A little over a year ago, Camille (my amazingly patient and supportive wife) and I packed up our lives (in 9 checked bags) and moved to London. Now, in a few weeks, we’ll be doing the reverse and moving back to Washington.
London has been amazing. From the experiences we’ve had to the friends we’ve made in the time we’ve been here, we couldn’t ask for a greater experience. The people we’ve met – at work and socially – are the kind of people we won’t soon forget.
For us, the decision to go back to Washington was one that hinged on family – one of the most-important things in life (something my bosses have taught me time and time again). I won’t go into details, but feel free to ask and I’ll expand over a pint/FB Messenger/WhatsApp, etc. Things for both of our families have changed over the time we’ve been here and being closer to them ultimately seems like the right thing to do at this time.
We both have amazing jobs here in London – ones we’ll be very sad to leave. Camille has become an incredibly vital part of the Marks & Spencer team, something I’m incredibly proud of. For her to uproot her life and move here without the promise of a job and land such an amazing gig was pure awesome. I know Camille will miss her coworkers dearly as they’ve grown close.
I’m equally gutted to be leaving the IPG Mediabrands UK team – and especially to no longer be part of Spring Creek Group. Spring Creek has been a part of my life for nearly 5 years now and I feel like I’m losing a part of me as I get ready to hand over the passwords to all our social sites, etc. I’ve literally put myself into everything I’ve done that included the Spring Creek name for the past 5+ years – something that I take to mean I actually liked my job at the end of the day.
Part of me wishes I’d simply be transferring back to the Seattle office and slipping right back into the flow of things – sadly that won’t be happening. However, I had the chance to work with incredible people who taught me not only about advertising and marketing, but life and who I want to be. I think I was the 12th or so full-time employee at SCG back in the day (+/- 2), but there were others before and after me who I truly enjoyed working with every day. I like to think it’s the people, even more than the process, technology, and thinking, that made Spring Creek what it was (and still is in some places) – that’s something that I tried to bring with me across the pond.
I’ve had the amazing luck of working with incredible clients around the globe, especially at some of our long-term clients like Microsoft, where I truly can say I’ve enjoyed every second (some of them hard and grueling) of the past half a decade. I’ve no doubt our paths will cross again, and I can’t wait. The social/digital space is still an area that I think will continue to shape the way businesses and consumers interact, and it’s where I intend to keep pursuing my career – more about that at another time, once I’ve had a chance to get settled back in WA.
The MAP UK team I’ve had the pleasure of working with are top notch. Through the leadership of Jason, they’ve built what I think is exactly what the MAP organization within IPG Mediabrands was imagined as – a truly connected digital practice. My colleagues at MAP have been more than coworkers over the last year and I’ll always think of them that way.
I’m really excited to see where the Spring Creek UK team go next. While I may technically be above them on the org chart, that team has taught me a ton about how to build a service-focused digital team. From the newest member to the most-tenured, they’re an excellent bunch of smart minds hat work well together when clients need them the most. I promise not to hover, but know I’ll always be celebrating in your (many) successes.The thought of leaving the team is made a bit easier by the fact they’ll soon be joined by one of my old Seattle SCG colleagues – Eric Weaver – in London. Eric’s new role based out of London means they’ll get to infuse his knowledge of social business into the strong work we’ve been doing with social in more of a media-focused sense – something which is in high demand in Europe. We spent the last year+ smashing our expected goals in the UK and – more importantly in my mind – challenging the views of people in Europe about what social can do for brands.
Lastly, but certainly not least, I wanted to just acknowledge a person who, without his guidance and support, I wouldn’t have had the chance to do what I’ve done for the past 5+ years – thanks, Clay.
So, in closing, I’ll leave you (for now) with the rallying call of my former boss, one I’ve adopted and brought to my temporary home…