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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Rolling the dice on a European opportunity

Rolling the dice on a European opportunity


My partner and I have been a creative team for about 4 years. We work at a large NY agency and recently were approached by a large worldwide agency about working at one of their offices in Europe. The destination is amazing, and the agency is a very well-respected one, but the client we’d be working on about 60% (or more) of the time is not great. It’s a “beauty” client and the work isn’t very creative. The CD says that they’re “trying to make it better”. And that we’d have opportunities to work on other, more creative clients. But that’s no guarantee, I’m sure. We are at a loss as to what to do. The opportunity to live in a beautiful European city is very appealing, and I’m sure we’d make invaluable contacts that we’d never have if we stayed here. Plus, it would be a life changing experience. But we’re worried about going and not having any good work to show for it when we come back, which could hurt our careers. Thoughts?

intro Rolling the dice on a European opportunityThis is what we call a crap shoot. There’s no way for us to tell you with certainty how this will unfold of course. We suggest you look at worst case scenario—you don’t build your books for the time you’re there. What experience is worth more to you? The life experience of living in a place that has a strong draw for you, or using that time to go up the ladder? Assuming you really do want to go: To hedge your bets, cap your commitment to stay at one year with the option to extend. One year of a creative dry spell isn’t so likely to hurt your book. Also, make it clear to the CD going in that the 40% of the time on “other” is a condition of acceptance. You can later leverage that promise if need be. Meanwhile—pour your energies into helping to make a real impact on the beauty brand. When we first worked on Dove in the early 90′s it was a total dog. Within a couple of months we had an idea that transformed the brand globally, eventually. It really can happen—one big idea can change everything. Be the ones.

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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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