Thursday, October 8, 2009

The beginning

I was let go from my job on April 21st. Three days before my 50th birthday. I had been fired twice before (which is like never in advertising). The first time in 1988 I had a job in twenty four hours with a 30% raise. The second time in 2008 it took me three weeks and I took a 18% pay cut. Those times I was very upset. This time I felt immense relief. All I could think was “I don’t have to come back here tomorrow. Yeah!” Now it’s five months later, that last agency has gotten rid off all the senior advertising people — the ECD, the President…. not sure what will happen there. Seems everyone is trying something new and is in transition. But, advertising is a young people’s business. Hell, the new worldwide creative director at Grey is under 40 (I think). Even for the under 40’s the job market is D-E-A-D. The only way to move forward is to reinvent yourself. So I am… or I will.

I’m actually lucky, luckier than a lot of friends in the same situation. I have a husband with a great job that he loves (with health insurance and all the rest); but more importantly, for a long time I’ve had a passion for something totally unrelated to to what I’ve been doing for the last twenty-eight years. Now I can follow that passion and make what use to be a crazy pipe-dream into reality. I’d like to give a shout out to MIchael Gate Gill who’s book How Starbucks Saved My Life( is helping me keep my head through this transition. More on the book (and my head) later…. for now; the big news is that…

I’m going back to school for a degree in Cosmetology Management! That’s right, Beauty School. For the past 15 years whenever I’ve been bored in a meeting I’d start critiquing everyone’s hair. To myself, of course. I’ve also been doing color, cut and styling for relatives and friends for quite some time. I start school the week after next. It’ll take between 11 and 14 months to finish. It’s an 1800 hour program. The first 400 hours are class room; then I move to the “clinic” salon.

I think I’m really going to like salon life. Just think, the client is out of the chair in 40 minutes!

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