Archive 2013 October

Searching or Creating?

I read something recently, a quote or sentiment of sorts that basically stated instead of searching for who we are; we should simply create who want to be. This struck a chord in my heart. When I was young (early teens) I believed that moving to another place would solve all my problems. If only I had gone to boarding school out East, if only I could go to New York City for college, if only I could work in San Francisco or Boston…then life would be perfect. I learned quickly after high school that location had little to do with the life I was living or the outlook I had on it. Physical location, I learned, just became the distance I was from people I loved. It didn’t change my optimism or my trials. It only taught me who has always mattered and who never really did.

It’s that idea of the grass being greener on the wealthier, coastal sides of the United States that I have carried with me far, far too long in my young life.

After getting a three year taste of the city life, I won’t deny I am passionately in love with the hustle and bustle and the skylines. It’s everything I never grew up with and the city of Minneapolis was everything I’d always hoped and more. But getting plucked up from that life and dropped in a relatively small city in Alaska has been humbling. It’s reminded me about the years I spent yearning for somewhere else instead of enjoying the opportunities I had in the backwoods of Northern Minnesota.

I spent far too many years searching for a new place (and a new me), when I should have spent it accepting who I was and creating who I wanted to become.

Now, as I have conversations with my husband about where we want to go next and where we’ll end up for good (if that’s even an option for us nomads) I am once again reminded that I shouldn’t spend my time in Alaska dreaming of the next place, and instead creating the person I am in this moment.

I am a small town girl who loves cities. I enjoy shooting guns and going to concerts of bands I’ve never heard of at small venues downtown. I don’t wear camouflage or cowboy boots, but I rarely dress up either (jeans &  t-shirts all day, every day). I don’t need to search for whether I belong in a city or the country. I’ve created a life where I can identify with and love both. I’m still learning that the grass isn’t always greener, and that what the coasts may have in glamour they sometimes lose in kindness. I’m learning what matters. It’s a slow process, but I’m still young.

My life of late according to some photos on my phone

My newest accessory is far more painful then I let on…
Always explorin’ with the husband man
Shooting the shit out of this gravel pit
She melts my heart. My nieces are such a blessing.
“Picture yourself when you were five. in fact, dig out a photo of little you at that time and tape it to your mirror. How would you treat her, love her, feed her? How would you nurture her if you were the mother of little you? I bet you would protect her fiercely while giving her space to spread her itty-bitty wings. she’d get naps, healthy food, imagination time, and adventures into the wild. If playground bullies hurt her feelings, you’d hug her tears away and give her perspective. When tantrums or meltdowns turned her into a poltergeist, you’d demand a loving time-out in the naughty chair. From this day forward I want you to extend that same compassion to your adult self.”

– Kris Carr

Ad Agency Life

When I was a freshman in college attempting to pick a major, I remember being obsessed with the jobs I could get from my potential choices. I agonized over whether I wanted to be a lawyer or civil service employee if I chose political science or if I’d end up being a teacher if I chose English or creative writing. I even took a career exploration elective the spring of my freshman year to help with all my anxieties regarding a major/job choice. I learned one important thing in that class that I am incredibly thankful I carried with me when applying for my first job this past summer: your major does not define your career. 

Anyone still in college regretting their major choice or still unable to choose, say this with me now:

My major does not define my career. 

I ended up declaring a professional strategic communications major, with a focus in public relations. I liked to write, talk, and plan. It seemed pretty perfect and it turned out quite fitting. I enjoyed my classes and I felt competent enough when I graduated that I could perform anything related to marketing, public relations, advertising, or communications. I graduated with an open mind that although I focused my core classes in PR, I was willing to take a job in anything that a) intrigued me and I could feel passionate about and b) was somewhat related to my major.

After getting an interview, call back, and accepting a position as a media buyer / account executive at an advertising agency, I can honestly say that my job is quite different than what I’d intended to do after college – and I couldn’t be happier.

I had no idea this position existed. All the advertising majors I graduated with are probably appalled at that statement, but I didn’t. I was focused on becoming a public relations specialist and eventually director. That was the long term goal. I didn’t see any “media buying” or “account executing” majors at my college. Heck, I didn’t even see this option when pouring through all the jobs-that-have-ever-existed-books in my career exploration class. Thank goodness for fate, because I think I found the dream entry level position for a career in this field.

Wait, what does a media buyer / planner / account exec do, you ask? Well at a bigger agency in a bigger market, there would probably be three different people for all those positions. Bigger agencies handle regional and national accounts versus city and statewide like we do, so each of these titles takes a lot more work. Overall, I’d call myself a media planner. This covers basically everything I do, but in a nut shell I take on clients, get a budget, and then proceed to plan and buy all their media. Since we all love a good meme though…




The last two are so accurate it’s unreal. Don Draper is my spirit animal (when it comes to his work ethic that is), and I make that face at least five times a day when going through e-mails.

Anyway, I’m immensely glad I had someone tell me early on that my major was not the beginning and end of my career options. I came to Alaska with an open mind not only because I had to, but because even if I’d stayed in Minneapolis, focusing solely on public relations positions would have limited my options. It never would have allowed me to find this amazing job that I am energized by and passionate about. I wake up weekday mornings with my head already buzzing excitedly with work related thoughts and ideas. My days are never the same. I have some work that’s consistent and I do each week or each month, but most of it comes spontaneously and at a moment’s notice.

I have never been more excited about my career. 

I’ll leave you with a few pieces of advice from a girl who isn’t very wise yet, but already loves her job and the rest of her life even more.

1) Your major does not define your career (getting Déjà vu yet?)
2) Find a job you’re willing to pour your heart and passion into. You’re selling yourself short if you choose anything less.
3) “No one dies in advertising.” My boss told me this the day he hired me. It’s a saying someone recites at least once a week in our office. My career is important, but it’s not the most important thing.

“Every job from the heart is, ultimately, of equal value. The nurse injects the syringe; the writer slides the pen; the farmer plows the dirt; the comedian draws the laughter. Monetary income is the perfect deceiver of a man’s true worth.” 

– Criss Jami


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