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Wedding/Corporate Hybrid World

October 18, 2010

Is this the face of Corporate America? Maybe. This is certainly the face of Isaiah trying to cheer me up over the recent beginnings of an icky divorce close to us. On with the real point!

Where do I fit in the wedding world, amongst a flobbity jillion “like, omg our color scheme is pink and light pink and baby pink!” brides? I’m well aware that the blogging community is a cut above the rest. I know you girls (and bret) are awesome. But in school, at work, in my friendships, on Facebook, I listen to girls “Oh yeah, we’re on a budget too…do you want me to get dinner? I’ve got daddy’s plastic!” (True story).

I recently shadowed with After Yes Weddings – a wedding planning boutique here in Dallas. If you are in need, you should definitely check them out, she certainly knows what she’s doing.  But every career isn’t right for every person and despite Elizabeth’s love and zeal for what she does, I wasn’t convinced for myself.

Possible Careers

wedding planning

something else

That’s all I have so far. I’m graduating in two months after one year of busting my ass and three of floating by…with a degree in public relations.

I’ve been talking with Angie a lot about this…so sorry for the dejavu, Ang.

Isaiah and I have reservations about joining Corporate America. I have always been ready to “make my mark” in the world and join the ranks of 50 hour work-weeks and 25% travel (Apple…tree). We changed our minds. You can do that, right?

It seems like when a couple goes the corporate route (only in my personal experience), they have almost two separate lives. Isaiah and I have both worked 8-5’ers before together and we were so exhausted by the time we got home, after an hour-plus commute, to talk to each other about our day…so we ended up with almost two sets of days. The first half was for work, and the second half (more like four hours before bed) was for each other.

My family is made up of corporate superstars. They are the VP’s and CEO’s of the world. And I’ve watched how it can destroy a family (sometimes). I feel that a love has to be protected against the usual suspects for destruction. From one angle of the horrible tragedy of a divorce, we get a unique perspective into why it didn’t work..and what we can do for ourselves to protect our relationship from the same.

Anyways, tangent-alert. We want a creative business…where we can put in 100% effort and not be “rewarded” with overtime and a bump up to 50% travel. We’re mulling over whether the wedding industry is where we should be – don’tcha think there should be more people like this, this, this, and this (and so many others) helping out the confused and overwhelmed brides of the world?

But anyways, we feel like, just from observation, that there’s a chance we won’t be able to “play nice” with the wedding industry. We would want to take certain aspects of it by storm…and I don’t think there’s a sustainable living in that for two people. Maybe one of us could sell out corporate…we usually decide with rock/paper/scissors.

Maybe we’re needy or compulsive or codependent, but I like to spend every day with Isaiah, and him with me. I rarely need alone time beyond the 6-7 hours a day I’m in school, and usually after an hour I can’t wait to see his face. Wow, that’s healthy-sounding, I’m sure.

Anyways, we’re hard workers, we don’t want to sound like we’re lazy and refuse to work 40 hour weeks…we just want to work them together.

So how about you…any creative business ideas in your future? Do you love corporate America? What’s up in your work world?

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2010 9:37 am

    Hey love thanks for the shout-out up there.

    I am anti-corporate world myself and have worked in the the not-for-profit sector since I got out of college. In the beginning it was nice to be able to give myself a pat on the proverbial back about being a do-gooder, and it’s pretty easy to sleep at night doing what I do. However, I feel it’s still just as stressful as any other line of work due to reliance on federal funding and public philanthropy (which tends to suck when you are muddling through a recession). I’m ready to jump ship. I think the best way to be happy with your job is to work for your damn self. Now I just need some start up cash and an idea…

    Sorry for the ramble which may or may not be anywhere near what you were wanting to get from this post 🙂

    • October 18, 2010 9:41 am

      i vote for work for your damn self! 🙂 kerry is onto something good.

    • October 18, 2010 10:49 am

      I definitely understand…I’ve interned in non-profit and it doesn’t seem much more relaxing…but for having purpose to come to work and what not. Thanks, girls.

