Friday, March 27, 2009

Need v. Want

Yesterday, I read an article (alright, it was a blog) that talked about struggling in your work life. Since I am certainly facing a daily struggle here, it captivated my interest very quickly. But, it was a little disheartening when I read "struggle is the Universe's way of telling you that you're barking up the wrong tree". The article went on to say,

"If you're struggling in your career right now, and not getting any where but frustrated, perhaps it's time to look at going down another path or creating another plan of action. If what you are currently doing really was the best course, you would be moving in a direction of flow and least resistance. Get your creative juices going. Your dream is yours to have. It just may be a different picture than you imagined."

While I've thought long and hard about my current situation, and what I'm willing to put up with, I had always come to the conclusion that you have to go through the difficult times in order to get to the place you want.

For the past 5 years, I have wanted a piece of the advertising industry. And, I'll admit, I had given up on the opportunity to really work in the advertising industry last year w
hen I had planned to get married and move across the country. Truth be told, I had set myself up for the life of a faithful housewife. With no career prospects, and a husband in the military, I probably would have had children a few years after marriage and would never have entered the ad world. It's a sad thought, knowing that I had prepared to put aside my dreams and desires for a career for someone else. So when my life drastically turned around, I got my chance. I moved to New York City, the advertising capital of the world - hoping to get a slice of the ad world.

The thought of working with a team to conceptualize new ideas for campaigns and watching it come to life has always excited me and I love being around that atmosphere here at Ogilvy. But, the problem here is that I'm working at advertising, not in advertising. Yes, part of my goal has been achieved. I am working at a world-wide agency that is highly respected in the advertising world. But, I am making no contribution and I have no affect on what this agency is putting out there. If that's not frustrating enough, my co-workers seem to strive to make my job as difficult as possible. I don't want to sound whiny, and the last thing I want is for people to take everything I say as meaning "waaah, they're mean to me!!" But it's really getting out of control.

Believe me, I can put up with a lot. I can handle a lot of shit that is thrown at me. I'm really good at the "turn the other cheek" and I even can cope with taking the blame for some mistakes I didn't make. But I've been worn thin. I am a temp. A TEMP! I couldn't even find a real job in this economy. I couldn't even get a real interview with a company! The problem is, they know this. They know that I don't have any other options... and that I will stay in this position as long as it's offered to me because I have to make a living here. So they can ask me to do anything, they use me as their scapegoat, they pile work up for me and I crank it out, only for them to take the credit. (yes, I'm complaining. It's my blog and I'll complain if I want to!)

Ultimately, I don't want to work with these women anymore.  And, hopefully I won't have to do it for much longer.  I know I've been saying this for a while now.  Hell, in December, I was thinking that I would be a full-time employee.  Then I thought "surely by the end of March, I'll be full-time!" Ha, yeah.  I know what you're thinking... "Virginia, if it's so bad, why don't you do something about it?  Why don't you quit?"  and here's my answer:  I could quit. Yes.  But if I did, what would I be giving up?  Would I be able to find something else quickly?  And, if so, would it be within the advertising industry?  No matter what happens or how horrible this job is, I will still have Ogilvy & Mather Advertising as my first job out of college.  And that name is invaluable.  

I have spoken to Human Resources at Ogilvy (today, actually) and though I won't go into great detail on here about what was discussed and what was determined, I left today nervous, but optimistic about my future with this company.  And, like I've said many many times before, "We'll see".

So, do I agree with what the article said?  Yes and no.  I think it has to be a balance of need vs. want.  If the path for what we wanted came without struggle, would we really consider ourselves as being fulfilled?  I agree that there are limits to the amount of struggle necessary for success - but ultimately, it is the struggle of reaching our goals that makes them so precious to begin with.  And for what we need in life, everything we've ever learned (as humans) is to fight for what you need.  We need to eat, sleep, live, breathe, and communicate - and if one of those is compromised, don't we (naturally) fight to get it back?

So here's the equation - 
Need: I need a job.  I need money so that I can eat, live, move around in the city (transportation), and pay my student loan bills (ha.)

Want: To work in advertising.  To start a career of substance, where I feel like I'm contributing something to the ad world.

So where do they cross?  Do I outweigh my want by my need?  And how long do I suffer through the "need" section before I take swan dive into the unknown and risk losing to achieve the "want"?

Answer: Being an adult sucks.

1 comment:

Anna Bowland said...

This is the quote that hangs beside my desk:

"PEACE. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."

It helps me get through those days...:)