A few days back I sent Reid a letter with my advice and counsel following his nice review with an ad agency superior who is a few rungs up the ladder.
This sort of note is the most important letter a father can write. It is a true one-off. I’m not so much lecturing a son as I am talking to a grown man who is on his way. Whatever path he follows is really of his choosing. I can only weigh in with what I perceive from a distance and apply the twists and turns from my own experience. My job is to be supportive and point out the pros and the equally plentiful cons.
In the final analysis, it’s all up to him. But he should know I’m there for him every step of the way. He’s gotten this far totally on his own. He’s fully capable of taking the next steps, too. With a little nudge from his old man.
October 13, 2010
Reid: I’ve got to hand it to you, that was good news yesterday about your meeting with the upper crust. You’ve come a long way in not a whole lot of time, and they seem to have a good bit of confidence of what you’re doing for the agency.
I wouldn’t fret too much about the raise. It is still a raise, and probably in line with what a lot of stressed-out businesses are giving these days. It could be the opposite, trust me. You have to put your one-on-one conversation in the context of where you were about this time last year, and it is a great sign of their faith. As for the promotion, that will probably come in due time. My guess is that as the economy has failed to perk up let alone motor along, agencies are the first to feel the pinch when companies tighten the purse strings.
You should keep doing what you’re doing with _______: working hard at your day job, yet looking for every opportunity to remind them that you have good skills, that you are ready for whatever next step there is, that you have other things to offer other elements of their business. They apparently are starting to notice those things, too. You should be far from panic mode at this moment. Far from it.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with testing the waters. From what I know of the PR and ad business, that is the lay of the land. People move and gravitate to the next best thing. That is just the way and the reality of that world. I would be cautious about the come-ons and promotions you get from other hiring firms. You’ll need to be judicious about who you talk to. Is there someone outside the firm that you might talk to? The grass can seem to be awfully green on the other side of the fence but make sure to talk to people before you jump the fence to someone else. Do your diligence on whoever might hire you. Are they are strong player in your field? Do they have the pockets to be a player in advertising? Is the situation right for you? What’s the buzz about other shops that you might want to investigate a little more closely? I suppose that’s where the local ad trade rags might come in handy. I assume, too, that you read those. You can read a lot between the lines. I don’t know if Bruce or Bob have any inside information but it might be worth a shot to call them.
I’m not as keen on a move to NYC unless there is something solid there in terms of income and responsibility. New York is an expensive town and unless you are pulling in some good bucks and have the right situation for your career, I’m just not sure about it. But on the other hand, you’re young, you don’t have lots of belongings to move, you’re not married (that I’m aware of) and you can always cut and run for another situation back closer to the heartland.
All things considered, things seem to be moving in the right direction. You have some options that you didn’t have even a year ago. I’d endorse looking around if you’ve thought about the current situation and see no other roads that you can take to further yourself. Hey, a raise is better than nothing. Just make sure you don’t jump ship until you know you can land safely elsewhere. I’m proud of what you’ve done and how you’ve done it.