A new, different path

12:00:00 AM

It was made official February 20, 2017, but it only sunk in February 22, 2017. A series of fortunate events led to this career milestone.

I was happily vacationing slash working in Dumaguete towards the end of November last year when I got a phone call from Kristoff. I wrote a script for him back in January 2016 for an event that he awarded to Lendro’s team. We haven’t worked together since, but I guess I made a good enough impression that he remembered me months later with a requirement for social media. I quoted him my best rate, which he accepted, and I sent him the requirement via email.

We had a meeting when I flew back to Manila. He and his team were pitching for several projects and they needed a copywriter to come in and help. At this time, it was all still temporary. I signed on and Kristoff made me “Senior Writer,” mainly for when clients ask who I was. It sounded significantly more legit than Freelance Writer, right? The designation came with an office email address, which was pretty cool.

The team was pretty solid, too. They are young, passionate, and hella talented, and I like being around them because they’re just so much fun. There was no divide between Creatives and Accounts (unlike in other agencies), and that made working together easy. 

The pitches we put together were won! BOOM! So I went on another vacation - a Christmas, birthday, and New Year trip covering Dumaguete and Siquijor. I was supposed to return January 10th, but Kristoff asked that I come back earlier because of the timeline of one of the major projects. So I booked a January 4 flight instead, and I went to the office as soon as I got back. By this time, I got the guest cubicle to do my work in.

I was asked to present for one client in January. Well, “asked” may not be the appropriate term - I tagged along for a presentation and right before it started, Kristoff told me that I was going to be the one to present. It’s a good thing I crafted the deck so I knew it by heart; otherwise, I would have made a fool of myself. Luckily, I didn’t bomb the presentation. If anything, it let Kristoff see me differently.

After that presentation, he told me that if I trained with him and Sonny for a year, I could become an Associate Creative Director. I was happy that he thought that, but at the same time, I wasn’t sure if it was what I wanted. I’m a very happy freelancer and the prospect of going back to an office was not exactly appealing. I took it in stride - after all, I had a year to work for it and then decide from there.

Or so I thought. 

Kristoff put me on the spot for another presentation, the one on February 20th, after which he commented that I had strategy in the bag. And the next thing I know, we were discussing how I can come in to be part of the company in an official capacity. I was honestly still thinking that it’s for the Senior Writer position, and I was perfectly okay with that. 

It was announced later that day that I was the new Associate Creative Director of Blackpearl Media. 

It was unbelievable. And I had to pull Kristoff aside and ask him to step out with me after the meeting so I can jump up and down and giggle and scream. I guess I didn’t realize that I wanted it until I actually got it. Having an office was good, and having a team was great.  

I’m still learning the ropes and I am aware that I have so much to learn. I’m not a gunslinger anymore - I had a team, I had underlings - and I owe it to them to be a good example. I owe it to them to make myself better at what I do, so I’d have something to share with them when we have our huddles. I’m lucky that the team is brilliant - I’m learning a lot from them, too!

It’s been a little over two months now, and sometimes, I still find myself unable to believe that this happened. I must have done something right to deserve this. Thank you, Kristoff, and thank you, Universe! 


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