My 7-year career (going on 8 soon) and journey in ‘Digital Media’ has been an extremely quick and evolutionary one. Time has gone by so very quickly, and I felt that before I could learn one new trick of the trade, there were and are ten new, better ones, or worse, an automated tool/robot that can perform all ten of those tricks at the push of ‘1’ single button. Thus, always keeping me on my tippy toes, each and every day, making sure I can absorb knowledge and consume data like a sponge computer on steroids and trust me, that still ain’t good enough to keep up in this day and techy age.
In the past 7 years I’ve had the privilege of working in a few agencies from some of the largest brands and media agencies in South Africa, to some of the smallest and most humble. All this experience and time has amazingly opened my eyes to something greater than the financial value and gain in my career, as well as anyone else’s, well those who have one and are following their true passion and career path.
I know it sounds like I’m about to rant on about the actual media industry and the tricks of the trade that got me here today, but you would be very wrong!
What I’m actually going to rant on about is ‘PERSPECTIVE’ and my experience working in and with different companies and people from all kinds of backgrounds, cultures and more or less a basic overview of my experience in different working environments and their own custom ethics that have changed my life.
For legal reasons I will not mention any brands or companies that are involved in my story, even though I feel some of them deserve the name and shame but unfortunately, I cannot afford a lawyer at this present moment.
So, my journey in media had started at a very reputable radio station where I created my first ad ever, even though marketing in the digital space is a true passion of mine, the honest reason I had actually pursued digital media was due to that very first moment and day on the job at this specific radio station. Besides the free cappuccino machines at every corner, the celebrities that you would walk into in the halls and then of course hype and excitement of working for a major branded radio station, the truth was actually the extremely warm welcome I had received from day one from almost each and every single person I had met or had the privilege to work with. Subconsciously I had made my decision on where and what I wanted to do and be right there and then, that very moment, which honestly, I have only realized very, very recently, after many years of chasing that paper (cash, money, moola J) and comfort.
A year later, I started a 3-year journey with one of the largest media companies in SA and in fact the world, (which I am truly grateful for, till this very day.) Excluding the up sides and the whole “glass full” elements, which of course included learning and excelling in my technical abilities/skills and through the journey, getting to meet amazing people that have molded and changed my life for the better, there were unfortunately some very dark days that can be attributed to my actual work environment, the leadership and something else very important to me, which was not being able to communicate or build any sort of relationship with peers or otherwise just trying to impress leaders to get that little bit of acknowledgement or recognition for that extra effort and time put in.
The last 2 years there were memories of dragged out time, work overloads, sitting in quiet corners eating my lunch alone or otherwise spending any free time I can remember sitting in my car, studying or catching up on work. I clearly remember bright and sunny days that felt like rainy, cold and cloudy ones, where anything would be better than going to the office. Now try to imagine that for more than 730 days straight, keeping in mind this isn’t just a call center, retail or waitering job, but your entire ‘career’. All this was due to my work environment, how I was treated every day, sometimes even racial prejudice (very sad in this day and age but true), basically, I absolutely hated going to work. All this negativity had been slowing me down in socializing and learning from others, sharing and passing on knowledge, there was a major lack of inspiration and motivation to try to learn and grow even more, trying to take on new challenges and so much more personal down falls like confidence & self-worthiness. So very much was slowed down and held back due to those negative vibes.
All the above experiences had led me to many other agencies and companies that came with ups and downs.
In the beginning I did not know nor realize what a crucial part my work environment played in my life and career, so financial growth and knowledge was predominantly my main focus for the majority of my career, which unfortunately and fortunately led me to moving and leaving from a lot of companies that were filled with amazing people and culture, all this due to mostly financial gain (clearly I was wrong, still broke as ever till this very day).
At some point, I started to realize how fast this industry had grown since I began and how fast it was evolving and how technology was starting to take over, that I needed to catch up and grow much further and faster, expanding my knowledge and skills in any and every way possible. But the big question now, was, “how do I do this with limited time, resources, having personal responsibilities? How would I wake up every day and motivate myself to do more?”
Honestly from that realization, not much changed on how I would motivate myself and grow at a more rapid pace, I lived my life from day to day, still learning and growing but not at the pace I needed to, thus leaving me to make the biggest decision of my life, freelancing, assuming that I would have more time on my hands, more flexibility etc. I was so wrong, there were so many downfalls to becoming a freelancer, inconsistent cash flow, unreliable clientele and business, lack of resources and most importantly, nobody to learn from, pass to and share any knowledge in order to grow, no inspiration or motivation from peers, no adult conversations on a day-to-day basis, leaving me so caught up in my work that I truly started doing it tediously and subconsciously, working as if it was just another job bringing food to the table.
Then like every other human being with regrets and doubt, December 2017 was coming to an end and I looked back at my entire career and a bright light has shon upon me, a light bulb, a step out of my body, something I like to call today ‘PERSPECTIVE’. I weighed all my pros and cons throughout my career’s journey, at every company I had worked at, and then, finally, that epiphany hit me, a sudden realisation, that I needed peers and people to challenge me, to learn and grow, to pass on my knowledge, in fact that thought alone brought the biggest warmest smile to my face and a huge instant weight off my shoulders, finding solutions is what I do, but this was not just any solution, it was the answer to my personal happiness, because loving what I do, getting paid for it, learning and growing each and every day and finding a place I can come to and feel that way is what truly makes me happy and helps me get through every difficult moment and challenge in my life.
So I’m sure enough was said to put the pieces of the puzzle together, but to clear things up a bit, when 2018 had arrived and thank ‘YOU GOD’, I had somehow found my way to Flume and met all you amazing and unique people that help me in more ways than any of you guys truly understand each and every day. Some days I come to work to get away from personal problems, which is an unbelievably huge statement on its own.
All this is also owed and due to our awesome and amazing leaders at Flume, Jacques Du Bruyn & Ruan Oosthuizen for creating this amazing company and brand whilst also allowing the right people to join the Flume team, which has definitely made the biggest difference in our every day here at Flume offices. Not only is our office made up of table tennis, Lego room, super hero walls, pizza Fridays, (just to mention a few) , but loving and caring, talented individuals who actually play the most important role in this company, making work a place you love to come each and every day.
I’d like to end of by saying , count your blessing each and every day , don’t take your job/career’s & company you are at, for granted. Find something you love at the place you spend the majority of your life at, make friends, socialise, build relationships, draw lines, but find true happiness or you might find yourself years later with regret and disappointment, that so much time was lost and wasted by focussing on the negative vibes when you could have done so much more.
“If you truly love what you do, you will never have to work another day in your life again!”