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What do I say to a junior that is complaining about working weekends? My agency actually rarely works weekends in comparison to others; and we all had to do it?

likefunny
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Just let them complain. It sucks. It means someone above them didn’t plan or manage timelines accordingly and doesn’t value the people below them enough to avoid wasting their PERSONAL time. It’s most likely not their fault and now they have to suffer for it. I would be upset too.

Then, help them through it. Advocate for your peers to get comp days for the weekend work. Work together and communicate so you can knockout the weekend work as quickly as possible. Realize that they may have plans or just errands that will now add to their anxiety by going unattended.

I’m noticing the next generation of juniors are setting very clear boundaries and values. They can work remote from their childhood bedroom and can quit without much consequences. When they see that they aren’t valued, they feel betrayed but now they don’t have to stick through it. There are plenty of other companies who are hiring.

Totally understand that this might be rare, but they are new and might not have the perspective you do. They might see this as a sign of worse things to come. Or maybe they need help managing up or managing their own time.

Hard to know exactly why the weekend work is happening for this person, but i have rarely had to do weekend work where it was nobody’s fault. Either I am not managing my time well enough or somebody isnt valuing my time enough to allow for things to be done during the week.

likeupliftingsmarthelpful

Agree fully to this response^

Ya even working 1 weekend should be unacceptable, but the industry has normalized this. We also shouldn’t have the mentality of “I had to do toxic things and so should new people because I had to do it”. We should always be trying to do better in every aspect over time.

I’d empathize with the jr. and explain the industry is behind in so many ways and work-life balance is one of its biggest problems. The jr has a right to complain. It shows a level of self respect. I’d encourage them to do what feels right for them: sticking to upholding boundaries, finding a new place to work, maybe switching industries?

But the jr is right. We really shouldn’t be doing weekends anymore. Doesn’t matter if that’s what’s been done or what’s expected. It’s antiquated and in my opinion, indicative of corporate failure. Mad men days are over. People are waking up. It’s just advertising, we are not doctors, nobody is saving lives here. No need for weekends.

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We shouldn’t normalize working the weekend though. I know it’s what we’ve done in the past, but we shouldn’t continue making allowances for it, even if they are junior level.

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This is the correct answer. I hate when people say “but it’s advertising!” Exactly. It’s not that important. Time to bring change to the industry.

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Imagine the horror of being served one less advertisement on Monday because some selfish plebs at an ad agency didn’t sacrifice their well-earned weekend to create it. I shudder at the thought…

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This 😂 like… advertising isn’t important. Work on the weekend to perform brain surgery? Sure. Make ads? Who cares

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Give them a lieu day if you can. If you can’t tell they you’re going to go to bat for them to get a lieu day for giving up their Saturday.

Also, work the weekend with them. I used to stay late quite a bit early in my career, and I never felt bad. I could see the senior people were there with me sticking around to review, often helping me to get out sooner. Offer to take a part of the work if you can to make their Saturday easier.

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“Am I so out of touch to think working any weekends is okay?”

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Oh dang looks like OP deleted their comment lol

Do you pay them enough to work the weekends? Is kind of sickening to see how people take advantage of the juniors. The higher ups are the ones getting paid the big bucks. So maybe they should be the ones working?

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juniors should get overtime imo

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Tell them that it’s really rare and that y’all do in fact honor and value work/life balance including days off as well as weekends and evenings. And then be sure everyone is shown appreciation for sacrificing a weekend.

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Nobody on salary is paid to work outside normal work hours or on the weekend. Period. Nobody working responsibly should ever be expected to work on their scheduled time off. Ever.

That said, maybe it’s a conversation about how things got so desperate (or they procrastinated) to the point that now they are working on the weekend. Maybe this is their “teaching moment,” or an opportunity for you to mentor them. 🙃

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“Good for you. Keep healthy boundaries” Verbatim.

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Instead of taking the old school approach and scaring them with the idea of YOU GOTTA GIVE UP YOUR WEEKENDS, try to inspire them to work more efficiently and make faster choices to avoid working extraneous hours. The reality is: there is a reason the office is mostly empty on weekends since most people don’t have to work on weekends. So don’t teach this as normal when it’s generally a failure of planning and leadership

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Commiserate with them? That's what I do. It's shitty we work weekends, don't shame them for wanting to enjoy time away from work

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“Sorry”. You say “sorry”. That’s it.

likesmart

Uh? Working weekends blows and nobody should have to. Let them have boundaries. Guaranteed they’re not getting paid enough to make their job their life. I hate advertising

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I don’t work weekends ever. Would quit if this was normal. That’s toxic culture.

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Set Boundaries. Always.

Toxic mfkers will always find a way out of your life when you do (one way or another)

Us older ones should still fight for the things we didn't have and back the younger ones to get the balance and support they need. Working unpaid and/or weekends should never have been normalised that this is even a discussion 🙄

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The comments here are so polarized! Wouldn’t it be great if there was a little more understanding on both sides? We shouldn’t be expected to ALWAYS be available. But if a group of people are trying to achieve something, shouldn’t we help each other out? Do we really all need to be completely selfish? I lost a filling recently, on a Friday night, and my dentist said, “Meet me at my office tomorrow.” He opened the office on a Saturday, just for me, and fixed my tooth. He didn’t complain that he shouldn’t have to work on a Saturday. Sometimes we do things for the benefit of others. And sometimes those things benefit us too. I’ll stay with my dentist until he retires.

likefunny

It’s not the same. Weekend work is a result poor planning and someone above your pay grade kissing client butt without boundaries. We should work hard but we’re not saving lives.

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Teach them how to set boundaries or communicate clearly about their availability, good PMs will reach out and flag this or map out a schedule that sort of “alludes” to weekend work (eg ECD review Friday, client preso on Mon).

this was a big problem for me starting out and I felt like I didn’t know it was okay to say “my mum will be in town this weekend, and I won’t be at my computer reliably for calls but can make sure XY is done by Sunday at 5pm” or even “my mum is in town and I can’t work this weekend”. make sure they know who the right people are to tell, how to get coverage, how to communicate with their partner and team, etc. they probably just feel a little overwhelmed and are trying to protect some semblance of agency in their own life.

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When I was an associate AD I never had this problem because I worked weekends at a bar to stay afloat. I’d work late at my agency during the week & occasionally on Fridays to “prove” myself, but honestly…they didn’t pay me enough to warrant that type of loyalty for 5 years. I wish I would’ve realized my value sooner so I could’ve had a lot more time back in my 20s. Anyone that works weekends should get comp/extra PTO days. Nothing is more valuable than our time.

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Offer them compensation days for working on the weekend

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In an industry where your direct reports can easily become your boss, I’d pay it forward.

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