29 November 2016 - By Francesco Granati, alumnus: 'The city for the ambitious, the hard workers, the restless, the dreamers and believers.'
I write about out of home advertising so often, that it kind of feels as if it’s the only thing I can write about. And let’s be honest, the most important part of this blogging is you, the readers. So why don’t I try to kick back, relax and write a bit about something else?
Let’s talk about London.
I lived in Amsterdam for a little over a year, but I was a student back then. I never experienced the city as an adult with a fulltime job.
London, on the opposite, I have never lived in as anything else than a 9 to 5 worker. It is a city full of contradictions, beautiful and yet a place you learn to love and hate at the same time. Some may say it’s the same for every place you live in; you love it and you hate it. I guess you can say that?
London lures you like a mistress offering you thousands of temptations. And yet, what is the price to pay? I have been here for three years now, which by the way have flown by as never before, and slowly started my climb up the career stair of media. Frank Sinatra used to sing of the ‘city that never sleeps’ and referred to New York; I think however, that he could have said exactly the same about London. The city for the ambitious, the hard workers, the restless, the dreamers and believers. Some people make it (and then again what is the meaning of ‘making it’? It can be so different to so many of us), some people see their dreams crushed, some others stay, all caught up in the system, waiting for the next thing.
Where do I see myself among these categories? Probably in the last one. The dynamism of London’s working culture and its vibrant job market always makes you stay on your toes. This is great, because it allows people to change jobs frequently and not be judged for it - especially in media. But this also has the downside of presenting the mirage of a better job always being around the corner: “Come to me Londoners, and never settle, because I can offer you something better.”
It is very easy to get stuck in some sort of scheme where you are barely enjoying what you have because of the fact that you are already thinking of what is next. What will my next job be? What is the next salary increase I can get? Where is my new flat going to be? The constant level of stress caused by this restlessness is hard to put into words. It is however, what fuels this city and its economy at the end of day. And this starts with very little things, such as noticing that compared to before my arrival to London, I used to walk way slower and enjoy the sights more. Here you go from A to B, as fast as you can, because time is of the essence. Then again, this feeds people’s ambitions. Going from intern to account manager in less than three years would have not been possible in a lot of other countries.
At the end of the day, you learn to love and hate this city, until something better comes along. You close your jacket up to your neck, walk on among the hundreds of people rushing out of the tube and prepare for another London day, its mirages, its dynamism and its hidden opportunities.
Francesco Granati (30) completed the Master’s programme in Communication Science (track Persuasive Communication) in 2014.