Step 208: Career Advice from Don Draper of Mad Men

“Our agency was being swallowed whole. I realized I could die of boredom or holster up my guns.” ~ Don Draper, Mad Men

I spent Sunday night in Syracuse, New York. Since I either wanted to be with my family in Florida or in my apartment in New York, having my flight diverted and grounded overnight in Syracuse was not optimal. Luckily, the people I met were exceedingly kind and sympathetic to the situation. It also helped that I could watch the Mad Men season premiere in a comfy hotel room.

The quote above closed out the season premiere episode of Mad Men. Don is being interviewed about the new agency he and his colleagues formed. It’s a quote that hit me like a ton of bricks and I drifted off to sleep thinking about how many titan companies of today may be in the same boat as Sterling Cooper, the original agency where Don is employed. No one at the time could imagine big Madison Avenue agencies folding or losing business the way so many eventually did. Who would think that start-up, nimble, lean companies could replace their big, powerful predecessors? And yet, that’s exactly what happened, and continues to happen, in advertising and almost every other industry.

A lot of Don’s behavior is deplorable (we love his character anyway because it’s superbly written and acted), though I greatly admire his bold attitude and confidence in his creativity. He offers his advice at the end of the episode to every employee who finds each passing day of work less than stimulating. Life’s too short to spend a single day devoid of creativity, and we’ve all got it, whether it’s in your job title or not. Holster up, folks.

2 thoughts on “Step 208: Career Advice from Don Draper of Mad Men”

I'd love to know what you think of this post! Please leave a reply and I'll get back to you in a jiffy! ~ CRA

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