having my cake and eating it too

regular readers will know about my crazy roller-coaster ride with employment in the last 12 months:

• getting a job as a kitchen hand in london after a PSFK conference by just walking in off the street. only to walk out by not turning up one day – stressed out and seriously ill.

rejected from a job in a high-volume copy shop/print room after the third interview, because i wasn’t M—–t material. (ie, I wasn’t from either financial or legal fraternity aristocracy.)

• working over summer at the sydney myer music bowl and getting to see jon bon jovi, cypress hill and kanye west!

• landing a fab job at a craft and design organisation, doing what i love, then having it become something that i didn’t love anymore.

• giving up full-time employment to go back to uni, letting go of a ‘real’ salary in return for some ‘real’ time whilst getting a job in an international aid organisation, within the design and architecture fields.

• and the clincher for ‘oh my god, can my work life get any more operatic?’, i went looking for a bit of contract work, just to get a bit of money happening in between gigs. the lovely ms g at the recruitment agency rang me and told me about this short term thing which was right up my alley: arts, culture, environmental/social issues and advertising (ok, so i’m not quite a cliche, yet). i went along, thinking it would be just a nice place to spend some time, earn some money.

two weeks later, it’s a life-long love affair and we’re vowing to stay in touch. all of them were on my wavelength – we talked structure, the value of creative thinking when developing strategy, the importance of sticking to your principles and the art of staying true to who you are as a person and as a company (made up of people). bliss, i tell you, bliss!

that is the bit about life that i find absolutely amazing and gets me EVERY time – you find it when you’re not looking. in fact, hanging out with the kids at midnightsky* not only restored my faith in the gloriousness of life’s twists and turns, but restored my faith in the power of authenticity, self-belief and well-aimed business strategy. i have also learned a whole lot about value from these guys. namely that i undervalue myself ALL THE TIME! i knew this already, but this time i saw it with fresh eyes and saw, in practice, that when you value yourself highly and know thyself absolutely (both financially and emotionally), it is reciprocated.

i know, this sounds like something Agony Aunt would love, but it has been quite a profound experience and one that i think marks the passing of age, actually. i don’t know if i could have had this kind of experience 5 or 10 years ago (fortunately, or unfortunately).

perhaps this was just a long-winded story filed under ‘to thine own self be true‘.

* actually, for any of you strategy/planning peeps out there, the midnight sky crew are looking for team mates. go and talk to them, they’re amazing.

thanks for subscribing to she sees red by lauren brown. xx

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