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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  My partner is too “student-ish”

My partner is too “student-ish”

I’m in a big, sour, Kosher pickle. I’ve been working as a junior-ish writer at a super agency for the last 6 months. An agency where both my personality and work are embraced and where I’m challenged every day to push the limits. Nutshell? Total dream. Problem is, that je ne sais quoi that should exist between my AD and I..well…just doesn’t. I know what makes a good ad good and a poor one stinky. I get strategic thinking. Unfortunately, my partner hasn’t had the luxury of formal training or the experience of internships under his belt. And, as a result, he’s stuck in young-shock-value-without-any-meaning-land. I can’t help but feel I’m working with a student (on his very first day of school) EVERY single day. And trust me, it’s exhausting. Sometimes I get lucky and can think up that magic ad, TV spot or minisite on my own. But most days, like most creatives, I could really use an equal partner to help make good ideas great and turn off days into on days. I have spoken to my CD and she gets it. She sees it. She’s aware. But I don’t think the agency (for whatever reasons) has any intention of making a change. I’m not sure what to do.
Tossin’ and Turnin’

intro My partner is too student ishYou’ve done the right thing so far: you told your CD how you see it. Now the ball is in her court. If no change is forthcoming, know that you will have to look elsewhere for that right partnership. And it is so important. It can be years before you might find THE one, but your current partnership sounds unlikely to end well. This inexperienced person may have done better with a more senior person to learn from. You aren’t in a position to teach someone else. We still advise you put in a year before a move (our standard advice, unless extreme circumstances are at play). You have 6 more months to see if your CD may change the partnership or devote a lot more time to training this theoretically talented AD that needs a lot of attention. You can also start thinking about where next might be, and get your book in order. As time drags by without a change, if you get a terrific offer, we may bend our 1 year rule considering you’ve told your CD how unhappy you are. From the time you told her your feelings, she is at risk of losing you every day she doesn’t do something about 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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