You’re on call, the kids are screaming at each other, you suddenly realize there’s a project due tomorrow, and somehow homework ended up in the toilet. Working in the advertising industry is hectic, it’s chaotic, it’s a big playground. Throw a family into the mix and you have yourself your very own reality show. A challenge? Yes. But, an exciting one.
Since experiencing life, getting married, having two insane daughters, and then deciding to go back to school, I think I’ve become a little more crazy which has made life that much more fun. Some advice? Learn to balance. Learn to negotiate. Learn to say no.
Learn to say no
When you start at your first agency you want to make a good impression but you also need to set boundaries. It’s great to be on call, but juggling family life and clients who have light bulb moments the day before a deadline can make you go insane. Breathe, open the wine, and ask for an extra hour or a 10 am start with the promise of donuts. Heck, bring the kids in and make them personally give everyone a donut the next day.
As parents, we’ve had practice when it comes to putting out fires, deep breathing, and pulling pranks (aka keeping things light). We also know when and how to say, “No." You may never want to say no to anyone but sometimes you just have to. It doesn’t make you weak or mean, it helps build better relationships.
Humanize the work
The biggest thing I have learned is at the end of the day, this is just work. Humanizing the environment is important whether it means bringing your kid to work, or being able to leave early.
Work/life balance is what you make it. That overwhelmed feeling is normal and, guess what, you’re not the only one. Being a mom in this industry is hard. There’s no sugar coating it. But, with the patience of Mother Teresa, mastering multitasking, and an iPad, anything is possible.
When you love what you do, you Can make anything work
I can’t imagine not working. I love what I do. When you love what you do, you can make anything work. So, keep the coffee coming, keep the happy hours going, and don’t forget how hard you worked for what you have. You’re a hero to your kids, and you get to do this. It’s not just another monotonous 9-5 for a paycheck, it’s an exciting, sarcastic, rewarding industry where you get to do some pretty cool shit.
Lisa Papada is a former Portfolio Studio student. She works as a Copywriter at Organic.