Your career is a voyage of discovery.



Successful and engaged creative professionals often have absolutely no idea of what is going on outside their immediate business area.  They know – sometimes – what else is being done at their own firm.  They know – sometimes – what some of their immediate competitors are doing.

But that is a tiny fraction of the sandbox they could be playing in.  Even after all this time of breaking down of silos it is still hard for many pros to believe that there are others who have encroached on their once sacrosanct turf.

PR firm Weber Shandwick (and I am using the now-outdated silo identifier here) is now global agency of record for marketing and communications for brands that are in 75 countries.

Tumblr has gotten past its attempts to work with ad agencies and launched Creatrs by Tumblr to provide creative artists’ services directly to brands.

Conde Nast, through its 23 stories by Conde Nast effort, will provide it’s editors to work directly with brands to create branded content.  So that’s the end of the church and state separation in publishing.

TV shows don’t need broadcasters.  Films don’t need theaters.  And with crowd funding you don’t even have to pay back your investors.  Hal Hartley’s latest film Ned Rifle was made with $300,000 raised on Kickstarter.

Amazon is commissioning show pilots.

And we don’t need to talk about the rivalry between digital and traditional ad agencies any more – that ship has sailed with all the parts found now under WPP’s umbrella and the like along with the social media firms, the experiential and the rest of them.

But the bottom line – data crunchers and tech platforms you are included – the bottom line is they are all in storytelling of one kind or another. They all need design. They all need human insight. They all use video.  Many of them need what you have to offer.

Even if you have a gig right now, it’s important to keep thinking of where you want to be heading.

The great thing about smart creative minds is that they can always imagine something better.  This is beyond the grass always being greener – this is about being open to new structures, new market entrants, new ideas, and critically fresh application of current skills.

There are so many firms that need you – you just have to open your eyes, do the homework, look where you’ve never looked before. The chances are you will be working for companies you’ve never heard of doing things that weren’t even things a couple of years ago.

Your career going forward should be a thrilling voyage of discovery.  Embrace it.


The cartoon is from the New Yorker caption contest. The prize-winning caption is from Nick Kanellis of Brooklyn NY.