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Episode 21 –
How to Follow Your Passion and Create Your Dream Job With Julian Zilberbrand of ViacomCBS

RESOURCE CENTER   ❯   Identity Revolution Podcast 11-16-21

Episode Summary

A prerequisite for a happy life is a clear line between personal and professional life. But what if you love your job so much and you can’t help but blur the line?

If that’s so, follow your passion. Be open to learning and listening. There might be some truth in the saying: “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

In this episode of Identity Revolution, Infutor host Cory Davis welcomes Julian Zilberbrand, EVP Advanced Media at ViacomCBS.

Julian shares inspirational stories from his career and talks about his love for media, especially television. Julian and Cory also discuss the EVP Advanced Media role, the importance of connections in today’s business world, and kindness as a timeless virtue.


Julian Zilberbrand
  • Name: Julian Zilberbrand
  • What he does: Julian is EVP Advanced Media at ViacomCBS.
  • Company: ViacomCBS
  • Noteworthy: Julian was always interested in media. Even as a child, he was fascinated with television. His love for the small screen and one interesting encounter led him to work at MTV early in his career. As a student, he even interned at CBS.
  • Where to find Julian: LinkedIn  |  Twitter

Key Insights

  • Use every opportunity to learn from successful people. Regardless of the advances in marketing and technology, word-of-mouth and recommendations are still the most powerful marketing tools and act as a guarantee of someone’s qualities. So making connections and expanding your acquaintance base is of the utmost importance in today’s business world. In addition, meeting with influential people and experts in a given field is a remarkable learning opportunity. “I’ve had a beautiful opportunity to learn from some incredibly talented executives. […] Every experience I’ve had and every person that I’ve come across has been somebody I’ve tried taking the time to get to know and learn from,” says Julian.
  • Work-life balance is important, but sometimes it’s hard to draw a line. We live in a world where being busy has become a trend, and “hustle” is the new buzzword. However, people are not machines; we need to rest to be focused and productive. Still, some people love their work so much that they can’t stop talking and thinking about it even in their free time. “I don’t really fully shut off work. I should, and I try. But then, it’s something that I really love. I have a passion for it. I like talking about it. So I ended up hanging out with people working in the industry so we could talk about work.”
  • The universal formula for success doesn’t exist. We all perceive success differently. However, as our guest explains, success will come if you are passionate about your job and are open to listening and learning. “Degrees of success are subjective to some extent, but it’s not hard to find success. Frankly, for me, success is not monetary. For me, success is, ‘Are you happy? Do you live a happy life? Are you happy day-to-day?’ And if you are, then everything else falls into place,” concludes Julian.

Episode Highlights

Working at an agency is a great starting point for anyone eager to build their career in marketing and media

“I would advise anybody who is starting in this business to work at an agency. You may not necessarily get a high salary per se, but there’s no better education in this market than working at an agency.

You see everything; you’re exposed to everything. You have to understand ad ops.

What I used to tell my team is that your job is to know their job — the people next to you, the people behind you, and everybody else — and your job. You have to know everybody’s job as well as yours to do your job well.”

If we could use one word to describe ViacomCBS, it would be diversity

“We pride ourselves on having a big portfolio, really iconic brands. So, MTV is an iconic brand. Regardless of where it might have traditionally sat years ago, it’s still iconic. And Nickelodeon, I don’t know any kid that hasn’t watched Nickelodeon in their youth.

And then there is the iconic CBS — like “60 minutes” — but there is some amazing programming that comes from the broadcast side, whether that’s programs like CSI or The Big Bang Theory, and Young Sheldon, et cetera.

And I think that makes not only what we do compelling, but it makes us able to deliver for an advertiser. And that’s what we’ve done. We’ve changed and adjusted our sales packaging to accommodate that.”

The 2 L’s of Success — Listening and Learning

“I like to engage with others in this industry as much as I can and learn. I like to listen. The luxury that I’ve had — the blessing that I’ve had — is the volume of people that I’ve engaged with in this industry. People that I can call friends or acquaintances or whatever.

Being able to engage with a huge amount of people — in hundreds and thousands if you will — keeps you occupied, engaged, and up to speed on everything.”

Top quotes:

[03:27] “Anybody who’s met me knows I’m not really shy. I’m not necessarily extroverted per se, and I can be if I want to, but I don’t have a problem with confidence.”

[08:14] “The more understanding you had, the better you were able to execute your job.”

[25:03] “I was, as a child, passionate about media. I watched a lot of television, so I was passionate about television. Now, 30 years later or whatever, working at a TV company is like a dream.”

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