Mistakes I've Made in My Career

Going on job interviews lately (copywriting for ad agencies) and getting a new gig lately (development for reality TV) have got me thinking about mistakes I've made in my career. There have been many. Here are a few.

Torching bridges

At one point several years ago, I spent a good period of time working for a communications agency as as copywriter. Eventually, I ended things without sufficient warning. That was dumb. So much for a reference from them, forever. For some reason, Forbes is one of the few companies for which I've worked with which I've kept a (so far as I'm aware) decent relationship. This is smarter. The other way is stupider. Don't be stupid.

Stop moving

Right before I left Los Angeles some time ago, I'd interviewed for a job that would've led to me being a part of a think tank of people coming up with reality TV ideas. But in my personal life there was a breakup, and I thought I wanted to get out of LA, and, who knows, maybe I needed to leave. But I've always had an easier time finding work in LA. I think I'm more professionally compatible with that city's ethos: shiny surfaces, bleeding hearts, pulsing insanity.

Raise the stakes

It's hard to imagine a job I've done for which I haven't been underpaid. Ad agencies paid me a good chunk of money for what I did, but it was a drop in the bucket of their budgets. I should've asked for more, more often, more of the time. These new work opportunities push me back into negotiating for my worth. And that's some high stakes shit, right? Because you're not negotiating for money, you're telling somebody: This is what I'm worth: as a person, as a woman, as a talent. Monetize your talent. It's what will earn you the only paycheck you won't be embarrassed to cash because it won't have cost you your soul.

Oh, and if you want to hire me before I get too busy to take on more work, here's my copywriting portfolio, my LinkedIn profile, and the best thing I've ever written.

Want to show your love? Buy THE TUMOR, a "masterpiece of short fiction" by me, Susannah Breslin.