Monday, June 16, 2014

Ten Years After

As some of you may have seen on, this week marks my 10th anniversary as a freelancer.

I’ve never held a job for any greater length of time. 

Previous to that I did a 6-year stint at an agency but was unceremoniously shown the door.
Or pink slipped.
Or shit canned.

Not for writing condescending emails to the head client without bothering to use capital letters.

Not for going AWOL in the middle of $100 million pitch.

Not for chasing tail (XY or XX).

Or taking up permanent residence at the Crown Royale.

These practices, I've come to learn, are all acceptable employee behavior at many of the big holding companies.

Demanding excellence, stirring the pot, pushing back on clients, speaking the brutal honest truth, I learned the hard way, are 'rightful cause for termination.' 

Silly me.

Needless to say it comes as quite the surprise that I’ve managed to stay afloat as a freelancer for more than a decade and have never suffered a dry period lasting more than 2 weeks. Quite impressive, particularly when you consider how many folks I have cheesed-off with this occasionally incendiary blog.

Other freelancers will attest, that is highly unusual as well.

How do I explain the longevity? It’s simple really. I focused on what I believe I do best: coming up with ideas and writing. And I excised what I did worst: navigating corporate bureaucracy and career climbing.

Ambition, it turns out, is a curse.

As a result I’ve made myself useful to agencies and clients who often find themselves needing someone useful. As a friend and former boss put it, “Siegel is always good for a solve.”

I don’t think a freelancer could hope for a better compliment.

How shall I mark this auspicious event? Years ago, a friend of mine completed 20 years of faithful service at one agency. He gave them his all. Nights, weekends, vacations, were all sacrificed for the good of the agency.

After two decades of unrivaled commitment they bestowed upon him a beautiful satin jacket.

These satin jackets were quite the fashion item at the time. And were worn exclusively by Hollywood A-listers. And Key Grips. I remember my friend walking through the hallways, peacocking that magnificent satin jacket, and inspiring widespread jealousy that must have lasted all of 3-4 minutes. Tops.

Maybe I’ll buy myself a satin jacket. 

Or maybe with an extravagant lunch at the Olive Garden or Red Lobster with the endless breadsticks, I can convince my buddy to part with his.

1 comment:

Alan Berkes said...

Olive Garden. I'll buy.