Tag Archives: career


10 Sep
I’ve had a career in marketing and advertising for the past 29 years. And I think I’ve learned a thing or two that is worth sharing so here are 5 things. I’ve been talking to college students a lot lately and thought to do this.  If you’re my peer, this is probably old hat for you but you never know.
This will become a regular series so keep an eye out for it.
Now, here is me circa 1992 at my desk at JTC Advertising as Account Coordinator.  Ha! Vintage!

1. don’t become irrelevant.  

Work hard to stay relevant. And don’t get cocky thinking you already are.

That means it is less about keeping up with the Jones and more about staying knowledgeable and curious. This has always been a big deal to me.   It should have been a big deal to brands like radio shack and blockbuster video – right?

When i hear people in business almost brag about not being in touch with social media it makes me sad for them.  It’s sad because it’s like saying “no” to knowledge.  When i hear that someone is too busy to learn modern technologies to better their lives, I know they are slipping down the path of not being relevant.  And while that is their personal prerogative.  But for my career, it has served me very well to strive to be relevant.

2. be passionate

If you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, then you’re going down the wrong path. Turn around.  Change.  Figure it out.
We were made to do what we are passionate about, you know.   You can’t hide passion.  It doesn’t matter if you’re running a company or driving a bus – passion AFFECTS people.  It gets you noticed – and not from your words, smarts or know-how.  People feel passion and passionate people always win.

One time, ROF and i went to the Nespresso store to buy espresso.  It was our first time in the store and we were helped by Dan.  Let me tell you, you would have thought that Dan owned Nespresso and was part-timing in the store in Paris.  It was an experience that will make us come back.  He knew what he was talking about but delivered it in a way that got us excited about coffee.  He bagged our coffee, taught me how to really make espresso (whoops, was doing it wrong), made me a coffee and gave us his opinion on machines.  We can’t wait to go see Dan again when our coffee gets low.  Be Dan.

3. have a POV

This is the difference between an A and B player in business.  One of my favorite bosses said this and it has always stuck with me.   Having a point of view spiked with passion is awesome.  Kinda like this:

Knowing when to speak up with your point of view is key.  Just because you have one doesn’t mean the people around you want to hear it or you should necessarily express it.  But always have one.

How I start to get a point of view on something is I run it through this filter:

Do I know anything about this subject?
No = Read up + formulate
No – Don’t care (by the way, this is a POV too)- does it ladder up with any of my morals/values/beliefs i have in general?

Throughout life, you will be strengthening and building upon the point of view you have on things.  As I get older, I find my POV on some important topics changed just because I experienced something first hand.  For example, you can have a POV on how to react to death but until you experience the death of a loved one, you can’t truly have an opinion.

4.  be a great leader

You don’t have to be a boss to be a great leader.
This comes from the POV that to whomever you come in contact with on a particular day, be an example of love.
People can hear advice and reprimands and they can do a to-do list but they FEEL love.
Just like they feel passion.  Being an example of love means simply caring about people and their lives.  And i do believe that to be a quality of great leadership.   Even though we’re talking about a career, work is just a part of life.  If you care about the bigger picture – the person – the smaller picture – work – always benefits.
Whether you are the boss, the entry-level person, the Walmart greeter, the cashier, the fashion icon – you can be a leader.  Lead with love.  I personally follow the tenets of servant leadership.
Always lead with love.

5. be true to yourself

Why is this good career advice?  I don’t know, really.

What I do know is that throughout my 29 years, I haven’t always been true to myself.  Like most people, you just want to do an outstanding job and when i was in my 20’s, I was willing to stay the late hours to get the job done.  I went in on the weekends and checked voicemail constantly (before mobile phones, if you can imagine that!)  And there is nothing wrong with that.  Working hard is good!
But if you’re in the game long enough, that work hard philosophy evolves ever so slowly.  Going the extra mile for work can, if you’re not careful, turn into sacrificing what you really want in life.  WATCH THIS!  It sneaks up on you.
A mid-life crisis can ensue where your old self – the one that was there all along but got smooshed down way low- says WAIT A MINUTE!  HOLD UP! I’ve been working so hard my whole life but I’m not doing what i’m passionate about!    What happened to…me!
I’ve seen this happen with colleagues and friends and it’s such a wonderful thing to see their real passion come out when they choose to pursue it.
Thankfully, i’ve always been very passionate about my career and what I’m doing.  Working with creative people, leading the way in new technologies, having a strong POV and striving to be relevant have been cornerstones for me the past 29 years.
i can’t wait to see what the next years hold.
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