Yes as ridiculous as it sounds, it’s possible. Ask me and I’ll tell you how. Managing work in a communication agency, is a bit like managing an unmanageable beast. There’s no real guide telling you how to do it. There are no fixed rules. There is no telling what each day will bring. All there is, is a constant endeavour to keep trying, and hope that most days, you get it right.
Some days are downright unpredictable. Events pan out in a way that questions your whole sense of entitlement. Each one of us takes ourselves, our miniscule roles and everything we do so seriously, but the truth is very little is really in our control. What we do and how we do it, perhaps is. But how it is perceived, whether it is in the right direction, what will come out of it, never is. The only hope of making sure that something moves in a manner that gives you a desired outcome, is to work with conviction. When you are convinced about something yourself, it is most likely that your audience too will be convinced.
I’m sounding mixed up here, I know. But it is because I am mixed up. Events over the last few days, particularly related to my line of work, have made me question a lot of core beliefs I thought I had. About my industry, my work, why I am here, doing what I do.
What transpired over the latter half of Monday this week, felt like a relay of reality-checks being pelted at me. I felt like I was caught in the cross-fire, not knowing what was expected of me, and what I needed to do to come out alive. Like I have told many people over the last few days, it was by far the worst day of my professional life. But here’s the funny part. It was also probably the best day of my professional life.
Every now and then there comes a day when you sink so low, your self-esteem is shattered, your sense of worth is shred to bits, your nose couldn’t be more stuck in the ground. You lie there groveling, but sometimes there is a glimmer that shines through. And for me, that was knowing that while I am at my lowest best, there are people at work who care to bring me back up. Sure, the onus is on me. But for the first time I have been exposed to the real deal, in my line of work. Everything I have done thus far has been a mere scratch on the surface in the name of communication. There have been times when I was proud of my work, the happy highs of loving what I do. I hold them all close to my heart, but what I experienced on Monday was the very first in what I hope is a string of real world experiences. The kind that break you out of a meaningless monotonous “job” and make your work, meaningful work. The kind that gives you something new to learn, grab and make your own, every single day. The kind that blindsights you with surprise challenges. The kind that makes you feel like shit sometimes, and then makes you realise how awesome even that can be!
That blasted Monday, I was humbled beyond belief. I realised where I stand. Where I need to be. More importantly, where I want to be. The best part is for once in my life, I don’t just see the path that could possibly lead me there. I also see the why and the how to get there. I see inspiring people who will walk with me, and reach out to whenever I need a hand. Yes, it was an emotional day. But I have come out with my eyes wide open. To learn, and keep learning, has been the biggest learning of the day.
I wrote this in the aftermath of the aforementioned shitty day. Because at the end of the long and grueling day that it was, I was super-charged. Never in all my work experience have I had a day that stretched me to the limit and made me use my head in ways I didn’t know I could. Never have college-cook-principles seemed relevant the way they did on Monday. Never have I felt more stupid, yet lucky all at once. It was a day of uncertainty and unpredictability. The kind of day can only be normalised by doing something utterly familiar, homely and close to your heart.
So I came home, and I cooked. A nice big pot of pulao. But minus that little detail, this is my post for the day on Vie Hebdomadaires, where I will be guest-posting all week. You can catch the post there too!