Not so long ago, getting a “dream job” as a lead creative within a reputable agency was the driving force of my ambition. Today, getting what we often refer to as: “lifestyle balance” between what I need to do to make a living and what I want to do to remain happy has been an eye-opening and life-changing experience.
After spending much of my career within the halls of Canada’s leading advertising agencies, I’ve come to realize that building something worthwhile for you is what’s truly important. We’re all expendable and in the end, there’s only one person you can count on: YOU.
Sure, being successful in anything one does requires a great deal of hard work and perseverance. It’s why I still find myself working as hard as ever – just as I did when I was on someone’s payroll. Harder in fact, because I’m always searching for my next assignment and looking at every turn for opportunities to push the peanut forward. Difference is that it’s on my terms and no one else. If success was easy, the paradigm of the 1% club would be reversed – and who’d want that anyway? What I’ve come to understand is that no organization or person can chart your destiny. Only you could. Only you can control where you want to be in the future and only you can make your life what you want it to be.
Gone are the days of trying to control what I can’t and the hours spent away from family, friends and the things that matter most to me. I know I’m not alone in thinking this way, having seen many of my colleagues burnout in self-doubt and be swallowed by corporate inertia.
So to all my friends, creative or otherwise, take control and step back from the edge of the cliff. You’ll be glad you did.
This un~plugged blog entry was inspired by other confessions from advertising agency executives who found a better way.
You can read them here.
– photo courtesy of Getty Images