Decision made. We’re moving to the Lion City. And I don’t mean Detroit.
I’ve been a bit quite recently on here about what I’m going to do in the next months, and how that plan I’ve been writing about has been working out. At the end of May, I wrote:
The months that followed have been exciting and interesting. The trip to China+/Hong Kong and Singapore was amazing. I met many great and helpful planners. In fact, back then, I went on this trip to Asia because of many of them, in the first place. Rob, Jason, Pete, Fredrik, Frank and Sushobhan (in order of appearance) all took their precious time to chat and give their helpful advice. I think I asked all of them pretty much the same questions.
How and why did you come here?
The feedback regarding planning and the work in Asia is one that I’ve heard before: On average, it’s regarded worse than in the so-called West (London, New York mostly). At the same time, it’s getting better, the role of planning is growing, it’s all changing incredibly fast and – in a few years time – there will be many, many young, creative and well-educated Asian professionals able and willing to to a great job. I have no doubt about that, and I figured I wanted to be part of that. Speed, chaos and building things up – sounds good, I thought.
As for my personal situation and how I was perceived, however, I seemed to have a bit of a positioning problem. I have around 3 years of experience in planning, a bit more in the industry in an interactive agency and was told many times that “no matter how great agencies think they are, you’re not a junior”. Still, I’ve got a bit of an unorthodox experience, especially for people used to CVs from an anglosaxon background (in Austria we start uni later and study longer). So from being told I’m a midlevel planner to being told I should definitely consider 3 more years in a good London or New York agency before moving here, I heard pretty much everything. Now what to do with this?
In Europe, I worked for LHBS, a shop that was founded and organized around the idea of doing the work (the research, the briefing, the collaboration, the ideation, everything) differently and that strategy and planning is creative – or it’d better be, and I learned a lot there. Given how much is written and talked about the need for change in the industry and how often marketing is wrongfully declared dead, I always thought of that as an advantage. I still think it is and I wouldn’t do anything differently: Not bringing years of experience in doing things the way that so many in the industry want to change anyways, but still knowing the timeless basics and having done my first planning internship at an advertising legend (DDB). Fredrik recently shared an article that thinks along the same lines. Anyways, I’m running off the track.
When I got back, I had chats with even more, awesome people in the region. To be honest, it wasn’t only encouraging, especially regarding China and the fact that I don’t speak Mandarin, which is fine if you’re a senior but almost rules you out if you’re not. At least I got to know great planners that I’d love to work with, I thought. Honesty is good, I thought.
Back in Vienna, I had some freelance work and thought I should at least listen to the advice of the wise people I’ve been talking to and gage how the advertising lighthouses of Europe were doing. That feeling only intensified when I was approached by the awesome head of planning of a great agency that I admire. So I went to Amsterdam and met even more open, interesting and nice planners. Now, apart from the fact that nobody was hiring in the short term, I got the feeling that while I really liked Amsterdam and could imagine myself living there, it’s not really that different to what I’m used to. It’s also not a hub in a region that I’m dying to get to know better and live in.
After weeks of wondering where my gut feeling was hiding, it slowly came back. Stephanie had always been convinced of going away now rather then sometime in an uncertain future. And I really wanted to get to know Asia properly, ever since I did a summer university in Hanoi. Travelling there for a few weeks now and then wouldn’t satisfy my curiosity, at all. After coming back I read a few books on Asia (The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently…and Why, China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know, Whispers and Moans: Interviews with the Men and Women of Hong Kong’s Sex Industry) followed twitter accounts of journalists, started with Mandarin on Memrise (HT Dena) and read more news about Chinese and Asian politics than American and British.
This is what we really wanted.
So we decided.
We’re going to move to Singapore in October.
As you might understand I’m a tiny bit excited and nervous.
I know this isn’t going to be easy.
But I also know this is going to be pretty fucking awesome.
No related posts.
Ähnliche Artikel bereitgestellt von Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.