Why I quit my job at a traditional marketing agency to pursue authenticity and become my own boss.
Recently I quit my job. I quit my stable, dependable, 9-to-5 job at a full-service marketing agency to try to hack it in the social media management game on my own. Some would say that I didn’t make the most prudent career move that a 22-year-old recent college graduate could make. But wouldn’t you take some risks if you knew that each month you could feel at least $2,000 richer and a whole lot happier?
I didn’t make this decision lightly. I realized that, by going back to my old restaurant job part time, I could financially support myself while having more time to grow a business. This is the Millennial’s prerogative; change the rules if you don’t like the game.
So I set to work crafting some new rules for my professional life:
The 9-to-5 is bullshit:
I hate that I even have to state this as fact, but it’s 2017. There is no reason why a person in a largely digital profession should spend more than 40 hours a week sitting at a desk, doing the same old bland work for the equivalent to part-time pay. After crunching the numbers, I realized I would make the same amount of money I was making at my entry-level agency job in about half the time working at a restaurant. This frees me up to spend my days networking with potential clients, building out work for existing clients and developing my business until I can afford to do it full time. Tell me again why I need to sit at my desk and stare at a paper clip dispenser all day when I can financially support myself on nights and weekends?
Work/Life balance should be important to millennials too:
It’s a well-documented fact that Millennials aren’t putting up with the status quo , which may have caused some inter-generational tension. Honestly, I can understand the frustration on the part of older generations. Where do we get off demanding more time off, flexible work spaces and better benefits? We didn’t pay our dues. We didn’t put in the grueling years inside of a cubicle, sitting in meetings that could have been handled over email, crying in bathroom stalls and driving home in rush-hour traffic. I get why this seems strange. But this generation has changed the way people think and work. Why shouldn’t we reap the benefits of that paradigm shift? I can do my work from anywhere. Why not do it in the company of my wife, on a beach in California for the weekend? Why not do it from home while I have food in the oven? Why not do it my way?
Social media should be managed like the agile animal it is:
I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t sit at a desk all day for meager pay making work that only plays it safe. I couldn’t, in good conscience, continue to overcharge clients for services that I knew could be a hell of a lot more agile. Social media is like the proverbial sand through your fingers, a wild force capable of turning on a dime that cannot be tamed. The spirit of the industry begs for a breaking of the mold. Large agencies looking to capitalize on the monetization of social media simply fold social into the greater catalog of services when it clearly doesn’t belong there. Social media management requires creativity, boots on the ground, native and immersive experiences. Only then can you capture the LIFE that social media is meant to document. Without being out in the world, you’re only scratching the surface of meaningful content that drives change. And if you’re only scratching the surface then, forgive me, but what’s the f*cking point?
Setting my own boundaries and prioritizing my own dreams has infused my life with so much hope for the future. So I challenge you to give yourself a hard look in the mirror, reevaluate your priorities and channel your passions into something that works for you. If you knew that you could design your own game instead of playing by someone else’s rules… What rules would you change?