My book is my boss.
A couple of posts ago I asked "Who will you work for?" My answer (which most of you hit on in some form or another) is this:
I work for my book.
It sounds selfish. Ego-centric. A little self-absorbed. But it's the only answer I've found that really makes sense to me.
When I work for my book...
I win. Because I know I'm pushing myself creatively, and I'm more likely to end up with a breakthrough idea. If my end result doesn't garner any awards, I'll still know that I didn't phone it in, and I'm that much sharper for the next assignment.
The agency wins. For all the reasons listed above. The agency gets another number by its name in the index of the One Show and/or I've become that more valuable to the office as an employee.
My creative director wins. For all the reasons heretofore listed.
The client wins. I can't do great creative if the client's not benefiting from the effort. It's not creative if it doesn't sell. And it probably won't sell if it's not creative. Also, outside the industry, when a great ad appears, it's the client who becomes famous, not you. Happy to live with that.
Your alma matter wins. No matter what portfolio school you went to, they get to say that you went there as a recruiting device.
The industry wins. I think we'd all agree at least 90% of the advertising out there is garbage. Work for your book and you'll automatically be in the top 10%. Better yet, you can be part of the effort to push the percentage of bad advertising down to 89%.
My bank account wins. Keep your eye on the ball. But, yes, this too will be affected.
Work for your book. It's the only thing guaranteed to follow you to the next gig.