The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

I Don’t Know If Life Begins At 40, But Appreciation Certainly Does …
July 9, 2010, 3:08 pm
Filed under: Comment

So on Monday I start at WK.

Despite having worked at some very highly regarded creative companies in my time – from HHCL to Google and a whole host of awesomeness inbetween – the fact is that even though I knew I was fortunate to be working at those companies at the time, I often didn’t realise just how valuable my experience or education was until well after I had left the organisation.

Sometimes long after I’d left the organisation.

Zoom forward today and it’s quite different.

To be honest, a lot of this is down to the fact I’ve turned 40 … an age where many in adland regard you as a dinosaur.

I’ve written before about how I view people with these prejudices as idiots – however it can’t be denied that I feel incredibly fortunate to be in this position at this stage of my life and career.

That sounds a bit like I believe I should be on the scrapheap – but that’s not what I meant.

Whilst I do think luck has played an incredible role in my career, I think I’m pretty good at what I do and can make a difference at any place I work – however the main reason I’m so excited is because I have the opportunity to make a difference at a company who genuinely believes in the power and value of creativity and doesn’t devalue age or experience which is why I believe my best work is potentially still ahead of me and to still be able to say that at my age is an exciting thing.

I was incredibly fortunate at a young age to work with great people, companies & clients however because of my age, I don’t think I realised just what I could achieve with all of it… and whilst I did pretty well, coming into W+K after 20 odd years of experience and adventure means I don’t want to just keep the gleaming boat on course, I want to help take it to new and exciting places and if there’s any company whose open to that, it’s them.

Or at least I hope they are, ha.

I am a firm believer that to actually make ‘fate’ happen, you have to declare your intentions publically – because once you’ve done that, you know others will evaluate you on your achievements ad that will ensure you get off your arse and make it happen – which is why once I’ve had a chance to spend some time with my team, colleagues & clients, I will openly detail my personal goals at W+K because when you get to my age, you want to leave your mark, not just improve your CV.

Whilst I’d be ecstatic to join W+K at any point in my career, I genuinely believe it’s better for me – and them – that it’s happening now rather than 20 years ago which is why starting Monday, I’m going to see what positive damage I can help us do and I can’t bloody wait …

38 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I hate writing this, but that’s a good post and it’s always pleasing to see an OAP getting to grips with modern technology.

Comment by DH

You’ll rock Rob and they’re as lucky to have you as you are to have them. I look forward to reading about your exploits and experiences.

Comment by Bazza

I particularly like how you have defined age as an appreciation of opportunity rather than simply referring to it as experience gained.

It’s also pleasing to read you continue to be as hungry to lead and succeed as you always have been and that can only be good news for the people, companies and clients who you will be working alongside.

Good luck Robert, though you do not require it.

Comment by Lee Hill

A lot of very nice words there – thank you, it means a lot – I just hope I don’t go and fuck it all up … but if I do, it’s obvious it’ll all be Wieden’s fault because I’m brilliant aren’t I.

Cough cough. Splutter splutter.

God, I’m soooooooooooooo going to be found out – thank god I still own the cynic name, just in case, haha!

Comment by Rob

“for those about to rock, we salute you”

go get’ em tiger.

Comment by katie dreke

Kick some ass. Positive damage, that’s a very W+K expression.

You two will be perfect for each other (sorry Jill) 😉

Comment by Rob Mortimer

The irony is that at cynic, we would call that sort of thing a ‘Yoda Statement’ … ie: it sounds quite good on first impression but then you end up going, “What the fuck is it supposed to mean?”

I better not slip into ‘adman’ or Andy will do me with a flick knife.

Comment by Rob

Are you 40? You kept that quiet.

Comment by Charles Frith

40 stone, not 40 years of age.

Comment by Rob

Best of luck on Monday…worst thing that could happen is you eat something bad over the weekend and literally crap your pants during a meeting with clients and new coworkers, but that’s a low-probability event…so nothing to be nervous about at all.

Comment by Rob

Sorry, I should add my last name so it’s not so confusing…

Comment by Rob Meyerson

That would be nothing Rob (Meyerson), Rob (Campbell) once sat and watched his colleague (Andy) projectile vomit all over their new clients desk in the middle of their first major presentation. Vomit and trouser accidents are a normal day in Rob’s (Campbell) career.

@ Rob (Campbell): Are you going to go back to posting stuff (a) daily and (b) at a more consistent time because these semi random posts appearing at all times of the time zone are getting rather confusing.

Comment by Bazza

Oh yes … that was a meeting I won’t forget in a 1000 years, And let’s be honest, crapping my pants is nothing compared to the embarassment of my musical and fashion sense.

