Iâ€™ve always thought it really interesting that the same job or role can either be really fun, or painfully lame, according to the people you work with. Iâ€™ve done projects that were underpaid or tedious â€“ but for really cool teams or brandsâ€“ and almost forgot how much fun I wasnâ€™t having on the work itself. You can probably recall a gig you might otherwise have bailed on â€“ were it not for some worthy person (or group) who kept you tethered â€˜till the end. Itâ€™s even true of where you live â€“ the people (almost always) make the place.
At the heart of why we love – and stay somewhere – is belonging. For those of us who work from home or who are hired guns or talents who drop in, and then drop out, of a companyâ€™s ecosystem, it can be a little bit lonely. We donâ€™t get that morning banter or smack talk like you get in an office experience. Our dispersed workforce has made being â€˜partâ€™ of something even more precious â€“ as itâ€™s easier than ever to feel siloâ€™d and disconnected (and ironic in this age of hyper-connectivity.) I see people craving togetherness, but who also want autonomy.
As someone who works on-site with clients and/or agencies, as well as from my home office, with teams as new as 8 months and others as long as 15 years, Iâ€™ve realized that â€œbelongingâ€ isnâ€™t created by one single thing, or even a constant physical presence.
Itâ€™s chemistry. Itâ€™s history. Itâ€™s having fun. Itâ€™s being good at what you (all) do, over and over, month after month, year after year â€“ none of which is always easy. But being a reliable player is worth a lot. We all want those in our midst.
One-night stands are fun sometimes, and I still have them (professionally), but my favorite projects are with people I work with all the time, where thereâ€™s rhythm and respect – where we get to do what we do, but with new brands, new problems and different industries. We get to solve stuffâ€¦ together.
Hereâ€™s to LTRâ€™s. And may we do the work it takes to stay in them.