Five years ago, I started my career at Sweeney. Two years before that I interviewed with the agency and did not land a gig. I’ve experienced so many doubts about my career from that initial interview to now, and some moments when I didn’t think I would make it to five years.
I still can’t believe how much my life has changed in the past five years, professionally and personally. When I started at Sweeney, I was two years out of college, single and ate cereal for dinner most evenings while working well into the night. My only knowledge of agency culture was what I saw on Mad Men. During my time at Sweeney, I earned my master’s degree, became a mother, established a home for my family and learned/ing what it means to balance work and life.
I have had the opportunity to embrace my dream career – serving as the agency’s creative director. We’ve created strategic and aesthetic designs and directed engaging videos – and we’ve won awards and provided solutions for our clients. It’s a life that I’m beyond grateful for, and I want to thank my bosses and mentors – Jim Sweeney and Jennifer Manocchio – for their fearless leadership and constant support. I am inspired by all my coworkers, and our creative team at Sweeney for their true passion for this work.
I’ve had many opportunities to absorb, mature, evolve, challenge and embrace. This journey has had its share of both wacky and happy moments. But because of my experiences at an agency I’ve learned to become more patient, trust myself a little more, embrace the opportunity to be a lifelong student and other lessons that have led to affirmations for agency life, including:
- I embrace the ebb and go with the flow.
- I am not afraid to get my hands dirty.
- I am happy being me, and nothing can change that.
- I learn from my clients.
- I do not fear the approaching deadlines (Bring. It. On.)
- I communicate and articulate.
- I am a firm but fair manager.
- I will enjoy every moment of success, big or small – a good idea, a client “thank you”, or seeing work be produced.
- My voice brings value to this meeting; my thoughts bring value to this brainstorm.
- I can delegate to elevate, and trust that my team will succeed.
- Every idea I may have, silly or serious, is worth being shared. Who knows where it will lead?
- It’s ok to get upset about work, but I will let it go quickly and move forward.
- I am blessed to live my passion.
- Every day begins something new, you never where things will go.
- I enjoy timesheets (just kidding… but it’s worth a shot).
One last note, our agency is nothing like Sterling Cooper. However, my favorite television character still remains Peggy Olson. I recommend that every agency professional watch Mad Men – not for the drama or the fashion – but to simply appreciate the evolution of this character and what that can mean for you as a professional. Find your passion, find your voice, find trust for yourself – then go for it.