Now Rob Meyerson, when are we catching up?

Comment by Rob

And to answer your question Baz ,,, the posts won’t be ‘regular’ for a while – both interms of frequency and time.

So you have a few more weeks of peace to enjoy, ha!

Comment by Rob

“I don’t want to just keep the gleaming boat on course, I want to help take it to new and exciting places”

Best explanation of planning I’ve read in ages. Good luck.

Comment by Jonah

Hi Jonah – trust me, there’s a whole heap of better explanations of planning than that line, but thanks for the compliment and I hope you come back again.

Comment by Rob

Nice one Robert, though I am also glad you maintained the cynic name.

Comment by George

I should clarify that is not because I believe you will be out on your ear within weeks, but so we can do it all again within years.

Comment by George

I’m glad you clarified that – but we both know the ‘other’ meaning is what you really meant.

WTF are you doing up at this time???

Comment by Rob


Comment by Marcus


Comment by Rob

Mulling this all over.

Comment by Marcus

I’d be interested in your perspective … not about my situation, but the thinking as a whole.

I think – though I may be wrong – you will relate to it. I hope you do.

Comment by Rob

An enjoyable post to read with an interesting perspective on growing older, one I definitely relate to.
If you make half the impact at your new place of work as you did with us, then it will be a very fruitful relationship. Good luck with everything and don’t be a stranger. (George needs the friends)

Comment by Jonathan Rosenberg

Hello Jonathan – that’s a really nice thing to say. You fake sincerity better than almost anyone I know, haha!

I don’t know why you’re up at this time either – though I’m guessing it’s more to do with having not gone to sleep yet – but I won’t be a stranger, even if the Chinese Government would rather I did not frolic with the ‘enemy’. 🙂

And as for George needing the friends … why do you think having me there would make him feel better, both Andy and I never really liked him, we just used him for his contacts.

See you soon, and thanks for the niceness.

Comment by Rob

I think there’s more than a hint of truth in that comment Robert, but it’s OK, I paid the mortgage on expenses so we can call it evens.

And you guessed right, we’re in the land of deadline rather than the land of nod.

Comment by George

Paid your mortgage on expenses? Is that all? Amateur. Ha.

Speak tomorrow matey, hope you get hope soon – love to the girls and a firm handshake to the wife.

Comment by Rob

auntie cant even take a fucking hobnob from the tin without feeling guilty about it for 6 weeks so the thought of him paying his mortgage on expenses is laughable. that and the fact ian was tighter than sorrell on watching the numbers and i should know, he always managed to stop me claiming my fucking car payments even when i used a job number.

and jonathan stop being such a google cliche. youre nice, you dont have to go so over the top, this is campbell were talking about.

Comment by andy@cynic

youre such a fucking wet campbell. seriously boy george is more of a fucking man than you. you give metrosexuals a bad fucking name. and as for your best years being ahead of you, then you better fucking be slipping me 10 grand a week to save your sorry ass or youll be out the fucking door before you learn how to spell your new paymasters name.

apart from that i love you and this is a jolly nice post.

Comment by andy@cynic

I think it’s great W+K are stopping the elderly be a drain on the rest of us and if it doesn’t work out, there’s always Macca Ds.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Would you seriously buy a double cheese from a man who wears birkenstocks? He’s got to make WK work or he’s fucked. Or hope Andy and George are masochists and sign up for v2.0.

Comment by DH

and let the fucker ruin my life a second time? how fucking stupid do you think we are? well george is, but im not though i am a sucker for helping the disadvantaged and where campbell is concerned theres no one more fucking disadvantaged.

Comment by andy@cynic

Your heart is your weakness Mr Boucher.

Comment by DH

its a fucking curse david, a great big fucking curse.

Comment by andy@cynic

Your faith, support and encouragement brings a tear to my eye. I hope I can offer you the same in the future. Oh yes, I hope I can offer you EXACTLY the same in the future.

Oh, and it’s worth remembering gentlemen that the future can be as little as a second away so be careful not to fuck it up.

Cue: Evil Laugh with huge amounts of reverb and echoplex.

Comment by Rob

A nice and thoughtful one Rob. All the best tomorrow, Monday!

You should think of the Cynic name as a souvenir, no an insurance policy.

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

You should think of the Cynic name as a souvenir, not an insurance policy.

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

seeing as half the bloggersphere is now employed by messers wieden and kennedy, it’s hardly something to shout about now is it?


of course i’m just creeping to andy out of pity.

have a great first day and i hope you do shit your pants – it will keep them all honest xx

Comment by lauren

Leave a Reply