This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, where we blog on one alphabet every day of April. 26 alphabets & 26 days (Sundays off). Starting with 'A' on April 1, 'B' on April 2 and so on and so forth.
So, here goes my first post:
So, here goes my first post:
Many many years ago I decided to move out of my comfort zone of being a Chartered Accountant and venture into unknown. Simply because I was bored of working with numbers and didn’t think of myself doing it for a better part of my life. I had no idea of what I could do next and therefore, experimented with a couple of things before stumbling upon advertising in December 2010.
When the person interviewing me learnt about my background of accountancy and my intention of joining an ad agency, he asked me whether I was the fourth idiot missing in the movie ‘3 Idiots’! After joining the advertising bandwagon, I would very honestly admit, I received a sort of a cultural shock. Having seen the corporate, extremely business-like, formal, uptight and a little conservative work environment in CA days, ad agency on the outside was what MTV used to look like in 1990s – brash, in your face, casual and strange. I had seen women smoking in English sitcoms or may be some foreigners roaming in Connaught Place, and when I saw my colleagues holding their smoke breaks as sacrosanct, I was a bit shocked or whatever. I was learning each day. Learning not just the work but also blending in.
As I made friends with people around, I started getting comfortable and realized that it is a world of very different inhabitants. And I found myself slowly fitting in the jungle. To my surprise, after having been in this industry for over 2 years now, I find myself to have belonged here all along.
When I say, advertising is the place for the mis-fits, I say it because:
- No other profession accommodates/absorbs an engineer, doctor, lawyer, college-dropout, CA, MBA or anyone who is crazy or thinks he doesn’t belong to a conventional career option
- An advertising agency is full of people from all backgrounds, colors, regions and religions. This will sound stupid, but I met my first Muslim friend here and today she is one of my closest friends. And there are people from Assam to Kerala, from Bihar to Rajasthan, all with a common passion for advertising and having that ‘weird streak’ in them
- Yes, we all breathe, eat, drink and sleep. But whats and hows of breathe, eat, drink and sleep differentiate us in advertising from the rest of the world. Breathing in a lot of smoke, eating at erratic hours, drinking..(leave it!) and sleeping for the sake of sleeping. That’s how the majority does it
- We have a big social circle and everything but there are times we can’t sit through a normal conversation happening in the family/extended family/family functions etc. Not that we don’t love our families but simple topics like getting a bank account opened or buying a washing machine for home or shopping for a cousin’s wedding are some of the things where our minds take off on a different flight
- We call names. We swear. We use cuss words. Most of us do. And this is one of the things which you try to control when you are outside your agency and are in the normal world. And in the normal world, nobody appreciates this rather brash quality of yours. Whether it is your family or ‘non-advertising’ friends
- We work hard and we celebrate life in general. But we have our ways or style to celebrate. Essentially involves booze, chicken, smokes, trashing the ads done by some other agency in a cramped office cabin or an aesthetically done-up house of a senior fellow and we celebrate
- We never could fit in the usual 9 to 5 corporate hours and that’s why advertising is home
There are times when I feel disoriented and disillusioned from work, people and lifestyle. I think of leaving this all for something better. I know I will find something better but would that take me for the eccentric, crazy that I am, I am not sure. Advertising is fun, weird and mad and I am, for now, very ok with it.
P. S The opinions expressed in the post are completely from my point of view. It is just a light-hearted take on the profession and is not meant to offend anyone. So, read it just for entertainment please! J