  2. October 18, 2010 9:40 am

    we need to chat this week forrealz. i so so so feel you on all of this. duh, you know. we’ve emailed extensively about this stuff.

    i think it’s a matter of (for me at least) – do we suck it up and join corporate America for the sake of stability or do we dive in head first into a project (wink wink) making it our pet to do as we please?

    i always think you and isaiah should continue to explore projects together – music, design, your shop, !!!a creative space/venue!!! etc. i think it’s fun for the relationship and makes our lives more interesting, not to mention purpose. but yes. let’s chat.

    • October 18, 2010 10:50 am

      YAY! I know you and I have talked a lot about this…I just hope that we don’t wind up with some little dirty child someday, hands out, please, mom, may I have another? 😦 haha….

  3. October 18, 2010 9:46 am

    I work in the nonprofit arena (which also has crossed into academia for the time being). I love it, but I make pennies.

    I’m sure you could take your PR degree to help a cool museum or nonprofit, which would mean it wouldn’t feel like you are selling out to corporate America. Although that doesn’t really solve your issue about wanting to work together.

    It does sound like you guys are suited for a family business of some sort. You’ve already started ctrlP together. I don’t know much about invites and other paper products, so I don’t know how lucrative that might be. But just because you want to flip the WIC on its head, does not mean you shouldn’t go into the wedding industry. You’d be a refreshing change of pace.

    • October 18, 2010 10:52 am

      Thanks so much, I have definitely thought about a museum and what not…I hope we could make a family business work…because I have grown accustomed to a certain standard of living!! Just kidding, completely.

  4. October 18, 2010 10:54 am

    I’m, um, part of the corporate empire. Admittedly, it has a lot of suckage. But. There are also perks. And if it weren’t for my corporate-world clients, I wouldn’t have the option of helping my pro bono clients, who are in dire need of help. So there’s that.

    But, yeah, I would be much, much happier if we were able to figure out a way to make our little furniture-fixing/antiquing/swap-meeting hobby into a sustainable living that we do together than we are right now, going off to our separate long-hour jobs. Then again, we’re one of those couples that actually is happy to see each other as much of “all the time” as we can. Weird, I know.

    • October 18, 2010 2:08 pm

      I understand it…there’s a weird paradox with working…you either spend all your creative energy working on a creative work environment (i.e. entrepreneurship) and risk having none leftover for other creative endeavors…or you work for “the man” and have time and energy after work and on weekends and what not to spend your creativity…I especially understand with kids…it would be hard to tell our kids someday “No honey, you can’t have ________ because mommy wants to work in her passion. That’s why we all sacrifice.” No, no, no….

      I definitely get it….Isaiah and I are the exact same way. We spend…almost 24 hours a day together since we’re both unemployed (which is becoming quite a “yikes” situation).

  5. October 18, 2010 10:59 am

    I’m anti-corporate all the time; unfortunately, Dustin is not. I’m so thankful he loves his job, but it’s hard to have a LIFE outside of 12-hour workdays. But you know this already.

    I wish more than anything he & I had the tools and mutual interests to do something together, so you and Isaiah are blessed to have that creative potential. I can’t wait to see what you decide 🙂 Use that PR degree to your advantage, lady (even if it’s not by going the corporate PR route)… If anybody can, it’s SO you.

    • October 18, 2010 2:10 pm

      Thanks, Hollie! We’re working on getting something going that will hopefully be a money-maker and a passion of ours…because you can’t make origami cranes for your whole life (not to mention…I’ve never made ONE, so that’s obviously not an option)…Hopefully our business and graphics and PR skeels will come in handy somewhere down the road.

  6. October 18, 2010 12:12 pm

    i hope you can find something that is a good mix of what you are looking for. Ryan is self employed but keep in mind there are some drawbacks: 1- we work totally opposite schedules (he works 3- whenever, I am done at 4:30) 2- we were not approved for a mortage for a couple reasons but one was becuase he is self employed; there are definitely positives though like: 1- he will be a mr.mom 2- he does what he loves and that makes me and him happy

    good luck! congrats on the upcoming degree!

