Why do we do it?

I’ve been laid off from every advertising job I’ve ever had. I was one of the first people in my graduating class to get hired. I worked on TV before any of my peers...

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And was handpicked to work on stunt activations before they were even a thing. And then, I got a new boss who wanted to hire all new creatives. So, I was let go.

And I was let go.

And let go.

Despite doing stellar work, that was repeatedly commended by everyone on my teams.

I work hard and smart, not only thinking about a creative solution, but the budget, how to do something subversive and disruptive, tactical but yet with a larger meaning and on brand. I’m organized, hand in work ahead of time and always go beyond whats asked.

Yet- time and time again my work has been dumbed down & glossed over. I’ve worked with people who will lie, cheat and steal and say whatever they need to about me to make me look bad (often times women). I’ve been told that I should “be nicer” by my boss. But, I don’t think I’ve ever actually been mean. I’m conscious of other people and have only tried to do the best work possible, and if a team member holds me back from that I let my boss know.
This may have just been a headache to them, because in my 8+ years as an Art Director at ad agencies, I’ve never had a good “manager” to look up to, male or female.  

I’ve been taken off of accounts because a newer, younger male team was hired, only to have them be invited to present to clients immediately. When after a year, I never had.

I’ve dealt with lawyers and had to fight lies about my work ethic and “optics”.

I desperately want to succeed, and gain the title of Creative Director, ECD, VP, lead a team, mentor younger creatives, especially women.

I care about the work.
I care about the people.
I speak my mind.

And as a cultured, well traveled woman, of multicultural background have realized I’m fighting an impossible fight. I cannot play the toxic game of political bullshit. And I never will. I realize my values are so vastly different from those of a holding company, corporation or your everyday hamsters.

So, I’ll leave the good ole boys club of advertising for my own ventures.

I’ll deal with clients directly and pursue personal projects with companies and brands that support and advocate for women. Because I know my value and all of my bosses have failed to see it.

likeupliftingfunny

I have to say, you don’t sound like you do care about the people. You seem to think you’re more talented and more misunderstood than anyone in the history of advertising. You may be talented. But to get where you want to be, people have to want to work with you, and it doesn’t sound like they do. I see a lot of excuses and finger-pointing and blaming of others. Maybe you should also look inward and really think about how you are with other people. You may find that’s the real problem. (I’m a woman, and I know hard it is to get ahead. I also know you can’t be an asshole. I hope you’re not.But I see some signs.)

likehelpfulfunny

I started reading this not knowing which bowl it was posted in. I was thinking, “how could all this happen to one person? What’s wrong with them and why do they have to have lawyers fight about optics?”

And then I got to the kicker.

I’m the same. Female POC creative. Next year I’m leaving this trashfire of an industry behind and doing my own thing. It didn’t feel right to do it this year, but I’ve seen so many terrible things still happen in the past few months that I know there’s too many outdated douchebags holding all the power, and the current model can’t be saved.

Sometimes we need to step sideways to find a new way to move forward.

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CD 1&2: are y’all POCs?

Speaking from experience, you don’t get ahead by being nice, smile-y and humble as a non-white female creative, especially when your CDs are dudebro white guys who don’t quite know how to handle you and your perceived “foreigness,” which translates into mostly ignoring you.

There’s only so much playing nice and acting whitewashed a person can do on their end - maybe our white coworkers should get over their personal qualms and get more comfortable working with peeps from different cultural backgrounds.

likehelpfulfunny

Wait! Not yet!

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Ha. Same. Especially, the "replaced by male creatives" and "brought down by other women" bits. But I'm not leaving, no way. I'll just continue to show them all. 😄

likeuplifting

Show them what? That you’re ok with being mistreated?

smart

CD 1&2 are not female POCs for sure and what Sr AD has experienced is not limited to creatives. POCs, especially women, experience conscious and unconscious bias on a daily bases. I’ve been in meetings and have said something that was dismissed, only to have a non-POC female/male say the same thing later and everyone in the room thinks it’s brilliant. The best thing any company can do is educate their employees about bias and hold people accountable for being assholes. :)

But don’t dismiss what SR AD has experienced because you don’t recognize the (white) privilege you don’t even realize allows you to be 3 steps ahead of the game based on your looks alone

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I just got laid off and replaced by CEO’s son who doesn’t know anything about advertising. But I am not going to give up.

likeuplifting

Why is working for yourself considered giving up? Since when did aligning your values and talents throwing become in the towel? Continuing to work for people who don’t support your vision and companies that don’t share your values sounds like giving up to me.

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👆I think you should read a book titled Insight: the power of self reflection by Tasha Eurich. If you want to succeed no matter the industry or particular job you need to know how you are coming across. I think self awareness and being humble is crucial to success. The book is really interesting and suggests asking loving critics in your life (people you trust who will be honest with you) to tell you what you can improve upon. I’ve done it and it’s a great learning opportunity to see how the world sees you and how you can grow as a person and a professional.

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You are not alone. Don’t leave just yet.

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OP, you are the type of person I would love to work with. Sorry to hear about such a bumpy road. I definitely did not follow a linear path, but have met great mentors and still ambitious as ever. Are you in LA?

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I’m in LA and still ambitious as ever- to align my values and my talents. DM me to work together!

I think that from reading your original post you came across as very entitled, victimized, etc. An important part of growing is questioning how you are coming across to people. I know this industry is horrible but so are a lot of industries. And working freelance or starting your own ventures will come with all kinds of bullshit, so my point is learn to navigate the bullshit. That’s all. Getting defensive and blaming others won’t help you grow. Be humble and look within.

smart

I am a female and Hispanic so yeah, I get it. I’ve experienced all kinds of inappropriate and offensive comments/behavior, etc. It hadn’t been easy for me to become a CD, but I still think it’s important to understand that as toxic as this industry is, it’s still important to look within. You can’t blame the world, that’s not productive nor will it help you grow as a creative/person.

The thing is- I have looked inside, a lot. Self improvement on all levels is something that is important to me and something I will continue to do. So, it's kinda sad to see CD's 1,2&2 instead of looking at the issue, point the finger back at me and even begin to psychoanalyze my character. When has that ever been an effective way to deal with someone coming to you with a legitimate issue? This is why I believe that type of response and management to be part of the problem.

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