I remember my mom told me way back in the day that business is business. Whether you are selling cool Nike shoes or laundry detergent or computers.....the challenges are similar. I was so enthralled with needing to work at the coolest company possible and everything else was boring and lame. I held the belief that I needed to work at the cool place through when I went to business school. I am now realizing that is incredibly limiting.
What I have seen is that winners win. They actually don't care what the product is.....they just want to win. Period. They love the challenge. They love the battle. They love the strategic thinking needed. They love executing on the vision to win. I came to P&G to learn the skills needed to win in battle. I planned to take those skills to an industry that was perceived to be cooler. What I have found is that I love to win no matter the product.
I think when you are flexible enough to drop into any challenge and figure it out you have found the sweet spot. Options totally open up for you. You can be happy in WAY more places. You don't HAVE to work at Nike to be happy. You don't HAVE to work at a hot startup. You love the game.
I talk with a lot of younger people that feel like they need to work at X company to achieve their long term goal. That's just not true. You need to work where you will get the skill you need to achieve your long term goal. For example, where could you work that would broaden your creativity? You could work at a huge agency in New York. You could also work at a local agency. Both are solving creative challenges.....just at different scales. I argue that you will probably learn more at the small agency where you have more flexibility and will likely be exposed to more clients.
If you are a true winner you will go into situations and win. Any situation. Don't limit yourself to where you need to go. That mindset is likely driven by external factors like your parents, classmates, peers. Where do THEY think is the RIGHT place to work? Nonsense. Go to where you will get the skill. Win there. You will continue to grow until you are a beast that can take on any challenge in any arena.