Why 9-5 kills the creative.

A full time job is a dream for most people. It means security, predictable income, mortgage and rent payments not feeling like pending doom every month and often it means other perks like health benefits and insurance.

A full time 9-5 job for a creative however, can feel like a noose dangling above an unsturdy stool. The average creative lives a riskier lifestyle, eating only what they hunt. Feeding the drive to hustle and work on their terms, even if it means not paying a few bills some months.

Structure

If creatives have too much structure, or feel too boxed in by routine, they tend to go crazy. Entrepreneurs and creatives crave abstract and free flowing things.  Rather than thinking of life as a puzzle that has to have all the pieces fall into place, they prefer to leave open spaces, and decide on their own how the other pieces will fit together.

Flexibility

Creatives need to decide how and when to work….and they need to be able to change that at any time. If a fleeting breeze of inspiration hits them, they may sit down at their desk quickly before bed to jot down or sketch out a few ideas, only to be eyeball deep in the full project still at 3am.

This isn’t to say that creatives cant work with budgets and deadlines, it usually means that they will even provide you with a bit more for less so they can free up the extra time it would’ve taken down the road. For example, a designer may provide you with 5 different options for a project upfront, rather than one, so instead of doing a multitude of revisions to that one item, you’re more likely to be closer to your vision with one of the 5 proofs.

Structure

If creatives have too much structure, or feel too boxed in by routine, they tend to go crazy. Entrepreneurs and creatives crave abstract and free flowing things.  Rather than thinking of life as a puzzle that has to have all the pieces fall into place, they prefer to leave open spaces, and decide on their own how the other pieces will fit together.

Pace

Creatives and deadlines don’t always go well together. While they are comfortable working within restraints, pressure from a timeline that is out of their control can create a volatile situation in their mind. Creatives don’t tend to work well with anxiety or stress, so timelines are usually dictated by themselves and no one else.

That being said, a creative will probably tell you upfront the timeline that they feel comfortable working within before even asking your timeline. They generally have no problem moving onto another project or client if they feel that they cant work within your timeframe and won’t be able to proved the best of themselves to the work.

Autonomy

Creatives need to have the responsibility for a job they do left up to them. They need to have all of the requirements for what needs to happen upfront given by you, but more importantly, they need complete freedom to do it, without anyone constantly looking over their shoulders or babysitting.

Trust me, if a creative wants help, they’ll either ask for it (or Google it.)

There’s no point in interrupting the focus of a creative. It will just take a longer time to complete and you may just get sub-par work if they feel their thoughts, ideas or processes are being stepped on. Then no one is happy. If your creative asks for input, please by all means give your honest thoughts. If you are expecting a creative to just produce what you have exactly in your mind though, understand that they aren’t monkeys that just operate tools. You wouldn’t tell a roofer how to lay shingles so trust in their ability to do the job that you hired them for.

Motivation

A creatives motivation cant be held to a certain time of the day. Expecting them to be motivated to work at all hours of the day is unrealistic. It is unrealistic to ask of anyone for that matter!

The difference between a regular worker and a creative is that a worker will push through their 8 hour day despite hating their job, just to cash in their paycheck at the end. Creatives, won’t pick up a task until they feel the drive to make greatness and have genuine interest in their project at hand. This interest is what pushes them to take the project head on.

Of course I know things need to get done, this isn’t lost on a creative, but trust that they know themselves well enough to pinpoint when and how they get motivated and even if their creativity hits at 10pm to 3am, they are happy to work those hours!

Routine

Routines make NO sense to creatives. Doing the same thing, or set of things, day in and day out drives creatives nuts. They prefer to look at their days in blocks of time where the schedule things like consultations, meetings and office work when it is convenient for them. This makes it sound like the creative is one that shirks responsibility, but in fact is is the exact opposite. Creatives have a high commitment drive and are excellent at seeing things through.

Non-Traditional industries

Clients like banks, corporations and institutions have a tough relationship with creatives. These environments don’t utilize the strengths of creatives enough, and so there is mutual frustration and creatives tend to look to leave and find ways out of that environment.

Creatives need environments that are comfortable for them, ones that harbour flexibility, autonomy and challenges that can keep them grounded and focussed. The 9-5 job is rarely this.

By | 2017-08-29T21:19:34+00:00 August 29th, 2017|Latest Articles|