SCABs

How to explain your job to your family. – By @elisaczerwenka

How to explain your job to your family. 

If you have read my previous SCABs, you will know that I struggled to get home to see my family in Austria during this crisis. I am happy to say that I finally managed to organise a safe journey home, although it took a lot longer than expected. 

Now I am working in a house I share with my parents and boyfriend. I was prepared for the excitement about finally participating in eye contact again, hugging them and enjoying my mum’s food (YES). What I wasn’t ready for, was how they would react to me working from home. 

I have always tried to explain to them what I do in my job, what six hatting is. What a pitch is. Or what makes a good ad. And my family have always listened and tried to understand. I still felt like there were parts of what we do that I just can’t explain: The excitement of a new idea developing. The resilience needed when your work gets killed. The magic of working with a partner that brings out the best in you. Why we have partners in the first place. Why I love what I am doing. 

When I started working from home about a week ago, this situation changed. I can’t work in my childhood room because my desk doesn’t even fit more than one scamp. Okay. Change of plans. Move to the living room. Unfortunately, this seemed to be the only room with the best Wifi/space ratio. This didn’t sound too bad until I realised that this was a room that I could not close off from others. My family needs it. So we had to learn how to share this room in the best way. And that sometimes means that they can see or hear what is going on in my work. 

The downsides? Well, my dad giggling at someone ripping my work apart takes the cake. Constant feedback on everything I do, even if it’s non-verbal. My mum trying to get my attention consistently, trying to ask something. “It only takes five seconds.”, she explains. Or merely chatting in the background of my work( while I try to announce that that might not help while I am pitching). But you know what? These are the only downsides. The positives outweigh them by far.

I find a surprising perk that I would have never expected.

My family now gets it. They understand six hatting; they know why Ellie and I are better than just me by myself. They can see how much fun I am having and see me struggle when I haven’t cracked a brief yet. And they have started showing my ads from their childhood that they love. Working from home has finally allowed me to share what I will do for a living, which proves incredibly valuable for me. I share everything with my family and to be able to share that part of me now as well, is simply beautiful. 

So how do you explain working in advertising to your family?

You work in their living room. 

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