Finding an advertising job doesn’t come easy. You have to refresh your resume, practice your "greatest weakness" answer in the mirror, and whip out your take-me-serious interview shoes. Oh, and let’s not forget the repetitive rejection you face by agencies who miss out on your obvious talent. It’s hard work.
When you finally land a job, you’re so happy to be off the market! You share your good news with the world via Snapchat, and Instagram, #HIRED!, and everyone knows your success. So what happens when the celebrations come to an end, and you realise the prize at the end of the journey is a job that you’re not so crazy about—or worse?
This happened to me when I moved from my awesome gig at Publicis, Toronto, to a new agency in Los Angeles. I was thrilled to be in LA but uninspired at my job. People told me to be happy. I had a job and it paid, with money. What else could I want?
It turns out that the majority of people feel the same way. According to a recent Gallup Poll, 63 percent of people feel "fine" or "unengaged" at work, and, a whole 24 percent of people are considered "actively disengaged." That’s a very nice way of saying they hate their jobs!
So if you’re not happy at your ad agency, you can take comfort in the fact that most of the world is in the same position or you can choose to do something about it.
I gave it a month at my new job and I knew we weren’t right for each other—they probably knew it too because chemistry doesn’t lie. By the end of my third month, I was actively looking, and a few weeks later I landed a job with a growing agency that turned out to be a perfect match.
Making the decision to move on was not the easy one, but it was the best decision I could have made. Here are five reasons why it’s worth leaving your "meh" job.
You will stop looking ahead and start living in the moment. When I wasn’t happy I was always looking to get out. I fueled a coffee addiction just to have a socially acceptable reason to leave the office. Now that work rocks, I don’t need to escape and can spend my time in the present moment like my yoga teacher tells me to. (I’m still addicted to coffee).
Waking up will stop sucking. Yes, we could all use an extra hour in the morning, but that feeling of despair, I know you know. … I don’t get that anymore.
You have a better shot at getting rich fast. When you love what you do you do a way better job at it, and you put more time and effort into it. This is not a recipe to get rich, but it is often a prerequisite. According to a popular study on habits of rich vs. poor, 86 percent of the wealthy worked an average of 50 hours or more per week (compared to 43% of the poor), and 81 percent say they do more than their job requires (versus 17 percent).
You will build your network. When getting out ASAP is your goal, you don’t have a lot of time to get to know people. Maybe you’re like the girls on The Bachelor and you’re "not here to make friends" but life is a lot easier when you do, and when you’re having fun and working as a team, friendships tend to happen.
You will grow professionally and personally. Being happy at work can have the side effect of saying "yes," while being unhappy can make every little thing a drag. I don’t have the study to back this one, but think about the happy people in your life and the grumpy people and tally the times they say yes to opportunity.
If work is just a job to you and you have other things in your life that fulfil you, that’s amazing! If you consider your job in advertising to be an important part of what makes you happy, and it’s not making you happy right now, find a new one.
No one is saying you have to quit your job today, but don’t settle just because it’s easy. You’re smart and capable—go do it!
Elyssa Seidman is a strategist at LA-based Pitch, where she is extremely happy.
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