…and it feels great.

I’d been there for two (2) years, an eternity in eYears. I’d interviewed two (2) of my bosses, seen about three (3) reorgs, and two (2) presidents. Got one (1) begrudged big raise, and one (1) token raise, along with three (3) changes in title (obstensively, “promotions”). Along with many other things in flux, a lot happened there. The funny thing, though, is that this place is not a dot-com startup of any sort. In fact, it’s a subsidiary of Y&R, Inc., which is an “old world” advertising company. (Well, now they’re into Customer Relationship Management, which is the logical extension of what advertising has been trying to do in the first place.)

So why’d I leave? Well, after the change in bosses, and bosses’ bosses, and now the ultimate change in bosses as Y&R is acquired by another company, it feels like the agency is lost now. Not lost as in a contest, but lost as in without map or compass.

If there was a Vision there to begin with, it seems like it’s gone or ignored now. Funny thing is, when WCJ changed its name to impiric, and all the new brochures and the new branding and slogans and such were produced, I was ecstatic. If I were to visit the impiric home page and read one of the new brochures, I’d probably send a resume right now. And at the time it seemed great, like finally these people were catching on to what we (in the Interactive department) were telling them. It seemed like maybe, just maybe, we were going to be getting somewhere.

But then comes The Acquisition. Now, this isn’t just any acquisition, the kind most dot-coms have implied in their business model. This is a major agency, with decades of history, being purchased by a goliath company holding other agencies with their own decades of history. So now, it’s all about the numbers. So, here we have a big old world ad agency, with a few people who had gotten gold watches at last year’s Christmas company meeting, trying to change and accelerate and transform into a new millenium eCRM thingee… but at the same time, we have to make the numbers.

We had problems already. Take a bunch of people who measured their career with the company in decades, and clung to their traditions and experiences with amazing ferocity. Then, add a small group of people hovering around Gen-X, give or take a decade, who measure their career at any company on one hand. The first group is scared shitless by the changes coming. The second group is cheering. The first group resents the second group, and the second group thinks the first group is composed of mentally challenged human beings. The first is not respected by the second for their experience and knowledge, and the second is slighted for their attempts at vision and change. So we’ve got all of that, and we (as a company composed of the first group and second group) are trying to morph into an e-company. Now, it’s not as black-and-white as that, but it’s close.

Now, we have to make the numbers. We have to make money rightnow! Cut costs, raise revenues. That’s what replaces Vision. “How are you billable?” and “I could fire you today.” This replaces Inspiration. Politics replaces Dedication. Don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware that a company has to make money. Especially now that the whole dot-com stock bubble has come to its senses. But instead of following a proactive vision and a plan, the company has collapsed into reactionary measures. Blame everyone but yourself. Save your ass.

And it’s so sad. This company has had everything it needs. It has the people with the decades of experience that the e-companies really need. It had a brilliant group of people versed in technology, yet still able to converse with human beings. If only we could have had a genuine reorganization where the two could be brought together, instead of pitted against each other… Well, it still might make it, after crashing and burning. Or, maybe they could pull up from the mountain face before it’s too late.

But as for me? I’m gone. When one begins to feel worthless in a job, and when one begins to question one’s own validity and self-worth, it’s time to run. I actually started doubting my own skills and knowledge. Granted, I’m still a newborn in my career, but I am talented and I work hard to learn as much as my brain can absorb in a day. And I turned down interviews daily.

Except for this latest one. 🙂