So if you’re in the ad world you know all about Please Feed The Animals’ Erik Proulx, who was a laid-off copywriter blogging about the ad world until he got the idea to make a movie about all the other laid-off ad guys who had started new, better jobs. And now he’s not even an ad guy at all but a film director doing commercial shoots for, like, big-name clients.
He posted a blog entry recently explaining exactly how he got from there to here. Like many career paths, it’s not really straight or even vaguely linear.
Proulx started as a journalism grad(!) writing ads in an alt-weekly’s personals section for singles. (“29 yo man seeks woman for long walks along the Esplanade. Must share passion for leather masks.”) Moved into advertising by necessity. Bounced around multiple cities, multiple jobs.
And it keeps going, till it ends with Proulx directing films for Dell and Yahoo. Not bad, and definitely not what anyone would have predicted looking at Proulx’s start almost 20 years ago.
The lesson? You have no idea where you’ll end up five years from now.
Maybe that’s why we find that interview question so tough.