So, Here's What's Next
This year has been nothing short of a test
Early on in my career, I didn't know what I wanted until I found a rhythm in working for myself. Personally, I always wanted to travel, move from place to place (especially if that place had a beach nearby). But, professionally, I was forcing myself into thinking that working in an agency was the right path for me. I didn't listen to what I wanted and allowed what everyone else was telling me I "should" do for my career.
It was the same story from people around me, "you have to get a job. You have to work in an agency to start your career. You have to have so much experience to move forward. You, you, you." That's all I kept hearing.
But what about me? What about what I wanted?
At the start of 2017, I knew it was time for me to leave New Orleans again. I had to get out and grow from the comfort of home again. I jumped into the job market again. Searching and applying to any position that appeared to fit my skill set. I was even entertaining the idea of moving from anywhere from Honolulu to setting up business in Miami. Even when I was applying for jobs locally in New Orleans, I put aside what I really wanted - my dream career - just to find a job. The urge to get out and try something "new" was driving my decision making.
I became impatient, tired, stressed and frustrated that change wasn't happening immediately. I wasn't listening to myself. I was throwing darts a job board at anywhere that seemed interesting. There was no focus, just grasping straws while more people around me said I have to stop freelancing and go back to a real job.
BUT...I knew I didn't want to give up my freelancer career. It's something I've created, built and that, at the end of the day, no one could take away from me.
The Opportunity is There, Just Look
Opportunities come as often as we are willing to look for them. Recently, one has come up that I just can't pass up. Four months ago while I was balancing the job search with trying to grow my business, I signed a new client based in Los Angeles. Initially, the work came off as straightforward. The client had a new brand and wanted to begin with a social media campaign. Easy, right? They flew me out to the "other" LA, where I began researching the brand, its background what I could do for them. I quickly learned this wasn't going to be as straightforward as I'd originally thought.
Fast forward to today; the work with this new client continues. We're talking about expanding services, reevaluating our strategy for next year and how we can continue to work together. In return for the increased demand of my services, I will be moving out to West Coast, where the possibility for more work seems limitless.
In communications, two of the biggest traits you have to have is patience and keeping your cool. Any situation can arise where you're called on to represent your client, manage a crisis, or simply work a release at the last minute. The tone that you set and the pace in which you work is seen by everyone around you, especially your clients. Even when working at a good tempo, I have to remind myself to take a breath and focus. I have to remember to listen to what is best for me and how that pushes me forward.
I tell clients all the time that success doesn't happen over night. It takes time, hard work, and the right strategy to bring a meaningful impact. The same goes for us individually. We work so hard to have instant gratification and quick success, that we sacrifice what's best for us. We give in to outside pressure and stop listening to ourselves. Success is defined by you; your hustle, your tempo and most importantly your time. Don't let others tell you what you should become.
So, here's what's next.
James Lambert Consulting is growing and Southern California will be my home base for a while. I will continue to work with my existing clients in New Orleans but I'm always looking to help more brands tell their story and connect to new audiences. Who knows what new opportunities may come next? With a little patience, another opportunity will be waiting for me.