March 21, 2013

My review

Good news: Brex is in daycare today. He woke up 'in his right mind' vs the screaming banshee with flailing arms that we've dealt with since Sunday. The reason that's perfect is that I had my review call with my General Manag3r (GM) and our VP of Creat1ve (VP).

I'd told GM that I wanted to find out what I had to do to become an Associate Creat1ve Director. I've been nervous since then because the VP posted some things on our company Chatt3r group about why it's impossible to have remote creat1ve teams. The irony is that before I moved here, I completely agreed with him! Every time my company tried to force me to work with rem0te creatives, I kicked, screamed and whined.

I didn't get the promotion. was the feedback (and yes, I took notes. Don't judge)

  • You have a wonderful, 'can-do' attitude that's refreshing
  • You have the poise I look for in a leader
  • You're a strong communicator. In fact, there are many times when yours is the main voice in the brainstorm, why is that? (I gave a few answers: I'm an extrovert, faster at thinking on my feet, depends who feels ownership, personality of the other guys. The irony is that I've been impressed with myself lately because I've managed to draw out tangible answers from my guys!)
  • You need to raise the level of the Big Ideas that you bring to the table. Throw some pasta on the wall.
  • We have a new Creative D1rector coming in. Right now you have amazing rapport with your current team, how do we build that with the new leader?
  • We need a plan to keep you in the heartbeat of the studio, especially if we start adding new people to the team.
  • You are incredibly special and we want to keep you involved, this isn't a way of trying to manage you out. You bring a value that's intense and we want to keep you.
In terms of wanting the promotion:
  • Being remote is the biggest hindrance.
  • We look for three elements in a creative leader: Outward (being the lead in the eyes of the client), Being a partner to client services; Being a creative leader to the staff.
  • If you were still in the area, you'd be in the position. You have it all. 

So I responded, "I have a proposal then."

"Great, we love proposals."

"Let's give it six-months with the new leader. See how it goes. I know it will mean I need to travel there frequently. I'm willing to do that. Then after six-months, let's evaluate with him if he thinks this might work."

They agreed. In fact, the VP added, "I have to say, before meeting you, I've been completely opposed to any creative working remotely. You are challenging and breaking the mold."

I laughed, "The problem will be that if I do it others will want to as well!"

He chuckled, "I'll just write up the OTRgirl model for rem0te creat1ves and no one else will ever measure up."

In other good news, after giving me a speech about how our company didn't meet its objectives and how they took a cautious and aggressive approach to any pay increases, they gave me a cost of living adjustment as well as a bonus. Sounds like most people aren't getting either.

I'm feeling good! Well, despite having caught the cold Brex dished out, and despite having a TON of work to finish in the next two days.

So now, back to the drawing board (literally).


sam said...

I didn't really understand everything, but I get you got a raise and bonus and that's freaking awesome so CONGRATS!

Jack Towe said...

Thanks for sharing this in depth. You handled the review magnificently -- particularly your counter-proposal after you didn't get the promotion.

Congratulations on the bonus and cost-of-living increase. It's clear they want to keep you. That too is unusual in this economy, where firms are using graphic artists like Kleenex.