Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off To Work We Go

I'm told the economy is booming.

But, if you work in advertising, you know it's not.

For every weekly scandal that pops up in the White House, there is an equally scandalous and upsetting round of layoffs at one of the big ad agencies. Employment is down. Revenue is down. Profits are down.

Shockingly, C-Suite compensation packages are up. I don't know how that works but clearly I should have made it a goal of mine to get a title that started with the word Chief.

Fact is, if I were some kind of Chief Blah Blah Blah Officer, I'd insist people in the office call me Chief.

"Hey Chief, there's a fresh pot of coffee in the break room."

"Did you want to look at those storyboards, Chief?"

"Happy 44th birthday Chief."

Even though I gave up the occasional cigar years ago, I'd start smoking one again. In the office. And when some cross-fit, vegan Gal Friday stopped me in the hallway to read me the riot act, I'd look her square in the eye and say...

"Yeah, I know the rules honey, but I'm the Chief."

But I digress.
Let me jump in the time machine, leave 1958, and come back to 2018.

It sucks out there. And I know from my many fellow freelancers how slow it is. I have no idea why they're calling me for work, when I'm smiling and dialing from 7 in the morning until 7 at night. Then I stop for Jeopardy.

Perhaps they're calling me because I have close to 14 years experience as a surviving freelancer. That's the longest job tenure on my resume. And so when they ask me the secret -- and they always do -- I tell them.

There is no secret.

It's simply a matter of hustling.
And networking.
And staying on the radar.
Then when the job comes in, it's simply a matter of delivering. Over delivering. And then over delivering on the over delivering.

Perhaps I've been more fortunate than others. When the big agencies aren't calling, I'll work for the smaller lesser known ones. When they aren't calling, I'll work directly for a small cadre of direct clients. When they aren't calling, I'll fix the shit around the house that my wife has been hocking me about since 2003.

Why are they called Malibu Lights and more importantly, why do we need Malibu Lights?

The point is, to have pokers in the fire.
Many, many pokers.
And the other point is, not to panic.

Besides, if this advertising thing doesn't work out, there's always coal mining. I hear there are lots of good high paying jobs in coal mining.

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