'Self-care is absolutely essential to my hustle': Beyond the Brief with Carly Goldberg, Havas New York

Carly Goldberg, Havas New York

To celebrate its 100th anniversary, the 4A’s has partnered with The Drum to pull back the curtain and look at an industry full of problem solvers, creative types and analytical minds. But what keeps them going once the briefs are written, the campaigns executed, and the pitches won (or lost)?

Carly Goldberg is a junior strategist at Havas New York. Following a degree in Communications and Jewish Studies, Goldberg has taken her spot at the agency. This role at Havas is her first job in the industry, after three internships at Deutsch NY, Zimmerman Advertising, and TBWA\Chiat\Day.

In addition to her role at Havas New York, Goldberg is a huge mental health de-stigmatization “warrior” as she defines herself. She speaks openly about her own mental health and how others can do better.

Goldberg’s passion at the start of her career, in addition to her openness about mental health, show she is living beyond the brief.

What makes you excited about going to work every day?

Easy: seeing my role models do their thing. I love coming into the office, still sweaty from the subway, scoping out empty conference rooms for leftover bagels from a client breakfast, and seeing our influential leaders sit alongside entry levels. Between our relentless and empowering CEO Laura (who balances being a mom to an adorable toddler and running way too many business pitches), our hippie-guru CCO Harry B (who turned conference rooms into meditation rooms within his first 72 hours of arriving), and our amazing directors and leaders...I am consistently in awe and proud of the brilliant brain power here in Tribeca. Knowing that our top tier leaders stay the latest and work the longest make this all feel all the more collaborative, which was especially evident in my first pitch project. A blast.

What’s the biggest issue the industry faces? How would you solve it?

I fear that the industry as a whole, although predominantly on the east coast, struggles with an ego complex. Optimism and excitement is far too frequently replaced with cynicism and jaded bitterness; for every "anti-risk, old fashioned" client, there is an overly indulgent and frustrated creative director, neither of whom understand each other at all. I actually think the incestuous client/agency relationship---the often short lived, constantly 'up for review' relationship---is hilariously fitting. If we want to make meaningful work, we have to make meaningful relationships, which must begin with mutual empathy on both parts. We have to put our pride aside and remember that our clients live, breathe and dedicate years to their businesses, and we are humbled to be a small part of the progress. Enough shaming them over cold-brew. Similarly, clients--trust our innate belief in your potential, and try risking comfort for a potentially life-altering brand renewal.

Who or what influenced you to get into advertising?

My parents are both in the Communications tribe — mom in PR and dad in the agency world — so if anything, my passion is genetic. I think so much of my assertiveness and drive sprouts from my mom's entrepreneurial spirit, as she legitimately started her own company at 28 years old. Barbara embodies all that is badass. My dad cultivated the inner strategist in me from a young age ... I'm pretty sure he turned my Bat Mitzvah speech into an entire Consumer Journey, with a strong RTB and POV, complete with proof points and edits in sharpie-stained deck paper. By age 15, I knew exactly where and what I wanted to do. Can't believe I'm finally living it.

How do you practice self-care?

Self-care is absolutely essential to my hustle: we must de-stigmatize mental health and illness in the industry. Taking a 'sick day' for your mind is important and valid and responsible.

Here are my 3 methods:

1. Therapy! I believe anyone and everyone can and will benefit from dedicating an hour per week on talking entirely about themselves to a nonjudgmental or biased third party. Counseling is seen as an unnecessary luxury (unfortunately so, especially with the price), and insurance should really be more lenient with this. Whole different rant, though.

2. Listen. To. Dear Evan Hansen the musical soundtrack. Cry openly over Ben Platt singing to your soul. Color in adult coloring books and doodle lyrics.

3. Exercise. Sweat, sweat, sweat, then eat something deeply satisfying (I typically choose a pasta or noodle dish). Observe English bulldogs rolling around on Instagram and then watch something absurd like The Bachelor.

What’s something you’ve learned, either personally or professionally, that has surprised you lately?

I've learned that there are actually so many Australians living/doing awesome work in the US. I want to be an Australian I think.

I've learned that copywriters are just, like, inherently cool, and that art directors are just naturally trendy. No use in trying. It's not a learned behavior. Totally innate.

I've learned that people either love or loathe astrology and sign compatibility...seldom is there an ambivalent in-between.

What non-advertising things do you draw inspiration from?

Cheesy, but I definitely suck out a lot of inspiration from my twin sister Emily. She studied religion and is off to pursue a Rabbinical Degree (we may be identical but not THAT similar, let's be real). But everything about the way she engages with others---the way she listens patiently, speaks deliberately, critiques others modestly, asks questions boldly, the list is endless---makes me want to be a better Goldberg in return. Sometimes I wonder whether she is 13 minutes older or 13 years, because even her sense of humor is rooted in wisdom. Proud to be a part of that genetic mutation for sure.

To pitch someone from a 4A's member agency for Beyond the Brief, please complete this linked form.

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Haley Velasco

Haley Velasco is a writer based in Chicago, IL, who has a background in PR for a sports media company and has reported on a variety of topics, including sports, opinion, politics and celebrity news. Based in the Windy City, she covers industry happenings in the Midwest and throughout North America. She has been reporting for The Drum since May 2016.

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