So you all wanna know what my job is right?
Today I tell you.
(this is a long post so go grab a coffee wtf. I’m squeezing four years of what I’ve been wanting to say about work into one post hahaha.)
For four years, I’ve refused to talk about my job for a couple of reasons:
1) we’re made to sign a social media non disclosure agreement lolol. Actually I’m not sure if we actually signed anything la wtf but we’ve been warned repeatedly to not talk about (this includes complaining) about work on social media. I think they specially meant disclosing client information or anything that could be sensitive/confidential la. But I made the decision on my own to just not talk about anything specific that happens at work which could identify what company I’m working at
2) I worry about conflict of interest – I also get income from blogging so it’s also a job
3) I like keeping my work life and blogging personality separate. Although this doesn’t happen all the time FML. I don’t like being judged on being a blogger by a client because let’s face it – public perception of bloggers in Malaysia isn’t very nice – freeloaders, vain, attention-seeking, etc. Clients might not take me seriously.
Ok so… *drumroll
I work in advertising.
I think some people already guessed based on the pictures I’ve posted at work which have me wearing extremely casual clothing. I don’t dress like this all the time ok! If I have a meeting I’ll put on some heels wtf.
How it all began
I majored in Asian Studies which isn’t really a viable option if you work and live in Asia and are Asian wtf. So during two of my summers at college, Fat Her (probably dying to get me out of the house) suggested I try for internships in advertising agencies, which he thought I might like. I ended up doing two. One in a media agency called Zenith, another in a creative agency called Dentsu. Dentsu (a Japanese ad agency) was right after I got back from Japan so I thought it was quite suitable wtf.
Then I headed back to the States for my senior year where I wrote and researched my honors thesis. I quite liked that too!
So when it was time for me to think of my career, I narrowed it down to two major options – advertising and research. Vastly different right!? I think I applied for an oil and gas company to do research some more wtf.
Anyway, I wrote cover letters and went for interviews and everything. I considered other jobs but in the end I took up my position with my agency because I liked the people who interviewed me and also they hired me on the spot. Years later my boss was saying some people have to interview a couple of times or wait a while before they get an offer, so I was quite smug about it and asked “wah so then why did you give me a job on the spot?” She said they were desperate WTF.
I started as a media planner. In advertising, it’s not all just about designing ads, but someone’s gotta figure out where to place these ads so to best reach the target audience. For example, if you’re selling cooking oil, you might want to consider putting your ads during say, HK dramas when the housewives are watching lolol. Basically identifying the right medium (TV, newspaper, internet, etc) and when to hit them (during which program, what page of the paper, what website etc)
So I was a digital media planner. Which means I planned ad campaigns for digital media, including the ads you see on Yahoo, MSN, Facebook.
This was when I experienced the most discrimination because of my size and appearance wtf. Okay maybe discrimination is a harsh word, but as a young inexperienced planner, I faced a lot of trouble getting people to take what I said seriously.
After a while I got sick of planning. It’s a lot of numbers and details and being organized (none of which I’m very good at). But because of my blog (and my addiction to the Internet) I knew one thing very well – social media.
That was when social media marketing really came in a big way so most marketing companies were starting social media divisions. My boss started it for our company and I was the first member lolol.
It was fun! Because I was so familiar with how people acted on social media (really, it’s no different than how they act in real life, just on social platforms) that it was easy for me to tell if an idea would work on social or not. In media planning I struggled to remember how many people read Star Online every day wtf but I knew exactly how many people were on Facebook in Malaysia, which blogger had the highest traffic, what their readers were like, and so on.
Because it was something that really interested me, I think I blossomed *big shiny eyes. Before I was hesitant, worrying that I’d answer wrongly if the client asked me something. But now I was confident that no other media planner or client knew as much as I did about social media, especially when it came to bloggers and other online influencers. Even if I wasn’t sure about something I knew I could bullshit and nobody would know.
KIDDING LA KIDDING OF COURSE I DIDN’T BLUFF ANYONE HAHAHA. But knowing that I could if I wanted to really gave me confidence and lent me authority.
So knowing your stuff and being confident is very important wtf.
