Fourteen and a half years ago, I had my first day at Tribal/DDB. This coincided with my first day in Los Angeles, the day after I drove Zippy the Wonder Saturn down from Vancouver. I was 25, and I was heading to the big city to work in an advertising agency. It was the most exciting – and one of the best – decisions I ever made, to pursue my career in digital marketing with an agency in Los Angeles. I only stayed a year at Tribal before moving on to Integrated Media Solutions, but it was a great agency to start my career at, and gave me a solid foundation for #agencylife.
Today, I returned to an Omnicom agency when I started work at OMD USA, a highly decorated media agency. A few things were different as I’m now obviously much older (and hopefully wiser) and more experienced, but I still felt a lot of the same excitement I experienced when I started in the binoculars building in Venice Beach. This morning that moment was when I came out of the subway, saw the new WTC 1 tower down the street, and remembered with gratitude that I am living my dream.
I also dress very differently now for my leadership level jobs in NYC than I did fourteen years ago for my entry level role in L.A.: today I wore a velvet jacket over a blouse, with black jeans and flat tall boots. I also wear a lot of makeup that I didn’t need when I was a 26 year old assistant interactive media planner. I’m going in to manage the assistant media planners (and the media planners, and the media supervisors, and the media directors) as an Exec Account Director. So since I am now the management level grownup I was in total awe of in 2004, even though it is Friday, I still dressed up a bit:
Best thing from my stint on L’Oreal: I learned how to use undereye concealer.
My first impressions of the job are positive, both in terms of the team as well as my role within it. It will take me weeks to really understand the mechanics and politics and details, but my surface level impression is that this role is a good fit for me and for my own growth goals. As I wrote a couple weeks ago, my career path was growing stagnant, as the clients I worked on became more limiting and less conducive to my own goals as a leader. I needed bigger and better opportunities. I’m lucky in that I was able to find a position that, based on my first day’s interactions, seems to be the step up in my career I was searching for.
Finally, one of the best technological innovations since 2004, aside from all the technology that actually makes my job possible, is the invention of better coffee machines. I did not have to embarrass myself on day one by spilling coffee all over the break room as I did in 2004, but rather, was able to make myself look clueless by holding up the line while I got overwhelmed by the number of choices on the touch screen. Progress!