The advertising business is tough. Hours are long, deadlines short. Stress levels are high, salaries modest. Budgets are tight, especially when advertising tends to be the first place a troubled company cuts. Clients *never* seem to go for that great idea you’ve been nurturing. The learning curve is steep, and in this digital age, it doesn’t seem to ever flatten out. And we face all this to produce something that the general public usually ignores.
It’s easy to get on a pity party. Instead, try any of these:
1. Mentor a student. Their bright-eyed excitement about the business will remind you why you got into it in the first place.
2. Keep it relative. On the way to a previous agency, I’d pass by a temp agency with a long line-up of people outside, hoping for a chance to pound brick for a day’s pay. Doesn’t make that fifth client revision seem so bad.
3. Network. Facing a problem alone is daunting, and sometimes our spouses just don’t understand the stresses we’re facing. Talk to a colleague. Heck, talk to a competitor. You don’t have to share secrets to take a load off with someone who can empathise.
4. Volunteer. Take a break from selling widgets and put your marketing savvy towards helping a worthwhile cause. Volunteer Canada lists many opportunities for people with a communications background.
5. See great creative. Cannes Lions or other ad show winners will inspire and challenge you.
6. Use your holidays. Those five weeks you’ve got banked aren’t impressing anyone. And, yes, advertising will get along just fine without you for a while.
7. Contact NABS. The National Advertising Benevolent Society provides counselling and financial support for industry people in need. Call their 24-hour helpline at 1-888-355-5548 or visit their site for more information on how they can help.
Admit it, every now and then, advertising is as fun as you dreamed it would be. Cherish those moments.