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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  My partner and I aren’t working out… but I’m the one who recommended him. HELP!

My partner and I aren’t working out… but I’m the one who recommended him. HELP!


Hey Jancy,
First off, love the site! So here’s my dilemma. I work at this great mid sized shop. The atmosphere is great, the people are awesome to work with. I was there for about 10 months when my ECD asked that I recommend a copywriter intern. At the time, I only knew one copywriter from an adschool class before mine that was in need of a job, and we had a campaign in our book together so I threw his name out there.
Well, they brought him in and hired him, I think mainly because I recommended him. But here’s the thing, I’ve been partnered with him on practically EVERY project (we are both juniors) for the past seven months, and we haven’t gotten one idea approved (let alone seen by a client). This is really discouraging me considering before he arrived, I had gotten two fully produced campaigns put in my book.
The other issue I’ve now noticed, is that we are starting to get stuck with a bunch of crummy projects and the good stuff is being handed over to senior designers/writers. I really think this is due to us just not gelling well and coming up with good stuff. And I know it’s not me, because this guy can be very socially awkward, enough to where there are other people in the office who try and avoid him because he can just be “weird.” He’s a real nice guy, but I feel something isn’t working.
Like I said, it’s been 7 months we’ve been together (I’ve been at the agency for 17 months now). Is it too soon to talk with my CD? Since we are only mid sized, we really don’t have a bunch of CWs I could be paired with. And I’d hate to leave because I love this place a lot, and the people are amazing. Do you have any advice?

intro My partner and I arent working out... but Im the one who recommended him. HELP!It sounds like it is time to approach the CD with your concerns that the two of you are a poor fit. We’d stay well away from casting blame when you have that talk: don’t be so sure your CD assumes it’s all the partner’s fault. You don’t need to point fingers to register that you have a problem and are hoping for a solution. The CD doesn’t need to know more than that you feel you aren’t clicking. It’s true—coughing up a new partner may be hard. That may not be how this is solved. But your concern should prompt some kind of action that addresses the fact your output has taken a hit since the new partnership started.

Finding the right partner isn’t much different, or much easier, than the right romantic partner. All kinds of factors are at play. Working style, lifestyle, personality world view, creative perspective, work ethic, and yes, chemistry. When people don’t fit well and no amount of talking it through is going to change that, it’s important to find a new one, one way or another. It’s a big enough issue that, if your CD doesn’t find some way for you to work with others, you should start looking for another job.

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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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