I quit my design job to build a creative agency — that’s all I really wanted to say when I started writing this. Call it a shot at self-promotion, you wouldn’t be wrong. But somewhere amid a half-hearted biog about how I became Creative Director, I realized what I had written was whack, and took a shot at writing something real.


I started working with CRUEL when I was 21 years old. It was a passion project for all of us at the time, and the company was far from fully formed. CRUEL was the first real arena for my creative work. But it never felt like a job, at least, it wasn’t what I thought a job should feel like. I did what I thought was expected of me when I graduated University, I went and got a job I could justify to people. I quit that job this past December to return and help build a creative agency; when I wasn’t even sure if this was the industry I wanted to be in — or if I even had a choice anymore. I want to think that a lot of people my age feel the same, too far in to look back, too invested in our young careers to take a risk. I feel young in my own mind at 25, but it doesn’t seem like the rest of the world will wait.


Why now? I’m doing this when there wasn’t anything wrong with where I was. I had no dire need to change, no unruly bosses or terrible hours, I wasn’t underpaid, unhappy or uninterested. I’m doing this now because I want my job to mean a little more.  I want to finally control the conversation and dictate where the next five years will take me. I want my job and my passion project to finally be one and the same — for better or for worse.


I loved my job and the people I worked with — maybe that was my problem. I was happy with where I was, but not with the work I was doing. That scared me more than the idea of leaving — that I was far too content. I felt like I had lost track of where I wanted to be by 25, as if  I was in the same place that I had been a year earlier. In my opinion, our 20’s are the most defining decade of our lives. We discover what kind of people we’re going to be, and part of that journey is challenging ourselves; seeing if we’ve got what it takes to handle the pressure by testing the proverbial notion that hard work pays off. We’re not defined by our job title or our industry, we’re the product of what we care for. It’s still rewarding to be good at your job, but it’s fulfilling to care about that job and what you’re doing — when what you’re doing means something to you.


I feel like there’s a change happening, a shift in paradigm about how we feel about our jobs—maybe it’s already happened. Am I late to the party?