I know what it’s like to work hard. As a high-powered New York advertising executive, often times I’ll find myself leaving the office late at night, arriving home well after my kids have gone to bed. Vacations are few and far between, and I haven’t taken a weekend off since the ‘90s. But I never get discouraged or wonder why I get out of bed every morning before the sunrise. Instead, I take pride in knowing that advertising is a tough job, but technically no one’s gotta do it.
You might think you couldn’t handle a lifestyle like mine. That’s probably true–my job is strenuous at best, fundamentally meaningless at worst. But when I’m on a hot streak at work, making deal after lucrative deal, convincing ordinary people that the company that hired me is better than an identical company that didn’t hire me…well, there’s just no greater rush.
That feeling almost makes everything completely worth it.
See, I thrive in high-pressure situations that also make no positive difference in the world. I’ll give pointless presentations and hold meetings with immoral clients until I’m blue in the face. But you know what? I don’t mind. It’s all part of the job–a job that the market could simply swallow up one day and nothing would change.
My kids always ask me, “Daddy, what do you do for a living?” I just sit them right down and explain to them that Daddy brokers deals between companies and media platforms in order to sell more of his clients’ products. The look on their faces when they realize that their daddy is helping to make the world exactly the same place it’s always been is priceless. Maybe I’m even inspiring them to do the same thing when they grow up.
I like to think I am.
So what if I’m not the President, or a movie star, or anyone who makes even the slightest beneficial impact on the planet? I do what I do, and I’m pretty damn good at it. Being an advertising executive is a tough task, sure, but it’s also unimportant.
If I don’t step up and do this job, no one will, because it doesn’t need to be done.