9 to midnighters

That’s how the instructor of my training class described us– 9 am to midnight workers, always stuck between the last client call and the next campaign launch. While we don’t actually stay until midnight, we do work long hours and a number of us stay pretty late that leaving before 6 p.m. is considered lucky.

A month into the job, and I have a better handle on things even though there’s still lots to learn. I feel more confident answering questions from different teams now that I’m equipped with media knowledge and my brain loaded with the initialisms that make up the language of the dvertising world. I learned first hand what “media speak” really meant– the natural communication at work between two admen that sounds more like code speak than a conversation and can make everyone outside of media feel a bit uncomfortable.

I understand now why my managers and coworkers always ask about my workload– because work can pile up and there is no end in sight, especially when you’re thrown into assignments one after another, even before you finish anything that you started work on a week prior. I can manage my time pretty well and usually is the first one to communicate progress updates so everyone’s on board.

That’s where the fun is in advertising– it’s the thrill of getting on an unexpected call, a random invite from a vendor who wants to take the team out on a boat tour, the speed of work required to work within restrictive timeframes. It’s a fun environment where everyone’s young and has something to prove.

Between trainings, workshops, and assignments handed from left to right, most of my time is spent at work. The time I get outside of work are used mainly to recuperate and prepare for yet another work adventure the next day. I don’t get to do much, if any, writing. I haven’t gotten the chance to follow up with my volunteer contacts to start engaging again with the community. But I love the things that I’m learning and both the possibilities and limitations of marketing excite me. I feel lucky everyday to do what I like doing, and right now, even if I would like to fill up my schedule with other activities, I’m allowing myself to immerse in the work and its environment, and once I feel comfortable and have set my routines, I know it will be easier to add more things.

For someone like me whose curiosity is insatiable and with a great desire to learn and develop as a person, it’s challenging to stop myself from taking everything that looks interesting. Yet I know that prioritizing and managing time extends beyond work hours, and it’s important to be able to be selective of activities you’d like to be involved in and be mindful of how you spend your time.

The first step is setting goals and reflecting on your values, and you’ll realize how many distractions are out there. It’s easy to be swept into fun, pretty and pleasurable experiences, and since they feel satisfying. Yt some are inessential, and although our logical mind believes this so, our emotional side can get the best of us and we’re drawn to the path of least resistance.

Discipline, focus and sacrifice are much needed virtues in a hectic world like ours.

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