Ask Esther // 18

Just wondering,

Why are Awards such a necessity in our industry? Is that the only piece of validation we as professional can ever expect? Is there no merit in working for a reputable company for a number of years and having a portfolio filled with real life, big client yet un-awarded work. I mean, my dad was a vet and arguably one of the most intelligent and accomplished men you’ll ever come across and i never saw him stressed out over missing out on the “Best Dog Neutering Awards”. Is this a trend – is it ever gonna go away? or Are our whole career really worthless until we win an AWARD?

Yours Truly
The Hard-working – Awardless Junior Nation

Awards are part of the industry, and I’m confident that they will continue to be important. I certainly don’t think that they are the only measure of someone’s worth, nor will winning an award guarantee a promotion, a pay rise or even keeping the client’s business.

But it might help.

Agencies will tell you that by winning awards, they are able to attract the best talent. And the best talent should help attract new business (and more awards).

Creatives will try to leverage their metal for a payrise, or perhaps to seek out a “hotter” agency. They all want the opportunity to do great work, but what satisfies one person, may frustrate the next. Successful campaigns aren’t always award-winning, and award-winning campaigns aren’t always successful.

In other words, all that glitters is not gold.

Culture, fit, financial security and work/life balance all come into the equation too.

Creatives who remain stubbornly driven to get reluctant clients to fund their “award-winning” ideas might eventually find themselves unemployed for blatantly putting their lust for peer approval ahead of their clients’ needs.

So yes, you can have a long career without winning any, and a short career chock-full of them.

Find a balance. Enter Effies if you prefer to be judged on the sales success of a campaign. Awards are fun to win but they should not be the main focus.

Good luck

You can ask Esther Clerehan anything about putting your book together, getting a job, what salary to ask for or what to do when someone steals your ideas. Go on, Ask Esther. There is no other creative recruiter with more experience to educate us on the art of the job hunt. You can email her here at junior at wtf@lifeatthebottom.com (wtf null@null lifeatthebottom NULL.com).

Written by Junior
Originally posted on: 16/08/2012
Category: Ask Esther
Tagged: .