{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’m a JR. Is unethical to try to get a piece of the pie? I’m at a small agency, there’s a project going on that seems awesome, and I would love to be able to work on it so I can put it in my book.", "post_id": "6093ffa5f1e7d6001c0ef6f9", "reply_count": 48, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5565cfca8b2b9a03009acf57", "bowl_name": "Advertising" }

I’m a JR. Is unethical to try to get a piece of the pie? I’m at a small agency, there’s a project going on that seems awesome, and I would love to be able to work on it so I can put it in my book.

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everyone has different morals in this game and ultimately it doesn't matter what anyone tells you because you're the one who has to sleep at night. my personal take on this situation is very straight forward: you're allowed to take credit for the work that you do. ask to help and if they let you, help in any way you can. when you show your portfolio, explain what you did and don't lie or omit. people get it. you can't always be the one with the idea. every team needs team players. for me this has helped me push my writing further than i ever would have - if i know the idea isn't mine then the writing i do for the idea better be as good as the idea itself. the same goes for art directors. just bring something you're proud to show in an interview, then you'll never feel like you're stealing someone's thunder.

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OP: This attitude and your motivation for helping is wrong IMO. It’s nice to be helpful but not simply because you have the intention of taking credit. It’s like offering to help an old lady with her groceries just because you want to get in her Will. You’ll be a better creative if you spend your time and energy trying to think of your own, original ideas. Because you weren’t hired to piggyback other people’s thoughts. I feel like you’ve asked the question because you already know the answer. Whether you admit that to yourself is entirely up to you.

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If you ask, and they say yes, and you actually contribute, it's fine. If you just start working on it without permission, not good. If you claim credit if none of your work adds to the final product, not good. It's okay to be ambitious and try to help out on a great project. It's not okay to try to get credit for something you didn't do.

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It works like this. People see your book and think “oh those are projects that he or she did! They can do stuff like that again!” And the first couple months of getting hired are basically people weighing you against your book and making sure you can say what you said you can. There are a lot of juniors out there with inflated books. And there are a lot of CDs out there who call/text friends and check. And if I were you, I wouldn’t want to be caught misrepresenting work because that will take you right out of the running for a job.

The worst that can happen is you ask to help out and they say no. There is nothing wrong with offering a helping hand and it definitely earns you brownie points!

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I don't understand this question. Are you asking if it's unethical to request working on a project you didn't pitch...? No, of course not, that's 90% of the work you'll do in your time as a junior. If you're secretly trying to get people fired so you can take their job, then yeah you're a sociopath. But if you're just asking to get involved, that's completely normal. That's just showing enthusiasm. If that sort of thing is looked down on where you work, then get out of there before you pick up bad habits that will set back your whole career.

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It finally clicked for me after reading a bunch of other replies that you may be asking if it's ethical to do work on a project without being assigned to it. Definitely don't do that. This is an hours-based business. If you're burning hours on non-billable passion projects instead of your job, you will get fired. Ask to get involved. There's nothing wrong with that, it's encouraged. Enthusiasm is great in practitioners both junior and senior. If they say yes, complete the tasks they assign you. If they say no, accept that and complete the tasks you had previously been assigned, then ask for new tasks to complete. When you transition from junior to mid/senior, you'll also transition from completing tasks to solving problems. When you transition from senior to director, you'll also transition from solving problems to identifying opportunities. That's the archetypal career arc.

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Kinda surprised at the responses here. As juniors, did you all have the luxury of waiting for concepts to be sold through, then jumping on the best ones so you could put them in your book? Would you want to hire someone who built their book that way? Honest questions.

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if the people doing the work are threatened by a junior coming in and beating out their executions, then there’s a different problem.

Yes, speak up, ask in. You should be doing that.

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Tell them you love the concept and you’d love to help bring it to life any way that you can. Maybe it needs some comps or social post support or some extra headlines, whatever. If they need the help theyll say great, and if they don’t need the help on this one they’ll be grateful and maybe they ask you to participate on the next one.

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I know a guy who’s entire career is based on “helping” - a little logo for some case study, a little banner for some campaign. His book is full of great campaigns. His role is not specified. He’s very successful in our industry.

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I know a guy like this too. Looking cool and being tall helps with the con for a bit but usually in a year people are on to him

Not sure where you got the idea our industry involves ethics...

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Back in the day, creatives used to steal briefs from the printer. Omg you guys, remember printers?

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OMG you guys, remember going to the office?

OP, always just be clear about your role when you put work in your book. Most hiring managers know most creatives below director level work on a lot of production and other people’s concepts.

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Sure, raise your hand! If you do get something for your book, just be honest about your participation. If people think the original idea was yours, that would be unethical. But yeah, see if you can help!

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Only way to get ahead in this industry is to raise your hand and make yourself visible. In an industry where we get paid to be marketers, we should always look for ways to market ourselves. Play the game and good luck.

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Is this team always part of good projects? Maybe you ask to help out on this project with the goal of having them seek you out next time they have a good brief, which you would be able to put in your book. Or maybe you email them, tell them you love their project and ask if they have time to do coffee and mentorship with you where you can learn how they concept.

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Do whatever it takes to get on a brief and get something in your book. I got my first big :60 tv spot by volunteering social posts on a great brief, then slipped in a few scripts and was on a shoot a few weeks later. It wasn’t my platform. But it was my spot.

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I was not a part of the originally concepting of this project, so is this kind of thinking underhanded?

I’m worried about seeming like I’m trying to steal the original teams thunder

Tell the original team “this idea is awesome and I’d love to help you out and be part of it” - they might say yes. I’d say yes, if anything.

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I’m confused - is there a cool brief you want to concept on? Or an idea a client already bought that you wish you were part of. Two very different things.

Others have said it but I’ll say it too… you can ask to work on it, you can help out, but at the end of the day, it’s not your idea and probably shouldn’t be going anywhere near your book unless you are responsible for a fundamental change it.

No one has asked yet as far as I can tell: what level is the team who "owns" the original idea? If they're ACD/CD/ECD level, raise your hand and say you want to help however you can, social posts, radio, OOH or IG stories, whatever. But if they're junior or even mid/senior, I'd consider the optics: they're still trying to make their way in this business, just like you, and could see you as a "weasel in the henhouse" threat or competition. And whichever the case, don't you dare put even a syllllable of the original concept/executions in your book unless, as someone else said, you built upon the original idea and advanced it in a meaningful way (e.g. if you wrote a new round of TV or radio scripts based on the orig. idea; you concepted/executed a whole ton of social extensions; etc.)....i.e. don't think you can just lumber in & write one static banner and then put the Cannes-winning TV, stunt, One Show activation and Effie case study video in your book. It might feel good for a second, and you may even fool a few imbeciles who don't know any better & land a new job & a raise on it....but such wormy behavior will eventually be found out and come back to haunt you.

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