When I landed my first copywriting job, I had the forced pleasure of meeting a remarkable young man. He was my junior, but due to talent and knowing what the hell he wanted to do from an early age, he was also more experienced.
One day, he got fired and he never saw it coming. Nobody did. The first we heard of it was when he marched down the hall yelling “Dead man walking!” For that, he gets my signature nod of approval.
A major factor in you being happy with your job in an agency, and this is universally true, is being confident in your job security. If you’re going into work every day thinking that you’re being judged by the job you do that particular day, then chances are you’re not a happy camper.
Maybe worse than the constant judgment is the crippling self-doubt it can trigger. Once you get that feeling that things aren’t all unicorns and rainbows in the nightmarish hellscape you work in, you’re pretty much doomed. But don’t worry, knowing you’re doomed is half the battle.
It’s worth pointing out that not everyone can sense their impending doom. Frankly, this could be another article entirely, but here are a few signs you might want to look for:
- Nobody invites you to lunch anymore.
- You notice a lot more closed-door meetings that don’t include you.
- People start touching your stuff.
If you think two of the three points above apply to you, you should pay particular attention to the rest of this article.
Possible Flags On the Play
It’s time to reflect on your last few months and ask yourself a few questions:
- Did I say something wrong?
- Is my job performance suffering?
- Are clients happy with my work?
- Has my attitude been bad?
- Am I carrying my weight in the office?
- Do I work enough hours?
- Did me breaking up with Melodie in Accounts have anything to do with this?
- Is Melodie really that shrewd and vindictive to turn everyone against me?
- Do I smell?
If you’ve gone through all of these questions and came out clean on the other side, then it can only be one small thing that you probably overlooked. But don’t feel bad. It’s overlooked by people in every office in every town.
Keep Your Head On a Swivel
Imagine you’re a running back and your career is the ’70s-era Pittsburgh Steelers defense. You’re just trying to matriculate the ball down the god-danged field and all of a sudden you’re dodging the athletic version of the Manson Family. They’re coming from the left, right, front, and behind all at the same time. For good measure, two are hitting high and two are hitting low.
This is why keeping a wary eye on your co-workers is a good idea. If they come at you, then by God you need to know it so you can quickly move out of the way just in time for all four to crack their heads like coconuts in an epic collision.
The Hail Mary Pass
Do your dishes, man. It’s that simple.
I’m talking to you, Steve. I’m talking directly to you now. I want you to clean up the mess you’ve made over the last eight months.
Steve, I not only speak for myself nor do I only speak for my office. Rather, I speak for all mankind (and womankind, too). Do your damned dishes or you’re fired. And don’t for a minute think that you can get away with saying, “I never saw your article.” I specifically targeted you, Steve. You, but not you alone. I know for a fact that you were served 10,000 impressions over six months and clicked the ad an inexplicable 142 times. You saw this post, Steve. You averaged 3-minutes-and-47 seconds on-page. And you not only saw the article, you read it 11 times over.
Look, I couldn’t actually target just Steve due to privacy laws and what-not, so I’m sorry you had to see this. However, that’s not going to stop me from doing what it takes to get to the top. So do me a solid?
Would you send an email to Steve and remind him, and not too politely, to do his damn dishes?