Name: Tiffany Marg
Office: Saratoga Springs
Role: Account Service
There isn’t anyone at Fingerpaint who doesn’t anxiously anticipate their four-week, paid sabbatical at their five-year anniversary. It’s a milestone for sure, and sabbaticals are often filled with great adventures and big stories.
I started down that path — a trip to Europe with the kids? A car trip down the east coast to see friends and family in five different cities? Trips to NYC, DC, and Boston? Head out west? The possibilities seemed endless.
As my kids and I progressed through our year, wrought with school demands, extracurriculars, and the balance of being a single, working mom, planning for four weeks of fun and adventure fell through the cracks. As the sabbatical neared, I have to admit, I was filled with a little anxiety. What stories would I have to share? What would my kids remember most?
Then it hit me. You see, I’ve been working in advertising for 20 years (another milestone!). For 13 of those, I’ve been a working mom. The kids and I were always on the go — from daycare drop-offs and pick-ups, to juggling midday school events and appointments, to all sorts of arrangements when I traveled for work and left them behind.
My kids were living the life of an advertising employee — starting their day with me when we left the house at 7 a.m., sometimes getting home at 6 p.m., sometimes coming back to work with me for a last-minute deliverable and eating dinner on the fly. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE working in advertising. The long hours, the deadlines, the fast pace — I thrive on it.
Finally, it hit me…maybe my sabbatical wasn’t meant to be a big adventure. Maybe we were just meant to enjoy the little things. We slept in — every single day. We took the dogs on walks downtown in the middle of the day, just to get out of the house. We saw waterfalls, went to our favorite ice cream stand for dinner, had friend sleepovers, spent time on the lake, climbed high in the trees on a ropes course, went cliff jumping, and just lived life in the slow lane. I know that sounds like a lot of activity, but we did it on our terms, never before noon, and never planned more than a day in advance. We just did what we wanted, when we wanted. And if we didn’t want to do anything? We didn’t.
I love a great adventure. The kids and I are researching and planning for that trip to Europe in the next few years. But what a gift — to take 4 weeks, with no plans, and just enjoy life. Enjoy one another. And reap all the benefits of life in the slow lane.
I am so thankful to Fingerpaint for giving me the chance to stop and smell the roses. And I will never forget those four weeks of just being us, in the slow lane.
What did you learn on your sabbatical that you brought back to your Fingerpaint work?
Life is short and time is precious. Remember to take the moments you can to restore yourself, reconnect with friends and loved ones, and take care of yourself.
What do you remember about your first day at Fingerpaint?
I will never forget Bo Goliber and Leo Parker both introducing themselves to me like they’d known me for years. I remember telling Ed Mitzen that day, “You have the nicest people working in this agency. Is this for real?”
What do you like most about the entire agency?
I love the passion everyone has for the Fingerpaint brand and how we truly live our values without needing them printed out and affixed to our cubes. We often talk about being Fingerpainters, or use the #fingerpaintlife hashtag on our social channels. Being a Fingerpainter is a real thing. That’s what makes this agency so, so special.
What advice would you give yourself/someone entering the industry?
I could write a whole blog post on this. But the MOST important thing I tell people just starting out is that you learn far more from your mistakes than you do your successes in this industry. So, don’t be afraid to take chances, but be ready to own it if things go bad, and be a part of the solution. You’ll gain respect, learn a ton, and progress your career forward with that mentality.
What are you hoping to see happen at Fingerpaint? (Keg in the kitchen, trampoline in the parking lot, 4-day work weeks, etc. — any ideas are welcome.)
This is a tough one because the company is always listening and responding to the needs of our employees. I’d love to see us have access to additional publications (e.g., Harvard Business Review) or recommended reading lists for developing our business acumen and innovation.
But really, if you are looking for a perk with this question, there isn’t much this company doesn’t already do.
What, if anything, will you do differently in your career or life as a result of being on sabbatical?
I definitely will take more time to stop on the weekends and enjoy a life unscheduled. As far as work goes, I came back refreshed and with a lot of passion and desire to make things happen!