Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Raise your hand.

Years ago having successfully made the transition from a huge corner office with built-ins to a beige cubicle in a hallway with irregular wireless, I made an agency creative manager cry.

I guess to be fair, I made her cry just before she hugged me.

I was freelancing and working hard, but I had sold something and was in production with it so my days involved a fair amount of waiting about, too much in fact for my liking.

Without over committing myself, I walked downstairs to Kelly, my creative manager, the woman who brought me in to freelance.

“Kelly,” I said, “I can do more. I don’t care what it is but if anyone needs any help, consider my hand raised,”

Kelly literally wept.

“George, I’ve been doing this a long time. And no one’s ever asked me for more work before.”

Then she hugged me.

Back when I was a kid in advertising, I worked at a place with a lot of heavily-awarded senior talent. While they were out shooting television, there was no one left back in the agency to do the print that needed to be done. They thought they had grown too important for mere print assignments.

I didn't get all indignant and breathe through my mouth about missing out on the television junket.

Instead, I raised my hand. And before long, I was literally writing about 75% of the print the agency was doing. In short order, I became the agency’s most-valuable creative. I was a senior vice president, creative group head at 33. Mostly because I said, “I’ll do it.”

There’s a lot of advice old people like myself seem to dispense on a regular basis. I guess doing so makes us feel like we add some value where we’re working. It also feeds our ancient egos.

But for me, raising your hand, is about the best advice you can heed. The extra work won’t kill you. And you will win friends and influence your career path.

At least it worked that way for me.


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