I need a change

I hate my job. Okay, maybe “hate” is too strong a word, but there are times when I feel it’s an understatement. I work in advertising. Don’t get me wrong, advertising is an exciting, fast paced, action packed industry that young people should experience. Advertising and I have a love-hate relationship. At the end of it all, I’m really glad I started here. I really recommend it to fresh, young, (especially single), energetic people. No day is the same, and anything and/or everything can change from one minute to the next. If you’re one of those who likes a little spice in your life, advertising is perfect. If I was still single and had different clients, I think I’d still love it. You may think that at 29, I am still one of these “young people.” I’m not. Especially as I’m finding that priorities are changing from career, to ME. Advertising is like a child. A needy, spoiled child. It comes first before everything. You spend all your time planning, either following the rules or tweaking them with the intention of keeping the child quiet and happy. Just when you think you’ve given it just enough candy…

WAAH!!! Sugar high! You’ve given it too much! Now it won’t stop running around, screaming – either at things or you, or both.

Or, WAAH!!! The kid didn’t want purple candy today, it wanted the green and orange striped one! Now it’s throwing itself onto the floor, kicking and throwing a tantrum for everyone (especially the “elders”) to see.

Or WAAH!!! It was full with the candy, and wanted something else to do to occupy itself.

Or, one of the “elders” gives you another brat or two to deal with. WAAH!!! WAAH!!!

You may be rolling your eyes and shaking your head at me, but this isn’t hyperbole. The larger your client, the larger the snotty child is. Every so not-very-often does the advertising deity bless you with a child who has passed the terrible twos. I was absent when this blessing was given.

It’s almost 2:50am, and I’m at the studio. A dark room, starting at 3 screens, with two of my bosses, and I’ve been here since 11am. My big boss just said I’m going to be here until 6am. Did I mention I have to come back at 10am?

My enjoyment and passion for this industry has waned. The money (which isn’t a lot) isn’t worth all the pain, and doesn’t come anywhere near compensating for the healthy, happy, sane life I’m missing out on. An industry promoting products whose existence are based upon lies (I work on food. Not even the packaging is real sometimes). It doesn’t care about me, nor I about it. I want something bigger than a career in this industry. I want a life! My life! I want to be excited about going to work in the morning, to push for the best from others and myself every day, to go to work with a smile, and return home with one. I want to be able to plan my life. To leave when “normal” people leave work, and rest on the weekends. I’m not a doctor, so why should I be on call??

Advertising will always have a special place in my heart, but right now, I need to call a time out.

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Tired

At this moment.. I feel very alone.  N is upset, I feel distant from those at work, and my friends and family don’t know so much about my working life.  That’s not to say that they won’t listen or understand.  I’m just not sure if I want any of them to know either.

I’ve been losing a lot of drive at work.  It’s been more apparent recently.  Today I’ve had two people speak to me about it.  One of them seems to have spoken with a few others and so his comments echo those of others that I can hear.

I’ve shared my feelings with N, and even though we’re from the same industry, he sometimes doesn’t understand my fear and my frustrations.  I’m frustrated at my lack of ability with the language I have to speak at work.  I know that can be fixed by going to classes, but I’ll get onto that.  I would obviously (and a good thing too) would much rather be spending my time with my guy.  He thinks that I should leave the company.  He doesn’t see a future for it and thinks I could be better off somewhere else.  He can see how frustrated I am with my language skills, that he is telling me to take time off and study how to read and write intensively.  He’s willing to give me time to stay here to do that, and to pay for classes.

Another reason is the work itself.  I’m so tired of the accounts I handle.  I’ve been the key account holder for one of them for two years.  Wouldn’t be a problem if it were a fun account.  There’s another whose products are something I am not interested in, and I’m not fond of the client themselves.  I’m stressed out when I have to go visit them.  I know my team feels the same.

A reason that I have not let bother me until N made it apparent, is the amount I don’t get paid.  I hold the biggest earning account, but I’m one of the lowest paid in the office.  I’m also about to get more work, which isn’t looking fair to me.  I didn’t mind in the past because I was learning.  Now, I don’t feel like I’m learning.  I think that may change though once I get my new accounts, but as mentioned before, they are additions, not substitutions.

Don’t get me wrong before I say this.  My team is great.  I work in a field where creativity is the essence of our “life.”  Be it our company life, or company’s life.  Our company is going through a transitional period where people are leaving, not so many are coming, and there aren’t enough people to do the job.  Our creative minds are exhausted and unenthusiastic.  Everyone, not just them, just live day-today with the aim of completing the work.  Not exceeding expectations, but just meeting deadlines or ways to apologise and crawl back into good graces if they aren’t met.  I can’t get excited about work that I don’t believe in.  I can’t push tired minds to bloom if the dirt above them is too heavy.

As our company is transitioning, maybe I should just suck it up to see where it goes.  But, if I’m tired and unmotivated, then why should I?  Why should I give up my own happiness and well-being for a corporation who only worries about numbers and not their people?

A big reason for me to stay, and for me to have stayed on this long is out of fear.  I fear that I’m not good enough and that no one else will give me a chance.  I know you probably want to kick me after reading that, but it’s a fear I have.  Which, N is right, can be quelled just by intensive studying.  I have an open mind to learn, it’s just not very opened right now.

I sometimes wonder if I’m shutting it off, or whether the drive really isn’t there anymore.  I don’t think I should doubt myself regarding that because I’m not 16 anymore and know what is bothering me and what isn’t.  I think that if I were able to get rid of some of my accounts, I would find fun and new energy in my work again.

But, this isn’t possible.  My boss said she wants me to prove and show ownership for the new accounts that I have before she hires someone new to take my old ones.  She is right.  But I’m tired.

I’m tired both regarding my working life, and my own personal life.  Fights between N and I are eating my energy.  They are often fights that have been creating from usually nothing.  Nothing in the sense that if he were here, or if we were together for longer, then they wouldn’t come up.  They spring up from our fears and insecurities.  We project them and behave in our own ways when we feel them.

Which brings me to.. should I take this as a sign to move on?  If so, then move where?  To a new company?  Change careers?  Move countries?  😦   Life is so different once you grow up.  I’m grateful that I don’t have issues such as money and family to worry about.  I’m from a loving and secure family.  I’m lucky that I don’t need to support anyone.  Even N is willing and wanting to support me.

I’m too used to having people make decisions for me, telling me what to do.  It’s what I’m used to after 27 years.  I’ve also made my own choices, some of them good, some didn’t turn out as I expected, but I’m here.  I guess I haven’t felt lost like this in a while.