I was part of a creative panel last night, presented as part of CSUF's Comm Week. Students had the opportunity to ask questions of industry professionals about how to navigate a career in advertising. The panelists were me, a CD copywriter, an Art Director and an Interactive Designer.
We got the usual lot of questions: what do you do on a typical day? how did you start in this business? who is the person who's had the most influence on your career? what is the typical starting junior salary? Standard for this type of event.
Then came one question that caught us all off guard. "It sounds like you have all had great careers and have gone far within the industry," asks Dustin, an aspiring creative. "But, are you happy?"
We instantly laughed. Yet I noticed it was that nervous kind of laughter when something hits a chord. Are we happy? After all this, a long and fun career in advertising, are we where we thought we'd be? Is this what we thought we'd be doing? Ahhhh, Dustin, you've asked the million dollar question.
A question everyone should be asking themselves. Not after a 20-year career. Not after 10 years in. But now. Are you happy now? In this job, at this agency, doing this work, every week? Yes? No?
I know my answer.