Need advice—I feel comfortable, but stagnant. I’ve been at my agency for three years and barely made any work for my portfolio, and haven’t been to a single production. However, I love my team, manager, and agency culture, and know that’s hard to come by… what would you do?

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Unpopular opinion - the team and manager are more important than the work. If you like going to work everyday, you're winning.

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Take those recruiter calls. Chase good work.

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I'm turning 45 this year 😬🤣 and a few years ago moved to client side thinking I could grow, work with a lot of different people and departments, move into new roles etc. But everything I planned for and dreamed of hasn't happened. Office politics, budgets etc.. Creative is next to nill because of the industry. But I have a fam to support and bills to pay so leaving isn't a good option for me. Listen, if you aren't financially strapped or supporting kids, chase your dreams. Now's the time, not in 15 years.

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I feel you! In 40s, child and bills to pay. I ha e what feels like stability at current agency after being there some years. Is it my "dream job?" No, to be honest. But making a shift now...may not be the right move. Trying to be "satisfied." Chase those dreams while you can!cam! Gets harder and scarier down the road.

Also, how does one go about getting pro bono work!? I'd love to do that...do you just reach out to them and offer?

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I had a mutual friend reach out to me and ask if I wanted to help, but I’m curious to hear from others if they reached out directly!

Unfortunately, I’ve found that comfort breeds stagnation. Chase discomfort. That’s where good ideas lie. Good luck!

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I feel like if they’re aren’t investing in young creatives you should move on. If everything “is great” but they aren’t sending you on shoots, even just for the experience and client face time, especially if your idea, that is pretty toxic. Talk to the recruiters, there are great other teams elsewhere with better opportunities to grow

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Additional context: I’ve voiced in reviews before how I’d like to work on more pitches, productions, and conceptual projects. My manager is very receptive, but there just aren’t a lot of opportunities. Our clients are risk-averse and frugal, and what few shoots we get are given to higher ranking creatives (ACD and above). On the other hand, I’m surrounded by hardworking, compassionate people and making good money. But I’m almost 30 and felt I’d have more to show for it at this point. I’ve also got recruiters hitting me up left and right. Help!

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I felt like you recently. But when the work/growth started drying up I started taking recruiter calls. At first I was like 'eh, I'll just brush up on my interviewing skills' but then a couple job opportunities came that I was seriously interested in, and now I'm getting close to hopefully signing onto a new position and a slight career pivot. Excited but nervous. If I end up staying any longer where I am now though - as much as I love my team -I may not be able to have the opportunity to get out.

Unless you are content being where you are for the extended future you should see what else is out there at least. Your future self may thank you.

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Good luck!

I was in the exact same position. Never getting good work but liked my team and my agency culture. I was very comfortable. Guess what? They called me on day 1 of quarantine and laid me off. I realized I had been a fool hanging on to a job because I thought the people valued me. Take the recruiter calls and explore your options.

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Wow! That’s eye-opening. I feel fairly stable in this role (and I hope that’s not just in my head…) but I am curious to see what else is out there!

Can you do pro Bono work?

I have been actually on the side! I’ve eased up a bit because I was getting burnt out on top of my normal work. But definitely felt rewarding

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