Leaving the trodden path of a linear career and where it has taken me so far.
I started my career as a creative in the advertising industry. The most buzzing and exciting lines of business to work in. Life was easy. All I had to do was to follow the clearly marked path, up along the career ladder and as far as I dared. I had the option of changing agencies every 2 to 3 years if I wanted to fast track my journey. There was only one caveat. I was a woman. As such, I knew right from the start that I had to make it to the top in time or get stuck along the way. As a mum, a career in advertising goes from cruising along the highway with the wind in your hair to a one lane track full of potholes, pretty much overnight.
What do mums do when they get to that point? They can, option a) stick to their guns and stay on that highway, but with screaming kids in the back bench (try it, it’s not fun!), desperately racing the younger and freer creatives to the top. Option b) go Freelance. Become their own boss, and set their own speed following the path that feels right.
Option b) it was! So off I went. I got into photography and loved it. But as a freelancer I missed working in a team, and part of my brain was hungry for bigger challenges. And then I met Floko and the ZIBERT + FRIENDS crew.
Suddenly I was turning forty. That year I set out on a personal mission to find what I could become an expert at. I wanted to gain value, not loose it over the next years.
And then my boss decided to change the direction of the company: Away from hierarchies, away from playing by the rules, away from the trodden path and all of our comfort zones. Today we are a consulting agency focusing on corporate culture and communication strategies. His vision became my opportunity to redefine my direction, reevaluate what I love doing most and pair it up with what is needed in a world that is in constant transformation.
What I do now isn’t that different in essence. I spent years solving problems creatively, to engage with costumers and improve their relationships with a brand (which is pretty much is what an art director does). Now I use everything I learnt to support companies to improve their relationship and communication with their employees, as a consultant. This task requires just as much creativity and problem-solving capabilities as coming up with the next big idea for a brand’s CRM program. I still develop creative concepts, campaigns and communication strategies, but I also run workshops to develop these together with our clients. Our collaborative briefing sessions are seriously the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to creating a strong and honest relationship with our clients and creating the trust needed to optimise the results of our projects. One thing is sure: not one day is like the other.
Looking back at the first year at ZIBERT + FRIENDS consulting, it still feels like the world out there doesn’t quite know what to do with us… yet. We don’t fit into a mold, but that is a good thing, if you ask me. Once you’re off the beaten track you find yourself creating a trail for others to follow. It requires lots of self confidence and belief in the vision we have set for ourselves. But we know we’re not alone. This feeling is shared by many who dare to approach things in a different way. We have had the chance of working with fantastic new clients, on projects that we hadn’t had access to a year ago.
Our times require new ways of doing things… and we’re loving it!