I’ll forewarn you on this blog, I’m going to have an unapologetic opinion. The last blog I ran all I did was people please and guess what, people stopped reading… So here it is, a straight forward view point on work ethic and why you shouldn’t blame anyone else but yourself if you’re miserable at your job.
From a young age, my parents instilled into me the simple fact of life, if you want something you have to work for it. To me, it’s not a hard concept to grasp since my foundation was mowing people’s lawns at the age of 12. Now, did I want to walk behind a lawnmower in 90º heat? Of course not, however, I did it and I’m much better off because I did it. Fast forward to college, I was driven to be the best at what I did, so did I miss any classes? Yes, two and it was because I was so sick I couldn’t move. In my bachelor’s program in graphic design, I opted to go to school year round for three years and only manage to miss two classes.
When I ventured out into the market place for a job in 2004-2005 the economy sucked. I applied to all of the top agencies in town, only to hear nothing and ended up taking a job designing pizza menus in a windowless building. Four months later the guy who owned the business partnered with a company in Lancaster and that was the end of that job. I then freelanced for 2 years doing any and every job, onsite or at home. Some months I was rolling in money and other months I was eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for three meals a day.
I landed a full-time job at Lorel Marketing Group and did everything I could to advance there. The economy took a dive and I hustled even harder. When a third of the company got let go, I remained. When there was a regime change and people were dropping like flies because of internal political disagreements, I remained. Finally, when I decided to move on, I did. I got a catalog designer position at Fanatics with the intention of moving to the web because I knew it was only a matter of time until that department would be eliminated. With that in mind, I took any and every web job and became the utility player on the team that could handle any job anyone could throw at me. This finally landed me to where I am today as a graphic designer on team NFLShop.com which is the top grossing account that Fanatics operates.
The moral of the story, I hustled and I continue to hustle. I’m never satisfied with the end result and always think I can do better with the projects I’m assigned. I’m constantly looking for smarter and more efficient uses of my time when I’m knocking down a laundry list of tasks especially in Q4 when most e-commerce companies make the majority of their money for the year. Most of all, while I never truly succeed at this, I’m working towards always keeping a smile on my face while I do it. I understand that my business team might make changes at any stage of the creative process and isn’t personal. It’s always done for the benefit of the account and the customer.
You are either a worker or you are the boss. In either case, you’re answering to someone be it the boss or the client, so get to work! Have patience and know that it’s not going to be tomorrow that you’ll take over an account. In my experience, NOTHING other than HARD WORK and CONSISTENCY matter. If you’re not the best and you out hustle the guy who’s naturally gifted, you’re gonna get the work. If you deliver consistently great work, people will want to work with you. This is probably the most important of all, DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE. No body likes working for an asshole no matter how talented they are. So keep building, stay positive, set goals and you’ll get to where you want to be, professionally.