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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Should I stay or should I go?

Should I stay or should I go?


I’m finally in the industry as a copywriter and have the necessary background and experience to stay in. All good. I’ve been gradually moving forward from pure interactive over the last 3 years or so, getting some TV and print experience, and taking on a more senior role at a smaller agency. Big fish, small pond kind of thing.
Here’s the problem – I don’t mind the place I work at, but there isn’t anything very creative going on and I feel I’m stagnating. There’s no one for me to learn from and, to be frank, some of the people I work with are absolutely clueless and shouldn’t even be in the industry. Harsh, I know, but true. I could stun you with some stories of ineptitude.
There seems to be a lot of jobs around the city I work in and I’m wondering if its time to move on. My stay at my current agency is under a year, and I always thought I’d stick it out almost anywhere for at least one full year, but I’m wavering. It’s comfortable, it’s easy, but I’m not growing and my eye is on the future.
However, there have been some very recent changes that might result in some promising new work , new leadership, and new direction. I’d hate to leave just as things got great….I know you can’t see the future, but given how I’ve described the situation, should I stick it out and see, or take a chance at one of the other opportunities before they get snatched up and I’m stuck with no option at all?

intro Should I stay or should I go?We generally advise people to stay in any job for one year at least. In this case it sounds like you may see a payoff for taking that advice (beyond the benefit of not appearing flaky on the resume for leaving after only months). However it never hurts to get out there and meet people, showing your work and asking for feedback. You can position your request for an interview as hope for frank feedback on how you’re doing. If you have a terrific book that can lead to a terrific offer…at which point you’d have to weigh the benefits of leaving for a great new place vs hanging in to do the honorable thing…and perhaps finding conditions are improving. Meanwhile no matter what course of action you take, it will pay to keep building your portfolio. Being in a crap job is no true barrier to that. Pick briefs for existing clients and create some strong ideas, proactively. Your CD will be impressed by the effort at a minimum. And just because it may not get used doesn’t mean it can’t go into your book. Whether you stay or go this is always a good idea.

If you hit the one year mark and still feel like you’re not moving forward, time to get out there with a goal to leave. Don’t worry now about missing opportunities. A few more months won’t leave you stuck forever.

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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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