Like most people, I am a sucker for clichés. There is one difference, though - the fact that I have managed to manifest some of my favourite clichés into reality.
Some of the characters that have touched my heart have ‘found themselves’ at their first job. From making friends for life to working on big, successful projects, all of them have had great first job experiences. That is exactly what I envisioned for myself too. You could say, I was waiting for this to happen to me.
However, before the hunt officially began, I was asked to drop my rose-tinted glasses and become realistic. I was warned about how brutal the ‘agency life’ was going to be. Especially because I was job-hunting in the midst of a pandemic.
Between emailing my resume and navigating through a bunch of zoom interviews that went nowhere, there was one golden tweet that landed me up at the Bandar family. I think, we can all safely agree that we’d only ever hear millennials say, they got a job through a tweet!
Reading “Mail me your CV” was the first step of unraveling a series of clichés.
From almost creepily mailing my resume to the founder, to finally deciding on taking up the opportunity, a whole lot of agency memes transpired on my feed.
With a heart full of fear, and nerves waiting to explode, I took the leap and joined Teen Bandar.
I was anticipating mean bosses, long hours, sleepless nights and monotony. The ongoing pandemic didn’t help my nerves either. To make WFH work, you need more than just a reliable internet connection. You need a team you can count on.
Fortunately enough, I was proved wrong, quite early on. In my first meeting with the team, I was told about the power of ideas, and how the bandars truly functioned like a unit. I could tell that it came from a place of honesty, because of how compelling their dynamics were.
Initially, I would hesitate to express my thoughts and say my ideas out loud. I would always start off by saying, “I am not sure if this is a good idea..”. But, with time, that changed. At Teen Bandar, there are no good or bad ideas. I was always encouraged to share my ideas and challenge the status quo. This really gave me a much-needed confidence boost.
As I started working on ideas I believed in, the long hours and sleepless nights didn’t matter anymore.
Prior to working at Teen Bandar, I lacked one more thing - patience! My mum would attest for the fact that patience was never my strong suit. But...working with clients and their long feedback chains did not make me want to pull my hair out. So, that’s something.
Working with clients and occasionally having ideas not work out, also prepares one to be objective. I for one, definitely learnt how to detach myself from my ideas and look out for what is best for the client and the project.
Despite coming from a film school background, I totally felt at home with my team members. We worked together, had conversations about important topics and even cracked our own agency jokes. We worked from home, miles apart from each other and yet, between all those meetings, I was drawn closer to my teammates. I didn’t for a second, feel like I hadn’t met them in person before. That should be enough to tell you just how much of a unit we were.
We won the pitch for a brand I looked up to all my life. When we did, a bunch of my friends asked me, how it was working on possibly the biggest brand of the country. While the answer was always “yes, it’s great”, it was never the reason why I jumped up from my bed to start working, every morning. My team members were - this was the biggest teller of the fact that I was at the right place.
So, yes, like I said, I manifested the first job cliché into reality. As ridiculous as it sounds, I found myself. I became confident enough to speak up and smart enough to make informed opinions. I also believe I met some really cool people, whom I can count on for the rest of my life. And, finally, I worked on some of the best brands ever. Guess joining Teen Bandar was the most ‘viral’ thing I could’ve done!
All that to say, this past year has been a rather bandarful journey and I wouldn’t have it any other way! If you’re anything like me, go after your dreams and find your clichés.