Nov 28, 2009

Tis the season to be grateful...

At this blog, the entire WAS team has a lot to be thankful for. Me actually wrote five things to be thankful for and I concur with her list and am able to genuinely smile at her good fortune and the run she's had in the last year. Each and every WAS writer could go on huge list rants because we genuinely have a lot to be thankful. But apart from the turkey cranberry goodness native to the end of November, we are also very conscious that we're able to give thanks because in some way or another, we've worked for our good fortune while contributing to the monetary fortunes of the places we've worked at. Places that did their best to squeeze the last drop out of us but couldn't. Places that pushed us to the brink of physical corrosion. Places that insisted on us being thankful for the thankless job we worked at.

In case you've been in a coma and get your RSS feed delivered to your subconscious, the economy is not doing so good. Yeah, we've seen signs that things might be turning around, but having almost drowned three times in my life, I'm of the school of taking a breather when I'm not underwater and not trusting the worst has passed until my lungs can stop quivering.

What this means is that since the economy is bad, budgets will be cut, people will get fired and your bosses know who is getting fired and when. In case you think this is a debbie downer post, please hear me out. I'm not saying wait to get canned, I'm saying move if you feel as if your agency is going to take a hit. And in case you think no one is going to take a hit, please know that some major companies are going to be cutting upwards of 20% of their advertising budgets in the next five months. That means your salary. That means your coworkers salary.

One of the problems is that you're injected with hope at your agency when you're having your turkey luncheon. Everyone holds hands, think happy thoughts and say that we all have to give thanks for having a job to provide for our families. If you actually felt as if a current was passing through your hands and a chill crept up and tickled you on the back of your neck, that's your spider sense tingling. But at five agencies I worked at and at five agencies we gave thanks, said grace and in the coming weeks someone got the axe. We all had hope and faith and happy happy thoughts and swore nothing bad would happen, but 100% of the times, it did. You could make a case that some people deserved to get canned and that others didn't. What you can't argue with is that people did get fired. Each and every time.

So do you still have to give thanks? Well of course. You're alive, you're kicking and you are more in control of your life than you think, you've only been led to believe that it's impossible to get another job or another source of income with this economoy. It's not and you can.

I'm not saying this because Obama got elected president and yes we can, and we can change and other things. I'm saying because yes I could and yes I did. For one year and eleven days I've been able to give thanks to having a job I finally like. For the first time in my life I can say I enjoy a job I'm working at. I passed through five agencies and at five companies I was angry, miserable, sick and frustrated. I worked my ass off, I did good work but it was nowhere near fulfilling and more often than should be the case, I felt like I'd been date raped by my employers.

So I got angry and did something that went against all logic. I had a healthy network of people I could call up for interviews. I know people at companies who could have hooked me up. I know people who know people who could have done the same. I could have called in about 12 favors. But I didn't. I saw an ad in a newspaper. I filled out the form. I sent my résumé and I forgot about it. Two weeks later, an interview. A month later I was dressed in nice pants, dress shoes and went from an under 100 employee agency to an over 1,300 employee company. Glamor I live not, but good working conditions and constant appreciation for my efforts, a steady paycheck and the ever elussive peace of mind I'd heard so much about are finally here. People say I look healthy and seem pretty happy and I correct them that I don't seem, that I am and that I'm not even required to drink the Kool Aid.

It didn't take 20,000 calls. It didn't take activating my entire network. I didn't have to suck dick. I just reacted on impulse and gave myself a shot. Who's to say you can't do the same for yourself?

So two days after Thanksgiving, I give thanks for getting closer to the life I want and getting a step farther from the life I had become so bored of in just 5 years. Now there's only one thing for me to ask you:

What's keeping you from giving yourself a chance, apart from giving thanks for the job you hate?

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