Professional Meandering

by Dan Walsh

I never thought I would become a marketer.

The first time a teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’m pretty sure I answered “inventor”. Cartoon inventors always had experiments harmlessly blow up in their faces and that looked like fun to me.

The second time a teacher asked my what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was a serious question and I seriously answered “demolitionist”. $100,000 a year hazard pay and I get to blow shit up! I was only slightly more realistic as an 8th grader.

The third time I was forced to make a choice was on my college application. The fine arts school at USF required that I declare a major prior to submitting my application, so I chose architect. It’s true I loved demolishing things in my youth, but I also enjoyed building them in the first place. That and I thought Frank Lloyd Wright was pretty cool.

I made a fourth choice when I realized the laws of physics where too restricting for my creative genius. I also hated drawing anything to scale – which was kind of a dead giveaway that I was in the wrong field. I made the leap from architect to graphic designer. My raging talent could now be UNLEASHED pixel by pixel. Gravity be damned!

My fifth change occurred out of necessity. I was looking for a new job and there was too much competition for design positions in the San Francisco area. The economics of continuing as a designer weren’t compelling. I also found that unleashing anything pixel by pixel is tedious. And… I wasn’t actually a genius. Go figure. I took a leap into digital marketing and have been consumed ever since.