    • October 18, 2010 2:11 pm

      I definitely get that…I have a friend who said the same. Her and her husband are both self-employed, doing what they love…but they’re not sure if “house” is anywhere on the horizon…That’s definitely a practical concern…unfortunately, as Angie and I have talked about a zillion times, we have a dreamer Dr. Jekyll and a practical Mrs. Hyde. Yikes. It’s an epic battle…not sure who will win…

  7. October 18, 2010 3:25 pm

    mmhm mmhm mmhmmm.

    we’ve both done the corporate gig, and it didn’t really suit either of us. but (depending on the job) it’s a nice way to rake in some cash while you get the gears turning for Other Big Adventures (like starting your own business.)

    and- this is a huge secret, but- i think i was made to be a stay-at-home mom. i have lots of goals that i enjoy pursuing, but i’m most content when i’m at home, making my little nest look pretty and cooking up something yummy. (can we still be friends??)

    • October 18, 2010 10:42 pm

      We can definitely still be friends. My life feels all disheveled when I work the 9-5 too…stay-at-home would be nice…but I go a little nuts when I’m at home. Maybe I was made to be discontent…made to search for something else…gag…I was over-existentializing on purpose, I hope that’s clear. hah. I definitely understand the whole working to support your hobbies…looks like that may be the way to go.

  8. October 18, 2010 4:25 pm

    I’ve had a job nearly continuously since i was 16, even through college. I’ve been in nonprofit now for 6 years in fundraising. I work at a place that is truly wonderful and makes a difference in people’s lives. Honest to goodness. Makes me feel good about having this opportunity to contribute.

    Before this, I did a little stint with Americorps*vista. Very illuminating. It was a great way to get an introduction to people and the way that nonprofits operate.

    Prior to that – totally corporate. Big salary, nearly 100% travel, mega work hours, mega stress.

    My brother and sister-in-law have worked together (mostly) for 20 years and have started a few companies. Many many lean years. But they are both creative and they have a solid marriage. Working together works for them.

    I wish you luck in finding your way. There’s not a single answer. But it is nice to know that you have choices.

    Marriages do not fail for a single reason. Marriages fail because the people who are married to each other fail to make the marriage a priority in their lives. They begin to select other priorities. Work and travel are very convenient scapegoats. I have been here and I speak from experience.

    That being said, I would really hate it if my wife traveled every week. But if presented with an option that meant one of us would travel and we both agreed that it made sense, I have to believe that we are both mature enough to adapt.

    I think many people my age and older would agree with me when I say that your life speeds by quickly. There is no harm in trying a few things until you find a good fit. How else will you know? I wish you the very best, you both seem so good for each other.

    • October 18, 2010 10:46 pm

      I definitely agree. Life goes by so fast. Thanks so much, you’re sweet! I definitely get the whole…multiple reasons and what not. I really think divorce happens because of a series of distancing moments that no one takes the time to repair…perhaps, by the end, what you have is irreparable, but it took a lot of neglect to get to that point…I wish you and your wife the best as well, sounds like you guys are a great couple!

  9. October 18, 2010 4:31 pm

    As musicians, we know that sometimes we’re going to have to bite the bullet and work a 9 to 5’er, at least sometimes. My sweetheart is getting his Masters degree now, so I’ve got a job that pays the bills, and when he graduates in May 2012, I’m off to get my PhD! So far, trading has been going well for us!

    • October 18, 2010 10:47 pm

      That definitely sounds like a great tradeoff. We are musicians as well, and that’s a post for a different day, haha.

