What do you want to be when you grow up? That question still comes up within my circle of friends as we sip mid-priced whisky in our over mortgaged homes and comment on the peaty finish. And, despite my best attempts to behave as immaturely as possible, whenever possible, one look at my 19 month old baby girl or quick glance in the mirror on the way out the door and one thing is for certain: I’m grown up now. Dammit.
So what do I want to do now that I’m grown up? Well, I’m doing it. I actually couldn’t really imagine doing anything else (notwithstanding the obvious rockstar, pro athlete, movie star roles). As far as I’m concerned being part of the creative team in an advertising agency is one of the coolest jobs ever. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. That’s what is so incredible about this industry. Everybody who works in advertising seems to genuinely love it. Now, I should qualify that just a smidge. All the people that I have met who work in the creative departments of advertising agencies seem to genuinely love it. And why wouldn’t they? Our job is to think of fun, creative, inspirational, thought-provoking, clever, funny, adjective, adjective, adjective, ways to express an idea as simply as possible and in way that resonates with people (in other words makes them laugh, think, or cry).
My friends don’t really understand what I do. My dad certainly doesn’t understand. And my mom’s just happy that I’m happy. People who work as creatives (yikes that sounds so pretentious) in an advertising agency tend to be a mix of insecure, stand-up comic, psychologist, whipping post, musician, server, garbage collector, intellectual, poet, painter, simpleton people who are always on the bubble and trying desperately to make someone laugh, or at least utter those three blessed words: “That’s really good.”
Oh god, I just had an epiphany. Seeking acceptance and reinforcement is in a nutshell, my job description. Self-actualization in three simple words: “That’s really good.” Yikes, what does that say about my self-esteem? Dr. Phil would have a field day with this tid-bid of self-reflection. The good news is that now I’m all grown up, I no longer have to worry about what I really want to do. The bad news is I live to make other people like stuff. Actually, that’s not bad news at all. That’s the best job ever.