Writing as a way of life.
‘I’ve been dulled in time with my lifestyle', is what my writing mentors had reflected – and this has been painfully brought to my attention from the second wave of a mobile expatriate career, when I was fortunate enough to take up a copywriter role in a major global awesome agency called O&M in 2007. When there are people off to see more places, and have wonderful instances of being able to take their places in the eastern sun, I was slaving away to make what other people were highly paid for, in a position that I was equally qualified for. Had it not been for my faulty folio, and the fact that copywriters often do not get copies of their work made in a shared digital space owned by the agencies, and the clients that they have in the past.
Sometimes, it works out on the level of what the attributes of life you had – and this needs to be understood from the standpoint of where that happened, why and what came in its place. In my haste to make lives work, I overlooked my team’s competence and forgot to actively ask for the files that would’ve made me qualified for work in advertising instead of work in “studio” – a major difference especially in a global-powered agency, that made more money off of global and regionally-placed relationships with clients, based on the work that can’t be ported outside of home country. Costs of which, comparatively are actually down to the minimum where production is made sure to actually pass the fine sieves of the numerous global/regional clients they have in their reach. So, this accounts for the fat PR-stretch divisions, as well as the amount of lengthy hours lent to meetings and creative summits, and awards entered. The major advertising firms do not become starved, nor do the people running them. They have fat lunches, not only on fat Tuesdays.
So could we now have a system in which mobility is actually enabled, whether for former alumni employees and employer/client relationships are actually now enabled to grant a proper intent on garnering the IP, of the creatives in their care? My wish (and proposal to the mad men of today), is to take a more active way to the porting-and-archival system, hack that, and make it dimensionally possible to access all the designers’, writers’, as well as all media folios of all the creatives at work. Is it just in SG that this is a terminal failure, or Asia as a region, or globally a fixture of wham bam, thank you creative mam? This affords a brilliant taxation in that respect and towards the expiring, albeit inspiring wonders of the issues we are surfacing today: work, gender issues, hierarchy of post-graduate education, costs of living, expatriation and general mobility.
When we check these out, we collect the wonderful memories and competencies honed very rightfully in those places we worked in, as well as the professional and personal contacts that are now blurred, as we go from a local levelling to an international levelling – which has now it’s technical imports to match the intellectual property exports, rightfully in a very globally-operated company. Lots of maladies in that area, being only made aware of them now as we approach almost a 100% digitisation of assets, and mostly businesses. And, shall we even go as far as saying approaching a 100% mobile?
We now have loads of capacity induction onto these very hard-lined innocuous premises. These are not one or two delays, with families, with minority issues, and a socially-engendered issue where I was partnered with an art director who happened to be a single gay guy I hired from the last company I was in, who only saw me as a frumpy-mommy-expat tai tai? (I wasn’t). Should I move departments maybe to core corporate Strategy or a clean green pro-frumpy designation (which I did)? They have a cultural term for those types: “auntie”. And I was lovingly called that for a while, “you’re so Aunty” when I dressed down (quite right as I need to be uber well-dressed to write copy), but when we snazzily win million-dollar pitches with my lead in the creative presentations, I don’t hear the daily complaints as much anymore. That is what attribution of work is for. It doesn’t only put fronts on the identity of the work, but a real intellectual property mapping on the person who does that work, in real time. Where actual wins over digital, is a confirm that we need to model after these days, to make sure all types of work are authored by the right people, and are worked on – not hacked, and taken over by the investors who are not ready to take on the amount of work collaboration entails, and whether we are technologically or financially strapped, the deal about business building is not to get out of the building – but illustrate what types of building you are suiting up for today. Do you have people to meet, things to make, developers to woo, serious analytics to understand, the exchange economy is not moving for you. We need to weave ourselves into the property of organisation and its aims, but also be able to move in an isolation that will take your role to another level higher, in a space that will understand that their incompetence will not fail you in any real way.
Is that just a calendar amend to the project-manager-lead software builds, or their entry into the startup-scale and being able to tailor things to the needs of the un-sizeist institutions that we need to recognise and build not the silos per se, but the global borders that will ensure an encasement of financial global security – where it is an overall understanding of cultural-base tendencies, mapping this to what other people need, and in the language they use to convey these thoughts. Mapping is essential.
So now, I build like a maniac, and subtly learn and understand daily, for five years now, that there are people and places that need people like me, and places that don’t. Do I help that along, or build my own palace and allow these thoughts to enter and exit at will – and all because of a problem in porting technology with the un-parity of a system across experimental cultural regional borders, or master the learn-unlearn quickly as I cross each border, is the system that I have now as a builder.
Still as frumpy a goat as always, but I think I’ve snazzed up the outfits (taking the lead from the real tai tais, and their longer-run hosts of privilege in the diversity-friendly APAC region), and three awesome startups (PayPal, Rocket Home24.sg, MyCube) later, I’ve improved the strong will in business-building, and the practise in my no-longer-humdrum long-form writing.
I wrote this article in 45 minutes, on a first-version medium app on an iPad Air, with an initial charge of 88% down to 77%, using a mobile bandwidth taken from a prepaid SIM card running on a 2013 iOS7 device, on a hotspot via wifi, in a café under a co-workspace, going from a mobile battery charge of 58% initial to 15% with the 3G turned on, and people who will read this hopefully (in a steady 5 minutes), and most probably profit from it immensely. (This does all my past & present bosses proud, I’m sure.)
That is the irony of the nascent sharing (nee, volunteer) economy.