  10. October 18, 2010 11:24 pm

    agh, where to begin? I totally feel you. I am in a bigtime career-searching phase in my life, but the main problem is that I feel like my current job has made my brain atrophy. I’m a musician and writer by training and am working in gov’t communications (kill me). the good part is that it is truly 9-to-5… the bad part is that I am exhausted from being so bored all day that I don’t really have much energy to explore my creative impulses when I get home. I’m doing the same choirs I always have, but I’m starting to resent those for taking up time that could be spent pursuing new things! Time to rebalance my free time, methinks…

    Needless to say I am looking for a new gig. I’ve thought about nonprofits/the arts, but those jobs are always hard to get, and especially in this economy. (All the arts orgs here like to promote from within anyway.) I think the most ideal situation would definitely be to be my own boss… but what would I do? I don’t have a brilliant idea or any one thing I’m really good at — i’ve always had lots of interests, and lately I’ve been haunted by something my grade advisor told me my soph year of high school: that I’m interested in too many things (presumably to be exceptional at any of them). I’m looking at some graduate certificate programs that would help me brush up on graphic design and maybe set me on a path to something fulfilling and creative. I also have been considering wedding/event planning (since it’s a skill set I already have and would require less schooling) and have talked to our coordinator about shadowing/helping her some day, like you did. That’s the best way to find out if it’s a fit, I think!

    Anyway, you clearly didn’t need my whole life story here, but I just wanted to say that I appreciate this post so much and am always happy to read about another person searching for a more fun, creative and fulfilling professional life. I know I have so much more to offer than I am able to use in my crappy desk job, and life is really too short to be bored/miserable during like 60% of one’s waking hours. Buuuut, there’s always that little angel on your shoulder/dad on the other end of the phone telling you not to be stupid and leave the company who is giving you such a nice retirement package… oof.

    • October 18, 2010 11:43 pm

      I love life stories! That’s EXACTLY what I have been trying to say…but you said it in way fewer words. More to offer than most jobs allow you to share. That’s how a lot of us feel, I think, huh? Way to be typical Gen-Y’ers, right? Yikes. Anyways, thanks for sharing, glad to know we’re not alone!

  11. October 28, 2010 3:13 pm

    I’m just throwing this out there – working for yourself means working ALL THE TIME. It can be great, but the hours are grueling. These days, I go to work (the easy part). Then I come home, change, pour a glass of milk. Sit down for three minutes, open the computer… and work till I go to sleep. Then I’m up at 6 am to try to cram in 20 minutes before work. And I have some help these days, so it could be worse. Hopefully, it will get better, but it’s never going to be as easy as a 9-5. On the plus side, I love it, in a way it’s hard to love a 9-5.

    I’ve never wanted to work with my partner (though oddly, we have, pre-partner-ness run a business together, very smoothly). But, if I say, hired my husband to work for me? It wouldn’t be like spending time with him. I’m so focused and so slammed when I’m working that there could be a 16 piece marching band in the room and I’d have no idea. So, for me, I’ve learned I’d rather do something engaging and then come home and actually be able to focus on my partner. For me, that’s quality time. I don’t love when the stress of the work day comes home with you, because you both are the business. I don’t like yelling at my husband when he screwed something up that really mattered. That is *not* for me.

    And finally! On the corporate/ non corporate debate. I’ve done both. I love neither. BUT. I vastly preferred corporate work to non-profit work. In non-profits I was never well paid or well taken care of, and I was so stressed about finances it made it hard to live (let alone be creative). In the corporate world I felt taken care of, more or less. And that gave me more energy for being myself. Though I hated the hours.

    So! Those are my honest thoughts. You will figure it out, but it may take more time than you expected. It’s taken me about 9 years, which is insane, considering I majored in something I loved, and was at a top program for it. But it took 9 years to get to the starting point, and I think I’m ok with that.

    • October 28, 2010 10:46 pm

      I definitely get this, Meg. I’m at a great school for my major as well, but the curtain is being drawn back on the field pretty quickly for me. I understand hard work and I really appreciate your comments. Has me thinking in all kinds of different directions right now about this.

      Thanks again.

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