Though I was pretty nerdy in school and committed to getting good grades, nothing about my formal education has served me as a mother. It’s the work experiences I've gathered — first on indie film sets as a script supervisor, then breaking into advertising as a copywriter, and now as a branded content creator — that have served me best as a parent. A career in advertising was an unexpected resource to glean parenting skills.
I write and produce branded content, which, for those of you who don't know, is that gray field of advertising where we want viewers to feel like they’re getting entertainment/information (to be fair, they are), but also develop warm fuzzies for the brand that’s paying for this not-quite-commercial piece of content. This business model didn’t even exist when I started my career as an ad writer in a major cable company's promotions department, trying to get customers to buy boxing events on pay-per-view. But as consumers grew savvier, the industry evolved to keep up. Incidentally, it works out because it essentially means that companies are paying us to build content that audiences actually get something out of. Like, it beats the hell out of a pop-up ad.
Anyway, the point is, my career went in some unexpected directions. And though I wanted to write and direct movies when I grew up, I now make branded content instead (technically still movies, though only 30-60 seconds long). As it turns out, this shift in my career has proven to be a good thing, because advertising has taught me so much about parenting.
Here are some of my advertising career principles that helped prepare me for parenthood: