Surviving Advertising

My last post was a bit depressing. About people yelling, and generally being jerks.

That’s no way to live. You probably spend a lot of time at work, so most of your waking hours are there with your colleagues. Work can be enjoyable – even fun. If you have a good group.

When you hear about friends or family who work in agencies or marketing departments, do they talk about all the cool stuff? Something they worked on that you’ve seen, heard or experienced? They’re proud – they worked their asses off. Long nights, then voilà it’s done. There’s the moment of accomplishment. .  . then on to the next project – and they’re ready!

Well, that’s the way it should be. It’s fun, exhilarating, and you love to go to work.

Dread doesn’t exist.

What I wrote about the other day was what happens when there are unresolved issues. A problem (or a problem person) that has been left unaddressed for some reason. And it grinds away at time, progress, productivity and morale.

A demanding personality is one thing – great work (albeit at times a grueling pace) gets rewarded. You receive the fuel you need, then rest-up and prepare for the next assignment.

But what is it when the demands are unrelenting; direction unclear, demands come over the transom – from every angle – NO ONE IS IN CHARGE.

You’re expected to execute on everything equally. Then the CEO or Partner put you on the line for a Big Project for his or her buddy, or the Last Minute Pitch (they didn’t know?) comes in. You get little input and impossible deliverables.

Priority? Everything is a high priority.

When you can’t deliver, there’s an error, it doesn’t make sense and you ask for clarity – you’re met with contempt.

Contempt is the absolute worst because it infers you are just plain stupid. Incapable of ever really being a part of their world.

I’ll let you in a something – their ‘world” consists of making the next sale, doing the next favor, pulling a rabbit out of their hat – because they want to look good.

They only look as good as the project they rammed through the agency or department.

It is never pretty. Successful outcomes often have dark stories behind them.

Just like in a cool agency, once the project is done, you prepare for the next. Except there is no fuel, rest, or preparation for the next assignment.

Can you change the agency? You can try. How amenable is management to improvement? If they actually see room for improvement, have ideas ready. Complaints don’t work. If they feel this is the way business should be done, the problems are their fault – they won’t change. Look for another job. It may take a while, you’ll find one.

You deserve to work in a cool place. Not all of them have free lunch, flexible schedules and Beer Fridays. But you’ll have an opportunity to work with a great group of people who own the philosophy that their job is to do great things for their clients.

Then you’ll wonder what took you so long to make the change.

I'm here for you.