It’s already been almost a week since I left my first job in the advertising industry. My team threw a despedida (going-away) party for me and my other officemate who came in a few months earlier than me. As expected, I cried loads especially when I gave my on-the-spot speech. All my friends were super emotional that night cause we never thought that day would come so fast. Setting the drama aside, now let me share with you my life after leaving the advertising world.
I’m now working in a software & marketing company in Alabang, just a few KM away from my house. From my previous post, I never really had any ideas what my work would be like. Although I know my job is to come up with designs, just like what I’ve been doing in my previous company. But this time, I’m not making designs for big brands and I’m not working for clients anymore. It’s kind of complicated to discuss in detail, the bottom line is, I still make designs and marketing materials.
But let me tell you how my life became so easy after leaving my previous job.
Just a disclaimer, I’m not trying to ruin the image of the advertising industry in the Philippines. The things I’m about to say are merely based on my own experience. I have nothing against my previous job and I have nothing against the people there. In fact, I’m still having separation anxiety from time to time cause that’s how attached I am.
My office hours in my current company is very flexible, as long as you complete the 8-hour requirement each day. So if I come in at 8am, I can already leave at 4pm. If I come it at 9am, I can leave at 5pm, and if I come in at 10am, I can leave at 6pm. In the advertising world, you can come in whatever time you wish to come as long as you let your boss know, especially if you plan to come in a little late. And you CAN’T leave without making sure you don’t have any pending work. They’re really strict about deadlines so if the client says you have to wait for the feedback/revisions, you HAVE to wait. The deadlines in the advertising industry are VERY strict. If they want it ASAP, you gotta do it ASAP, even if it means sacrificing your time, worse, even your health. And that’s one thing I really hate about working for clients. There are really nice and understanding clients who can adjust, but there are clients who’ll make you regret your decision to work for them.
Another thing I hate about the advertising industry is they unconsciously force you to prioritize work before anything else, because “it’s the nature of the work.” The OTs are so bad, I even experienced working for this brand (still makes me anxious every time I hear the name of the brand/client) that I was forced to work on a video and social media content til past midnight. I remember coming in to work super early considering the load I have for that day. At 11pm, I asked my boss (who was literally sitting beside me watching me and waiting for me to finish) if I can continue it the next morning cause I was already feeling so dizzy that I couldn’t look at my screen properly (FYI, everything’s due EOD the next day so I know I can still work on it first thing in the morning, just in time for the deadline). My boss said, “uhm.. you only have a few things left, finish it now so we can submit it tonight.” That’s when I realized how toxic the ad life is.
Some people would say “you wouldn’t complain if you love what you’re doing.” Trust me, I loved what I was doing. I just realized later that doing something you love should be fun and healthy. For the last few months, it became so unhealthy that I became very sickly. And to be honest, I fell out of love with my job.
I wouldn’t say I’m completely happy and in love with my current job (heck, it’s only been a week so who knows?) but what’s keeping me content is the real work-life balance. I get to leave the office while the sun’s still up! For someone who came in the ad life, that’s something to be really happy about. Plus, I get to do so much after work. Since this Monday, I was able to be productive after leaving work. I got to do the grocery, I got to watch a movie and grab dinner with friends, I got to run around the village and workout at home after, I got to do some artworks, I was able to visit my boyfriend and our friends at work and had dinner after, etc.! Those are a few of the things I didn’t get to do when I was still in the ad agency. I’m really loving this new work-life balance thing.
Plus, the benefits in my current company are waaaaay better. Like there’s a thing they call BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) where people get to receive a daily allowance if they use their personal laptop for work! We also have free rice every day as an incentive (a choice of brown or white). For a newbie like me, it’s kind of unusual to work directly with a hands-on CEO, but that’s one thing I like about my new job — I get to work with BIG people.
I’ll always love Saatchi. But advertising isn’t really for me. I’m really hoping this new job really works for me. So far, so good!