I have managed to thoroughly intimidate myself by spending the morning on the websites of some top Montreal advertising and communications agencies. They have offices all around the world, they specialize in gathering people from all different disciplines to create their campaigns and they work with some of the largest and most integrated international brands. These places are young, innovative, creative, chic, and highly successful. They’re looking to employ the best.
How cool would it be to work in one of these agencies? They seem ideal, but at the same time so utterly uncomfortable to me.
That’s right, I said uncomfortable. Reading about some of their projects on their websites and watching videos about their work made me wonder how well I would fit in in these places. I’m not hip, and I would not describe myself as cutting-edge, which is what the look, feel and presentation of these agencies scream to me. Wouldn’t I feel awkwardly out of place?
The answer is that I might, but only if I let myself. My tendency to self-doubt would manifest itself in doubts about my abilities, my experience, my creativity, my talents and not to mention my fashion choices.
And that’s when I remember just how amazing I am.
Bear with me.
I spent the first semester of my master’s program doubting my ability to achieve the results I wanted. Hours were wasted on Skype with my poor, wonderful and patient mother, listening to me saying, “I can’t do this, Moooooom!” But then, do you know what? I did it. And not only did I do it, I did it with distinction. I organized myself and got down to the business of excelling so effectively that I didn’t even realize I was doing it. When the results came in, I was thrilled to find myself among the top students in the program. But I wasn’t surprised (and nor was anyone else). I knew I had put the effort, time and thought in to get those grades, but it wasn’t until I saw the result that I discovered that I knew all along that I would get them. So why on earth did I spend all that time worrying?
While I knew what I had to do to succeed, I still learned a lot along the way. I learned to trust my abilities and my instincts and to follow my hunches. I learned that following up on an off-hand interest can lead to being passionate and knowledgeable about a topic. I learned that creativity isn’t just an innate gift, it is also a process. Not everyone is born creative: we learn creativity by putting ourselves in situations that require it. You learn to push your brain in different directions and think beyond the conventional to the seemingly impossible and/or absurd. I learned that I am perfectly capable (and even GOOD) at doing just that. In fact, I crave the opportunity to push myself.
So would working at an agency be stressful and uncomfortable? Yes, it would! Would I sometimes doubt myself and feel like I couldn’t deliver? Probably. And that’s why I need to work in such places. Their emphasis on hard work, creative environments, team- and result-oriented cultures are exactly what I need. I must, at all costs, avoid complacency. When I’m constantly wondering IF I can do something is when I do things best, because I stay positive in the face of a challenge and I do not give up. Working in a team where each member is expected to deliver to the best of his or her ability (and nothing less) is exactly what I need and where I belong. Not only that, but I also have talents and a fresh, international perspective to contribute to an agency’s success. I am capable, I am knowledgeable about social media, branding, communications and creativity. I have applied myself to learn the technical aspects of my métier, as this blog shows.
These agencies may seem intimidating, but only if I forget how awesome I am. I AM amazing, and I know it. Sometimes I just need to remember to believe it.
Now that I’ve got that out of my system, I can write that cover letter.