On July 16, 2007, the two partners of the advertising agency I was working for brought me out to lunch. I had been working there a little over three years and this was the first time in probably three years that just the two of them took me out. They were smiling and excited when they asked, “Are you happy here?” followed by, “would you want to try something new?” By the end of the day it was announced that the agency was closing at the end of the month.
At the agency I was a media buyer, which basically meant I purchased commercials for our clients to buy on various forms of advertising (broadcast television, radio, cable television, etc.) but my father had sold media for years, so I decided that this was my chance to branch out to try what I felt I had been destined to do. I interviewed with two broadcast stations and the local cable provider and would have given anything to work for cable. I knew someone who worked there who absolutely loved what he did and raved about the company. My interview went extremely well and I loved the guy who I interviewed with. If I got the job I was going to have a client list (the holy grail of media sales) and my expected income was tens of thousands of dollars more than I was earning. A week or so later when they offered me the job, I danced to my car.
Fast forward to May 29, 2013, my final day at a phenomenal company. I learned so much about the industry, about advertising, about numbers and about how to sell. I learned how to be the type of salesperson that I would have wanted to deal with when I was a buyer. I established relationships with all of my clients and became friends with many of them. But the hardest, hardest part of leaving, was saying good bye to my coworkers. When I started I was a naïve 25 year old two years in to my marriage, when I left I was a 31 year old mother, now married to the same man for over eight years. They saw me blossom into an adult and I was there for them too. I went to their weddings, funerals for their spouses and parents, baby showers for their first, second, or fourth kids, they visited me in the hospital when Chase was born, they came to our house warming, and we had playdates with our kids. I had pool dates and happy hours and dinners and beach days and brunches and trips with these people. My friends at work have become my family through the years.
There is the guy who was my GO TO for career advice. The woman who calls me “sugar,” and always asks about my son. The guy I jokingly called my work husband. My former teammates who became my co-conspirers, and whose husbands get along with mine. The guy who was my constant lunch companion who kept it real for me in terms of life and work. There was my first manager who made me laugh. My second manager who helped me spread my wings. My third manager who inspired and encouraged me. My mentor who came and went but who provided (actually provides) me with all the support I could ever need. The friend who gave me bags of clothes after a former executive criticized our work attire. My girl who I could always depend on to talk jewelry or handbags. My coworker who was readily available to hand out free financial advice. My pal who was always good for a laugh. My friend who from the outside we look like complete opposites, but upon closer inspection, we have more in common than most people. My running buddy who keeps me sane and honest. The chick born on the same day as my mother-in-law who I love like she was my mom. I will miss all of them.
The company afforded me the opportunity to take three months off when Chase was born. They sent me to the Bahamas for an all expenses paid trip. The money I made doing what I loved to do helped us to buy our dream home. I had as much vacation as some Europeans and was able to spend more time with my friends and family because they wanted us to have a work/life balance. It was a fantastic company to cut my teeth on for sales and for a real corporate job after working at a family owned, small advertising agency.
So why did I leave? The industry is not the same as when I started. There were internal changes made that didn’t gel well with me. There were a couple other personnel issues. And truthfully I wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue my career in sales, specifically in media sales. I had the requisite 3-5 years of experience under my belt and it was time to move on. I’m sad, yes, but I am so excited about this new chapter in my career.
If you have been following this blog for very long, you know that I’m very sentimental and I need closure. This was my closure. The company where I spent more time than college deserved more than a passing mention in a post about some time off, which is why I had to write what I wrote tonight. I love you guys and will miss you all!