This past week, I had an e-mail exchange with Nathan Clapp, who is an art director at PJA Advertising and Marketing. Originally from Boston, Nathan moved to San Francisco in January 2015 after PJA, headquartered in Cambridge, offered him a job opportunity in its SF office.
Now seven months later, I decided to see how he’s doing and ask him a few questions for my ‘Three Thoughts‘ series, where I quickly connect with rising professionals and get their candid insights on career-related questions.
1. What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career and did it work out?
The biggest risk in my short career has been moving [to San Francisco], of course.
I was feeling anxious for some sort of change in life for about a year or so before my move. I knew I wanted to do something bigger than I had before, so when I got an offer to work in San Francisco, I sort of just jumped on it. In hindsight, I don’t think I ever fully grasped how much of a change that it would actually be, but I think that’s honestly the best way to go into a situation like this. Moving here put me in an entirely new mindset. I’m no longer trying to plan my future so diligently, that never leads to anything good. You end up regretting all the things you’re not doing, instead of enjoying what you are.
But my big decision to move to San Francisco stems from a lot of smaller risks that all laddered up to get me here. The company I work for now [PJA] I actually left about a year ago. I was not getting paid enough in the Cambridge office, and when I got an offer for a better paying job in Boston, I decided to take it. It was only 3 months later that PJA came back to me and offered me this new job in San Francisco with a raise on top of that! It just goes to show how important it is to leave a company on a good note.
2. Would you still work if you had all the money in the world?
I would definitely still work, and I’m not just saying that to sound humble. I would just be too bored otherwise. I think work is good for us, I think it’s stimulating and rewarding. You can definitely work too much, and of course not all jobs are as stimulating as others, but I think it’s good to work. If I had all the money in the world though, the question is, what would I want to work on?
3. What do you think is the best way to stand out at work?
Keep your cool as much as you can. I try to be someone who people feel is consistent. I have had people tell me how much they appreciate how I can deal with situations without getting heated up or lashing out at others. It makes people want to work with you more, and that’s definitely a good thing, in any field.
Interested in connecting with Nathan? Find him on LinkedIn.