If you are struggling to find your next great job, create it yourself.
In 2014 I moved to Atlanta. The amazing advertising agency I worked for had been acquired by a public holding company a year earlier and the new company wanted me at the Atlanta headquarters. I had been banana-splitting my time between Atlanta and Columbus for 3 years at that point. And I was happy to finally move to the ATL full-time. But I could tell the new holding company was going to make things very different. And I expected a plot twist. And I wanted to write the script for that twist myself.
Shortly after moving to Atlanta, I began looking beyond the horizon to plan for the next step in my career. I was looking for the next great ad agency to join within a circle of acceptability near my nearly retired parents and my mother-in-law (who was not actually a lawyer). After living in 3 states in 8 years I was making plans to set the circus down someplace where my 3 children could enjoy middle school and high school in one town.
I had conversations and meals with many different agencies. But like those guys combing the dessert in Spaceballs, I didn’t find what I was looking for. Not to say there were not a lot of great people and great agencies. But I could afford to be choosey. I had a new job. And a jar of Jif.
The conclusion I came to was that the business I was looking for in the place I wanted to live, with the culture I wanted, with the compensation I expected, did not exist. So I decided that I would create my own business. Within a year I had a full-fledged passion project on my hands. I spent my nights planning and building what would become The Weaponry. And it checked all my boxes. Because I designed it specifically so that it would.
Creating your own business means that you get to create your own dream scenario. Like Wayne and Garth. You get to decide what you do every day. You get to decide where you live, what the culture is like, and who you work with. Better yet, you never have to apply for a job, wait for a gatekeeper to reply to you, or wonder why some other employer didn’t like you more. Which is pretty fricken great.
If you are not finding the place you want to work, consider creating that place yourself. Don’t wait for someone who doesn’t know you or recognize your full potential to get back to you. Don’t let other people close doors on you. Take control of your future. And your income. And your happiness. It’s easier than you think. I started the advertising and ideas agency The Weaponry 7 years ago. Along with asking my wife Dawn to marry me, it was one of the 2 best decisions of my life. If you have questions about how I did it, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or reach out to me on the socials. I’m typically @adamalbrecht. If you know someone who really should start their own business please share this with them too.