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How do you deal with office gossip?


How do you deal with office gossip? It seems like every creative department is rife with it. Who’s planning on leaving, who’s getting fired, who’s a hack, who has no talent, who deserves what award, who sucks up to the CD, throw in a few who’s sleeping with whos… I know they say you’re supposed to avoid it all costs, especially as a junior, but it seems to go hand in hand with the camaraderie of the whole team.

intro How do you deal with office gossip?The day you find a company in any business devoid of gossip it will probably be on another planet, not populated by humans. The day you find you have no interest whatsoever in hearing the latest, you’ll probably also have no pulse. We’re deeply flawed as a group. The healthiest and noblest way to deal with gossip, as it were, is to keep your head down and do the work. That should take all the time and energy you have, in a perfect world. (Ok, with lots of breaks completely gossip-free mixed in). It’s hard to argue against staying above the bad behavior around you. Try to speak well of others and avoid the temptation to slag your fellow ad guy and this will find its own reward: the really nice people do tend to stand out and enjoy better reputations. Juniors certainly do well to stay clear of snarky commentary, especially. You haven’t earned any kind of “right” to pass judgement on anyone else, and of course, it’s just bad form. You may be surprised to hear how often a CD includes “and he/she is such a great person—not a negative word” as they describe their favorite employees.

Our main complaint is that we’re always the last to hear it.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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