It was exciting! We tried to outdo ourselves with new ideas for every new project and client. We submitted ad campaigns for awards and though I hated the process of crafting awards submissions, when we won it made everything worth it. And the people I worked with – I couldn’t have a better bunch of colleagues and bosses. I didn’t expect to stay as long as I did but I think a big part of the reason was the people I saw everyday at work. Most of us are young so everyone was friends and there were no office politics. None that I felt anyway wtf.
I learned so much from work ethics to organization skills to selling to presentation to managing people and clients. I learned so much about marketing and advertising. My company is the biggest in the industry so our clients were mostly huge multinational corporations which were a (good) challenge to work for, and a dream to learn from. I also got to hone my negotiation and convince-people-on-the-spot skills big time. They say that working in an ad agency will give you the steepest learning curve because you have to pick up the most things in the shortest amount of time. I’ve never worked in other industries but I feel like it’s true!
But they also say that working in advertising, especially in ad agencies is crazy. The hours got to me. I started to resent having very little work-life balance and free time. On weekends I worried about what else I had to do. And the pace of work kills. We’ve had people from other industries join us for a change and most of them leave after a while because they’re not used to the pace we work.
And I grew older. Crazy working hours are fine when you’re young but was this the life I wanted in ten years? I started falling sick more frequently. My astigmatism and myopia shot up and I developed pains in my shoulder and arms from always working at the computer.
And maybe I had a quarter life crisis wtf. I started wondering, was this all there was to life? I love what I do but I also want to explore so many other things but I never had the time to because I was juggling work and blogging. I want to do things when I’m young and not wait until my kids are grown! wtf.
Then wedding planning hit. And I had a meltdown wtf.
I really sat down and thought about it. For 1-2 months. And it was a very tough decision 🙁 But I was exhausted and burnt out… it stopped being fun.
So here I am today.
Right now I don’t know what I want to do yet after this. Actually I have some ideas wtf but nothing set. I just know I’m going to take a break, plan the wedding and survive on blogging for now. Then after the wedding only think about what to do next. But for sure not gonna be housewife ok!!! I don’t think I can do that.
I don’t regret the last four years though. In fact, I’m so so so glad I joined this industry and this company. This company made me awesome friends, taught me so much (seriously before this I used to be quite terrible at life, only know how to study, now become more street smart). gave me amazing mentors to learn from, and gave me invaluable skills which I will carry throughout the rest of my life and career. To you know who you are, thank you 🙂
Not gonna mention company name but some of you know already anyway. If you’re considering joining, DO IT. Especially the digital team cos it’s even more awesome hahahaha. *stops laughing and bawls* What have I done wtf.
Some pictures from my last day!
The place I had to clean up 🙁
Yea Guinness was one of my clients.
Robb tweeted this picture of my workstation with the caption: ‘I feel less guilty for having a messy table when@fourfeetnine‘s table looks like this’
Under the table -____- The social media team (which was us) had a tendency incredibly messy (and careless and disorganized) We all sat together and this is the view under our table wtf. *shifty eyed
Really lo they’re all very smart and creative. But super careless. When training my team members, it got so that I forced them to pay money every time they made careless mistakes or typos. We even had a collection cup *reminisces
Four years packed up.
Me giving a speech at my farewell lunch -____-
Farewell present <3 They know me so well *sobs
With Izzah, the person who donated the most money wtf. Actually no, that was Bobo. Yes Bobo was my colleague hahaha which is how we got close.
And Naddy who cried when I told her I was leaving T_____T Totally different reaction from Izzah who called me a bitch WTF. But lovingly of course lolol.
With Mookie wtf.
Here I was actually tearing from reading the card they got for me T______T They predicted I’d cry reading it and they were right wtf.
It’s been an amazing four year journey!!!
But hello new era of life! And hello temporary joblessness!!! Quite scary also :X
P/S: every time I see the word ‘jobless’ I think of my friend Masato whom I once asked who are the men who act in porn, specifically Japanese porn wtf since he’s Japanese. He said ‘jobless men’ LOLOL make them sound very loser-ish. But loser-ish also get to have sex with pretty Japanese girls very #winning to be jobless like that!