What Was Your First-Ever Job?

I worked at a full-service gas station pumping gas, before “self-service” was actually a thing. I was just a kid who didn’t know where to find the dipstick to check the oil. I faked it until I finally figured it out.

Did You Learn Anything From It?

I learned there was most likely a better career path waiting for me.

What's Your Job Title Now?

Creative Director for a marketing and graphic design company

What Kind of Job Path Did You Follow?

When I finally identified what I wanted to do career-wise, I took a lot of entry-level marketing jobs early in my career and I never grew a distaste for doing whatever grunt work was necessary.

As I progressed through my career over the years, my job titles naturally got more “impressive”, so to speak, but I never let go of my willingness to do the grunt work. That’s a work ethic thing that can’t be taught in a college textbook, and I feel it’s something that kept opening doors for me every step of the way. I also feel that it was perhaps what gave me an edge over many of my “educated” peers who were not willing to work as long or as hard as I was willing to.

What's the Best Thing About Your Job?

The best thing is that it’s what I like to do for a living. I’m not sitting in a cubicle, working in a job that has absolutely no meaning to me or does not provide me fulfillment every day.

What's the Worst Thing About Your Job?

Creativity is not something that you can turn on and off like a light switch, but that’s actually what you’re getting paid for. So you have to learn to “get into your creative zone” even when your creative mojo forgot to get out of bed that day. Of course you could say that about any job, but it can be especially challenging for professionals who are expected to be creative all the time.

Describe a Typical Work Day

There is no such thing as a “typical” work day, and that perhaps is one of the joys of this career field.

Every project is different, with different creative challenges and objectives. And if you have a true passion for this kind of work, you wouldn’t want it any other way.

What's Something That Might Surprise Others About Your Job?

There’s an incredible amount of problem-solving and strategic thinking involved in design work that tends to get overlooked by those who are not in the same line of work. It looks easy and fun from the outside-looking-in, but it is indeed “work” that will challenge you in many different ways.

Would You Change Anything About Your Job or Job Path?

Not really. When you enjoy what you do for a living, any “changes” that are needed tend to be fairly minor in nature.

What Advice Would You Give Someone Entering the Workforce Right After High School?

Go to networking events where people in your career field of choice seem to gather. Introduce yourself, tell them your age and explain that you’re looking to get into the career field, and start a conversation from there. No one right after high school thinks of doing that, and that’s why it’s great advice.

Career professionals love to be seen as mentors, even when they don’t go looking for such a role. There’s an opportunity there to impress and flatter career professionals with your initiative while making real-world, career field connections.

To learn more about what Mitch is up to, check out Branding Experiences

By Jae -- Swimming Coach