Advertising: Job or Lifestyle?

I tend to think about my future career as a name tag. A pre-written sticker that demands you write in one word to define your entire career. Engineer. Doctor. Journalist. Yep, all those fit just fine. Writer with lofty dreams to explore, learn, and overcome the world one adventure at a time..let me grab my fine point pen. This was, is, and will continue to be my struggle of where a professional career (I mean one where you actually earn a living. Professional Netflix Binger don’t pay no bills!) fits into where I see my life going. I can confidently say that every single one of us didn’t dream of having an office job when they grew up. I surely didn’t. We were looking to fly into space, defeat evil dragons, and save the princess, you know, living the Super Mario Galaxy lifestyle. So here’s the million dollar question: How does one fit all those dreams and aspirations into a one word job title? Simple. Put your life into your work. Don’t let your work become your life. This is where all the greatest ideas come from, and it’s also how you’re going to make it 40+ years in the professional industry of your choice.

Throughout my time as a copywriting intern at LevLane Advertising | PR | Interactive, I’ve come to this realization. I see so many incredibly creative people in LevLane’s office who don’t dream to make direct mailers all day. They dream, and most importantly act on those dreams, about creating their own TV shows, backpacking across Europe, and continuing to learn as much about anything and everything as possible. Yes, they still create direct mailers. The difference is that these direct mailers or really any piece of work is assembled from an active and hungry soul. One that channels the self-motivated-outside-the-office endeavor’s energy into everything from direct mailers to company-saving campaigns. That, my friends, is how you fit a career into your life.

So next time you feel as though a career is a name tag, full of pre-determined rules and structures. Remember, the name tag doesn’t wear you, you wear the name tag.

3 Comments

  1. I think this piece is beautiful and inspirational. It gives hope to all copywriters including myself. I remember one time I told my creative writing for fiction class that I was a copywriter and they all felt badly for me. They told me that I should use my writing for more than the low-down business of advertising. However, I told them that as long as I write I will be happy and I will never stop writing to pursue bigger dreams than a life full of “direct mailers.” This post just affirmed that I’m not the only copywriter with this dream and that it is possible. I hope all of copywriters fulfill our writing aspirations, whatever they may be.

    -Best Wishes,
    Sharon A. Bryant

  2. Studying art direction, not copy, but the beautiful thing about this post is that it can apply to any path. Really glad you got this out of your experience at LevLane. It’s super important for everyone to understand that there is life and work not work is life. All of the experiences you are a part of outside of the Agency is what shapes and creates the great ideas. Very well said.

  3. It’s weird how things seem to work out. When you’re growing up, you have dreams and aspirations to accomplish wonderful things and believe (as you should) that nothing and no one will stop you from attaining those things. Somewhere along the line, however, the drive and fire seems to dim if not burn out. I hate that it’s the case for so many people and it makes me happy to see those who refuse to settle. I love the idea of working as an art director in an advertising agency but won’t stop searching for a job until I find one that will allow me to make a difference in peoples’ lives through my advertising work. I refuse to sit at a desk in front of a computer for the rest of my life unless it truly benefits others. Thanks for sharing your post!

    Best, Alexandra

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