With some dramatic accompaniment courtesy of Mother Nature, the thunder claps and lightning flashes outside my window this morning are providing the perfect atmosphere for writing about the WORK HELL some of us experience, or have experienced during our careers.
I have read this infographic from AtTask a few times and I am a bit concerned that most of the below I consider a normal day in the marketing world. Changing priorities, too many meetings and phone calls that suck time, five people doing the work of ten, working harder and longer to keep up, and rarely receiving any acknowledgement for doing whatever it takes to get the job done – sounds like a realistic job description for what most of us do! But does it HAVE to be that way?
Some of the pains below can be addressed by better teamwork, adjusting schedules based on reality with wiggle room for the unexpected, adjusting internal processes to streamline communication, and of course having tools in place to help you manage all of that. However, even the best project management platform in the world isn’t going to address office MORALE.
Whenever I would interview candidates for a job in Ad Agency Traffic or Production I would let them know up front the job is “all guts, and no glory”… and if they were looking for praise or reward from the floors above for doing all that was humanly possible to get the materials where they needed to be, how they needed to be, at the price approved to pay, this wasn’t the job (or career) for them. To balance that however, I did my best to reward my team for their daily over and above performance in big and small ways whenever I could. It matters.
It also matters to acknowledge the over and above performance your vendors provide for you. They are people too – well at least some of them! A thank you goes a long way after a long day of feeling beaten down by all or most of the below plus whatever customers throw at them! As an extra added bonus send an unsolicited testimonial that includes information you think their bosses should be aware of – things like you are a loyal customer of Company X because of Employee Y usually get noticed.
Now as the storm moves away and the clouds break apart allowing a glimmer of sunlight to peek through, why not take a moment to turn someone’s HELL DAY into a HELL YEAH DAY and hurl some kinds words in their direction!