 
  • Be a (insert job title here)
  • Make lots of money 

Does this sound about right? The truth is for some people this is exactly how their career path will go…but for many, it won’t. 

I know art directors who’ve become fashion designers, tattoo artists and painters. I know buyers who are now construction workers. I know account guys who, well basically have stayed in accounts. But overall, a lot of people I know who thought that they were going to end up in advertising aren’t there anymore. I even know people who went to advertising school, built a portfolio, got into the industry…and opted out. For whatever reason, their career path changed.

So that idea in your head about how you’re going to be a _________ in the next couple of years might not be entirely accurate. And I’m here to tell you, that’s not a BAD thing.

When I first started out, I wanted to be an advertising photographer. Now I’m a social media content manager. My career path has changed along the way - from art direction to copywriting, marketing to SEO copywriting and now to social media management. I even had a stint as an account coordinator for awhile (although it became evident early on that accounts wasn’t my thing). So how has my ever-changing path benefitted me?

I now have a variety of skills under my belt. I’ve had the privilege of working on a wide range of accounts (from small to national). I’ve had the pleasure of forming relationships with mentors and friends that have kindly bestowed their wisdom onto me. But most importantly, I’ve been given the opportunity to do what I really love to do. The career moves I’ve made have made me a better, wiser and more creative person. And I don’t plan on stopping now. 

So my advice to all you advertising students and new grads is this: When you do get your first job in the real world, embrace it. It IS important. It’s the stepping stone on your road to success. Where you go from there on out, you’ll never fully know. So don’t get discouraged if your starting point isn’t exactly where you expected, or if your path goes in a different direction. The career moves you make should never be viewed as mistakes. They are experiences worth holding onto. 

I don’t know where my path will lead me five, 10, 15 years down the road. But I’m confident that if I have fun and have faith, I’ll get where I want to go. 

Where has your career path taken you? Leave a comment below. 

16 5 / 2012

Part 3: Me, myself and I

With my list complete, I’m ready to start my Happiness Project. I’m not sure if I will  cross off everything on my list, or how long it’s going to take me. But that’s OK. To me, the important thing is that I’m committed to giving it a try. And if I succeed in trying my absolute best, I’ll be happy with that.


08 5 / 2012

Part 2: Me, myself and I

"It is by studying the little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible." Samuel Johnson

In Part 1, I covered all my professional goals; things I could do to achieve more happiness in my career. But when it comes to quality of life, there’s so much more to it than work (or money, or recognition, etc.) A lot of times the littlest thing can put you in the best mood or vice versa - and that one moment can affect your entire day.

So I’ve added a series of small goals to my Happiness List to help lead me to some great happiness.

  • Get more sleep: This is a big one for me. Even though I know that an adequate amount of zzz’s would benefit me, I’m a total night owl. I write blogs at midnight, jot ideas down at 3am and stay up till all hours watching shows on my laptop. Every time I wake up late I’m automatically in a bad mood. (Example here)
  • Do more yoga: I am an beginner in yoga. Mostly because I get into spurts of going on a regular basis and then completely stop. I don’t go for such a long period of time that I have to start the learning process all over again. It’s a vicious cycle with minimal shavasna. 
  • Go to church: I generally used to always feel good when I attended a service. In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with having faith (whatever you choose to believe in). 
  • Read for pleasure: I have a stack of half-read books in my possession. The Book Thief, Atlas Shrugged, The Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy, The HelpImagine: How Creativity Works, The Hunger Games - I want to read and enjoy all of these, one by one.
  • Make someone else’s day brighter: Have you ever heard the phrase “Happiness is contagious”? I know that for me, doing something that makes someone else happy puts a smile on my face too.
  • Put “Pinning” into practice: Pinning on Pinterest is fun and interesting, but I want to actually try doing something on my “Love to Try This” board. 
  • Go on a vacation: This is another big one for me. My need to be a hardworking individual has often trumped vacationing. But without time away, I’m losing out more than I’m gaining.

Have you thought about making a Happiness List? Part 3 might give you a more visual way of sticking to your goals. 

24 4 / 2012

Part 1: Me, myself and I

This blog series is all about me. But it could also be all about you. If you feel like you’re lacking focus, motivation, stamina, creativity or all of the above - please continue reading. Hopefully, we’ll both feel happier by the end of this series. 

I’ve started to read this book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben. It’s a story of one woman’s decision to create more happiness in her life and how she developed a 12-month plan to do it.

Although I’ve had this book in my hands before, it’s only now that I’ve finally decided to open it up and give it a read. For the last little while, I’ve been feeling kinda blah. Not unhappy by any means; just not quite as happy as I could possibly be. And since I really want to kick this mundane emotion to the curb, this piece of literature couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. 

Ironically, I began outlining tasks and goals to increase my level of happiness on my own before I even started reading this book. And even though I’m only on Chapter 2, I’ve already seen some of my goals on her list (which leads me to believe that I’m on the right track!)

So, I’ve decided to make my own “Happiness List”. And since my creativity; my passion; my work, is one of the most important things in my life, it takes precedence on my list. 

 Here we go: 

  • My Book: My portfolio is my creative soul bound in leather. It holds all my best ideas, campaigns and real agency work. But since its been a few years since I’ve done anything to it, it’s getting stale. And stale creative is like stale food. Yuck.
  • Ad Exposure: I want to immerse myself in the advertising scene and find the time to really absorb it. I don’t look at ads enough. I don’t read as much industry news as I should. I don’t know what ads win awards and the names of new agencies out there whose creative is kicking ass. These are answers I would like to know.
  • Appreciating the Classics: Advertising is moving so quickly towards digital, interactive and social, that traditional media is trailing behind. Don’t get me wrong, I love the direction that advertising is going - i just don’t want to forget the good old days. The classic mediums that made me want to get into this business in the first place. There is so much to learn and so much to love when you take a look back.  

Although these goals basically cover all of my professional aspirations for a new found happiness, I realize there’s much more to jot down. There are so many small things that can greatly elevate one’s mood. The small things in life really do help me in big ways - and that deserves some major appreciating.

So what are some small things that I can put on my list that can help bring me great happiness? Stay tuned for Part 2. 

What things would be at the top on your Happiness List?

05 12 / 2011

10 Affirmations for you

Here are 10 of Nancy’s affirmations that I feel any creative can relate to. You can read the rest of Nancy’s “50 Lessons I wish I had learned earlier” here.

  1. You are stronger than you think you are. 
  2. There is nothing to hold you back except you.
  3. You can press forward long after you can’t.  It’s a matter of wanting it bad enough.
  4. You are limited only by your own imagination. Let it fly.
  5. Never let success get to your head, and never let failure get to your heart.
  6. No education is wasted. Drink in as many new experiences as you can.
  7. If it were easy everyone would do it.
  8. A problem is a chance for you to learn.
  9. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.
  10. If you are passionate about something, pursue it, no matter what anyone else thinks.  That’s how dreams are achieved.