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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > articles >  You Moved Where?


You Moved Where?

Posted on July 31, 2002 and read 13,602 times

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You moved where??!!???

Three months ago I made a very big ‘life’ decision. I decided to move from the epicenter of Canadian advertising (i.e. Toronto), to the furthest Eastern point of North America, specifically St. John’s, Newfoundland – for work.

Come again? What in the world were you smoking when you made that decision? Are you serious? These were only a sample of the reactions to my news. And if I could draw, I would also illustrate some of the animated expressions that went along with those reactions. (To be quite honest, I also received much positive feedback from family, friends and colleagues.)

That’s right; I now live and work in St. John’s, Newfoundland. And I love it!

Why am I sharing this with you? Well, it is really quite simple. I have reaffirmed my respect for the (perceived) underdog. My belief that a healthy environment inside and outside the office facilitates the best ideas. And, that the best solutions do not only come from Toronto, New York or London.

I’m not a newcomer to this business. I’ve been in the industry for more than 10 years. I’ve worked on great accounts – Quaker, Unilever, and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts to name a few. I’ve also worked on some tough accounts (no need to name names here). I’ve worked at recognizable Agencies. (Most importantly they were recognizable to my parents and in-laws who still do not really understand what I do everyday). And I’ve had the opportunity to work with great minds – Client and Agency side. And in most cases, these great minds belonged to some pretty special people.

I’ve also seen the ugly side of this business. I’ve heard the self-indulgent comments, and the unfulfilled promises. I’ve experienced the decisions, and the attitude of individuals who simply wanted to flex their muscles.

So why head did I head out East?

The short answer is the people. At the end of the day advertising is a people business. And out East, they are good people.

I work again with people that I really enjoyed working with in past lives. People who also found their way east, after years living and working in Toronto.

I work with smart and savvy people – the quality of thinking here is world-class.

I chose to come here because I have the opportunity to learn from these smart people. How to expand my thinking. How to look at problems in new ways. How to find smart, creative solutions. I’m learning more about how an Agency is managed and nurtured.

I chose to come here because the people on the East Coast are genuinely nice. (Rick Mercer would say ‘nosy’, but I have not experienced that yet.)

And there is more.

I chose to come here because the pace of life is slower.

I chose to come here because the natural environment is inspiring.

Don’t misinterpret what I am saying – this is not the Garden of Eden. The advertising business is still the advertising business here. It is fast paced, and challenging. It requires my full attention, and pushes me to my limits. Sound like your day? Sure it does. But when I leave the office, sanity returns to my life.

There are natural, social, economical, and political influences that create a situation unlike any other in Canada.

I’ve also moved away from family, friends and social connections. While we miss everyone, my wife and I are excited about the opportunity to write a new chapter in our lives. To meet new people. To make a life here.

I consider myself very fortunate to be able to continue to do what I do in a place other than the epicenter of Canadian advertising. Not once I have thought that I am harming my career. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

Like www.ihaveanidea.org, I believe good ideas can come from anywhere. I don’t care if it is New York, London, Toronto, or St. John’s – smart ideas sell, and create effective solutions.

I’m not saying that my choice should be your choice, but unless you ask yourself, you will never know. So if you ever have the chance to see another part of Canada – one complete with clean air, breathtaking scenery, affordable housing prices, and safe streets – and still do what you do, think about it long and hard. Don’t immediately dismiss it. It may be just what you are looking for.


Andreas Doerig
Account Director
Target Marketing and Communications






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