Let me tell you a story. It’s one I hear often.
A young creative begins their career, full of hope and ambition. They land a job with a company and begin to create some fantastic work. With each passing piece, they find themselves becoming more confident, being innovative, and outside that box.
Project upon project, campaign upon campaign, they continue to deliver outstanding work and as a reward, they continue to go up the hierarchy of the company.
Then one day, they find themselves supervising a whole team of creatives who are doing all of the creative work while they’re spending their time learning formulas in Excel and feeling increasingly detached from their creativity.
More often than not, this is when they end up calling someone like me.
“I’ve gone as far as I can.”
“I miss being creative.”
“I never thought this is where I would ‘end up’. Looking over spreadsheets and watching the people under me getting to do the design work.”
What’s the moral of this story?
We’re often promoted up the chain because we feel like it is ‘success’. How successful do you feel when you’re a creative wondering how to make a formula work in cell C25 on your spreadsheet?
When it comes to creativity, success is so much harder to measure. Likewise, in our life, success is going to be something that can be hard to define. Yet being able to define what it is that makes us feel successful is also going to be linked to what makes us feel like our life has meaning and purpose. Some times it might be a fancy job title, bucket loads of responsibility and a big salary.
For others, ‘success’ is going to be achieving a career full of creativity where you managed to avoid being bogged down in administrative responsibilities, where they were free to create and to have a life / work balance.
We don’t think often enough about what it is that we need from a job to actually make us ‘happy’. Nor why it is that we feel only a top studio, fancy job title or heaps of responsibility is going to provide that. It can often be an illusion and, for others, something of a trap yet one they have to go through in order to realise that what they wanted all along was simply a career where they can continue to be creative, innovative and inspired.
If you have any thoughts, questions or simply would like to get in touch with me and offer up a topic for the next Ask Lawrence, you can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or you can find me and connect with me on LinkedIn. You can check out more jobs by going to our website or you can search for them on Twitter via #CRJOBS.
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