Done feeling sorry…it’s time for a drink.

I want to lighten things up as the last two blogs have been a bit on the suicidal side of things. So first things first. No more “woe is this economy.” Because one thing I learned from the endless meetings today is that – it’s our industry.  Yeah, the economy sucks – but it’s exponentially bad for our business because we invested 40 years in a media that is becoming extinct. Cutbacks are inevitable. And that’s the last I’m going to comment on this.

So on to what makes my life worthwhile. Happy hours.  Hah. Okay, you may be thinking – You really ARE a Wisconsin girl. Well, I can’t lie. The stereotypes are true. I love to drink. I do it pretty often, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t drink. I’m not an alcoholic. But I just think happy hours are one of my favorite team-building exercises. It’s like we purposely put ourselves into this elite club. Not many make it into our department (and from what you know about me, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be at times), but if it weren’t for how happy this job and my co-workers make me – I would have left about 2 years ago.

My first out-of-college job was for a position that was misleading.

Them -You’ll be an editor working on law books.

Me – Exciting!

Them – Oh, actually you’re going to be a publishing specialist doing data entry.

Me – oh.

I’m not knocking it. It’s a way to make a living. But I had a specific career goal in mind. And this wasn’t it. So what did I do? I gave it a year and then moved to Milwaukee and took the first job to “get my foot in the door.” Well my foot has been in that door for over 2.5 years now. But you know where they got me? With the morale!!! I can’t quit a job where I love my co-workers, respect my managers/VPs/CEOs (for the most part), and have SOOOO much fun. Talk about a work/life balance. It’s more of a life created from my work balance. And it’s been a great ride.

So I’m hoping that I can use that escape to get me through this rocky year. And for those who haven’t gotten to know your coworkers? Well set up a happy hour and get to it! It’s the best medicine. Besides medicine.

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Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 2:49 am  Leave a Comment  

The aftermath.

Now more than ever I need people to hear my story. Today was a big punch in the stomach to everyone remaining in our company and the message was two-fold:

1.  Make it work or get out. 2010 is gonna be rough.

2.  If you’re not needed then your expendable, this is just a warning.

This was basically the jist of what were told in an all-employee meeting at the agency this morning (and there are two more meetings scheduled for later today. Overkill much? Pun not intended).  Now it just so happens that the cubicle I reside in is right next to a VP’s office (not my superior, but a different VP) and I just overheard even more conversations about other cuts planned. So yeah, 2010 IS gonna be rough. More cutbacks are inevitable and now I’m left to defend my position to the death.

Surprisingly I’m okay with that. I would always like to be looked at as a valued employee. One that creates a need. But there’s one big selfish stipulation to all of this. I haven’t had a raise in 2 years. Seriously, the last 80% of the time I’ve dedicated to this place has been sans raise. I’m salaried so that means I work overtime – a lot, and if you worked it out hourly, I’d probably be making more at the fast food job I held in High School.

So it really boils down to these three questions:

1.  Can I afford to stick it out another year with this company not
     knowing when (if ever) I’ll get a raise in the future?

2.  Would it be more costly to look for another position in this
      economy,  and can I chance it?

3.  Is Arby’s hiring?

Right now I can already tell you the answer. It’s not the one you’ll like – but it’s the one that’s the safest. Yes, I am going to stick it out. I am going to prove my value and I will become a necessity. I may not get paid anything more than what I’ve got now but in tough times you either need to stick it out or be brave enough to try it alone. And I’m not that brave. And I’m quite envious of those who are making their way through the muck that is this economy.

So right now there is no certainty with my position. Which sucks. But I know I’m not alone in that boat.

Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 5:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Shock to the System

When I started this blog I thought, sure there’ll be some great tales to tell along the way. But something like this feels way too soon to be reporting on. Today, we found out that our agency was letting go about 35 employees including the closing of two offices. Now, I would feel lucky if I were to say that this was the first time this had happened since I started with the company, but alas, this is only one of many. Those who work in ad agencies can especially empathize with the growing pains of a company that’s trying to go from selling traditional media to selling interactive media. It’s no surprise that although interactive is growing by leaps and bounds; it can’t quite balance out the fall of revenue in other areas that are falling. 

It makes sense on paper. It’s a little bit stickier in the real world. And today my world just got rocked. There’s no getting around it. Oh settle down, I didn’t get the ax (you would know by my desperate attempt to monetize myself on here). However, someone in my department did. It was a terrible day. And to take make matters worse it was purely for budgetary purposes. The guy was a hard worker, innovative thinker, team player, liked happy hours (that was key)…all the qualities of a must-have marketer.

But what really brought it home was that we have the same job title (partially). We’re both marketers (although I sway more towards the copywriting side of things). We both have a lot to offer. The only difference is that I have a couple weeks more experience and I like writing. That’s really all that separated us.

Needless to say, it was a big reality check. I’ve read a lot of articles about being marketable, and standing out from your peers, growing your strengths, yada yada yada. Well I get it. I really get it.

So this is my new motto. If you’re comfortable – you’re vulnerable. Always strive to do better and keep your chin up. Ha. Okay, a little corny at the end, there, but you get the jist.

As for the co-worker? Well I wish him the best of luck and I hope he continues his attendance at our happy hours.

Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 12:03 am  Comments (1)