Oct 19, 2010

Don't take it personal and thank you for coming.

Last sunday I sat down to talk with a dear friend of mine who has been working on a certain ad agency for more than a decade now. Seems that my friend is on a current path to status quo and I wanted to know if a detour was coming in the future or not. You see, if you stop growing where you work, at least it's in my book that you should move on. Life is too short to find yourself doing the exact same thing forever and ever, right?

More so when you have a person who is very talented, who has the capacity to do great things. You just cannot see that talent go to, well, basically career purgatory. Bring out the coffee my man and let's sit down to see where you're at...

Fast forward, he's telling me about how important the fact is that he has been working at the same place for years and years now, and that he has "given" all those years to the agency... and that he wants some kind of acknowledgment. He doesn't want to quit, he wants just for the CEO to realize how much he has worked for him. He proceeded to tell me that the agency has grown because of people like him and many others who have worked with him there.

Don't take it personal, but giving your all at your place of work isn't something award worthy. You are supposed to work your ass off. You are supposed to be dedicated and try your best to make your work shine. Oh, you gave 9 years? Fabulous. You are still working and you have been there for 15 years? Insanely amazing. Now get back to work.

Staying at a certain place of work for a lot of years doesn't make you special for any CEO! Trust me, been there got a tshirt, you are just another person like anyone else. Yes, granted, there are many corporations out there who value loyalty, but advertising is another cup of tea. You cannot think that if years pass by and you don't move up on your corporate ladder, they are suddenly say that you are so valuable by growing old with them!

I believe that staying too long in any job is a bit dangerous if you see yourself exactly the same this year as a couple back. If you don't have more responsibilities, if you are not supervising anything after all your experience, if you are doing the exact same thing... then you need to think very hard on what you want out of your career. Do you want to run in circles all your life or do you want to break out? Hey, don't get me wrong. There are many people that I know who are the best circle runners and they enjoy their life just as it is. And then there are the ones that would give their arm for more challenges so they can feel they are moving in some way to another step in their careers. Whatever makes them happy, you know?

But sitting there waiting for the "You are so amazing and loyal" medal is just a mistake. It is never going to come. And thinking that this is the only thing that matters when deciding to stay or leave a corporation is sort of a wrong move. Ok let me put this a bit more clear...

Your ad agency doesn't owe you anything.

Jesus, ok you need to sit down, breathe. BREATHE! Yeah! I know! That was tough to read. I know! Ok so relax and take it easy. Hard news are just that, just a moment of stress and then... chill. Yeah, it's sad. Corporations, in a very happy go lucky world, are supposed to move you up in positions, encourage loyalty, award excellence. That time has passed. In this new world, where people are doing our jobs for a quarter and a sandwich, you are just another worker bee. So what that you've been there for a decade or more? Yeah, maybe one day you'll get a gold watch.

So whatever you are, the comfortably numb person who doesn't mind having the same business card and the same position for 20 years... or the hard core nut busting worker who wants the CEO's blood for dinner, enjoy your life just like it is. But remember, it is YOUR choice to stay there. Don't expect any applause.

This is one of those posts which prove the name of our blog, big time. Advertising - still - sucks.


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