Monday, November 21, 2011

One milestone; I am most most most thankful.

Today brought great news.  Life (work) really teaches me that in order to achieve goals, you not only need patience, you need resilience.  Patience I suppose is more passive sort of waiting.  It's almost like sitting on a chair, not eating, not drinking, not moving till you outlast your competition to be the last one standing.  Resilience on the other hand is about being proactive while waiting.  Of course, not everything goes as plan.  Sometimes being proactive gets you backfired as well.  Sometimes, shit happens, nasty things happens, plans go haywire and you tell yourself you've got to. suck. it. all. in.  And still come back with a smile with all your demons sorted out within you.  Life doesn't get easy, work doesn't get easy - I remember there are so many times when I didn't get what I want, not only that, I seemed to have failed horribly.  I wanted to throw in the gauntlet and say 'forget it, this isn't worth it'.  But somehow, with the spirit, support and hope from others, this invisible energy just pushes me to bite the bullet and trudge on.

I hardly post anything about the course of work in Dentsu U and our relationship with clients.  Cause I don't kiss and tell :) But I do remember posting something similar many months back when for the first time, we've been awarded an account without having to go for a pitch.  The word 'pitch' is both ugly and alluring to me.  Ugly because you might just lose what belongs to you (unless of course, it's someone else's pie you're going after) and alluring because that's when you're psyched up to go all out on every front to flex your strategic and creative muscles.  So for the first time, when we were awarded an account without a pitch, we decided to still go all out as a commitment to our client that regardless of our situation - our commitment is our commitment.

We provided 'pitch' quality material and I cannot thank the people in the team enough - Malaysia, Japan, Asia - for the coolest work we're producing right now (it may not be to you, but it is to me - just like how we always think our kid is better than all of the other kids right?  Sorry about that).  And for 4 years.  Four. freaking. long. years.  I've been like a child hoping to complete my collection of toys and whenever I couldn't seem to get my hands on the missing ones, I threw a lot of tantrum, ruffled a lot of feathers, stepped on a lot of toes because I believe that we have a team that is ready to manage our client's total business.  But why aren't they seeing it!?

But that wishful day finally came.  Today we were awarded the final project which completes our account.  Wow.  Four. freaking. long. years.  Today, I'm like that child once again, putting each car model in the glass case like they are the most precious things I've ever had.  This time I couldn't stop smiling not because of the implication of this project on our total business billing.  But more because I'm able to look back and really see how much we have changed, grown, stretched and pursued to be where we are today, accountable and trustworthy enough for our client to have make that decision.  It's an amazing feeling to complete a milestone!  Did you know that?  This elation is indeed indescribable!  A sense of secret accomplishment that you thought only people in the 50s will savour.  But I'm telling you, it's not.  You can taste it too if you would be more aware of your goal and make proactive steps to reach it and above all, you need both patience and resilience to stick to what you believe in.  Your brand, your account, your agency.

Someone told me today that our industry will cave inward and collapse within 3 to 5 years if we don't get enough talents in to sustain it.  But they need to understand that the agency's high turnover rate is also one of the micro-factors that are spurring this downward spiral aside from the brain drain situation our nation is facing.  So... if you're really serious about your job.  Really, stop focusing just on the money.  Focus on your goal and money will come look for you.  Stop this 2-year migration just because another agency is willing to pay you higher.  Recognise the change you want to make, and make it where you are now.  Not tomorrow, not in another agency, not in another time.  To be honest, I sometimes surprise myself.  4 years in DU is about the longest time I've ever spent in one agency (guilty as charged!).  Somehow, some people I spoke to feel that if you stick around too long in one agency, you become wallpaper - old and needs to be stripped!  Haha, funny as it sounds but seriously, I've seen so many wonderful people making change in their place but didn't stick around long enough to reap the fruits from the seeds they have sown.  That's a pity, no?  Sticking around doesn't mean stagnating.  It's about growing where you are planted and inspire the rest to do the same.

Just so you know, I'm not a workaholic.  Haha, yea, I'm really not.  No seriously.  But I do put a lot in for work because I think life is about creating something good.  If I'm gonna be in this job, then it's my job to create something good for the stakeholders - my team, my client, my agency, their business, the consumer, the society, the nation, the world.  Otherwise, what is the purpose?  Otherwise, it's probably really easier for me to quit my job and work somewhere that I don't have to fight for anything and just be happy with my paycheck every month $.$ oh hell yeah.  But it's only when you know you've put blood, sweat and tears into something, you'd truly appreciate it no?

Now I know, sometimes you need to walk to the end of the road and then look back and evaluate the journey to learn the lesson.  Today my job taught me something really really really precious about life.  Don't give up.  Whatever it is, don't give up.  The journey may be hazy at times, but listen to your heart and tell yourself, you can make that happen.  Whatever it is that you want to make happen.  Good luck ;)

p/s: Advertising is half sprint, half marathon.  Never all of one.  Cause you'll either burn out or you'll be left behind.

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