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Creative Coworkers: Your Other Family
By: Tom Roarty
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If you are a professional creative, you know that there are many factors that can contribute to your success. Like everything in life, it is through a strong support group that helps determine our success. But unlike other fields, the creative industry is all too often a dysfunctional world that leads us to rely on our extended family members a little more than most career paths.
It is not that we creatives cannot be independent individuals in our craft, but to be truly successful in the creative world, especially in advertising, the best executions are team-built. In the midst of a campaign pitch through launch, chances are you will be spending more time with copywriters, art directors, creative directors, designers, programmers, freelancers, and account reps than you will your own family. This can take a toll on your psyche after a while as hours turn into days and days turn into weeks, but as patience starts to dwindle the thing to remember is that each of these people you are around is a cog in the process; without them, the execution will falter.
That is not to say that, like in any family, there isn't a crazy uncle who shows up at an important event and tends to throw a wrench into the mix. His flailing around and knocking a dais table over is comparable to a mistake in the scheduling process, which could cause a creative team’s blood pressure to spike. The difference is that with family, we have the luxury of not inviting that uncle to the next party in hopes that he will get upset and disappear until the next time he shows up to make a spectacle out of himself, whereas coworkers are not so easily removed from our lives.
The fact of the matter is we have to work to live, and so do the people we are working with. Unfortunately, we cannot choose our families, and unless you are running your own business, you usually cannot choose your coworkers either. This is not to say that you cannot find another position if you are not truly happy, but the same players usually exist in every environment. Different people with the same traits exist in every aspect of our lives.
There is, however, a unicorn scenario: A perfect team is assembled comprised of a group who have all been through the same tribulations as you. In this rare instance, things tend to flow so easily until one of the team members leave, which opens a space for a contaminating factor to join the mix, such as the return of a creepy cousin you may not have heard from in years.
If you are lucky enough to marry into a perfect creative situation, respect your new family, and remember that when things are not going the way you want them to, things could be a lot worse. There are always those companies that have no problems locking their employees under the stairs as a completely acceptable creative environment.

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