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(http://tinyurl.com/y9ombrz) 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!