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Top 5 Reasons a Creative Person is Let Go

Catherine Lang-Cline

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First it must be said: the shelf life for a creative person is not very long. Two to maybe eight years is a long run anywhere because creative people need change. That sometimes comes by their choice and sometimes it is someone else’s choice. But the reasons are typically the same. Here are the top five reasons why a creative person gets a pink slip:

1. The company has lost a client - This is typically the top reason creative people get let go. Whether in an agency or company environment, the bottom line numbers change and the budget no longer adds up. Creative talent is always the first to go which is why so many freelance.

2. The need for fresh talent - A company brings in fresh talent that is shiny and brilliant for as long as the executives are happy. As long as the creatives can keep them thrilled is about as long as their careers will last there. It sounds fickle, but if the ideas are not stellar, bosses start to look elsewhere.

3. They stop being quiet - Most creatives work very quietly because they love what they do. Years may pass. Then they dare to ask for a promotion or increase in pay, repeatedly. The salaries of those around them are typically higher. But rather then build a case, they just complain. People hate complainers.

4. The creative talent does not listen or know how to accept criticism - A lot of creative people believe their ideas are the best. They take their work very personally, as they should because they created it. In a lot of cases their work may be the best, but it is the client that gets final word. Sometimes you are just the hands of the client. If you do not listen closely to what they want and produce it, they find someone who will.

5. All of those quirky little behaviors have just become annoying- Sometimes creative people get hired because they roll in to work late, drink lots of coffee, and have 1,000 things flying around their desk and the people wearing polo shirts think it is so cool to have someone so creative. It lasts until they need something then they notice you are late, high-strung and a mess. If you like the job, you may need to conform a little. Just a little. Regardless of how brilliant you are.

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included. ©2011 Catherine Lang-Cline, Portfolio Creative, LLC.

Catherine Lang-Cline is co-founder and owner of Portfolio Creative, a workforce innovation firm that was named a fastest growing company in by Inc. magazine in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Portfolio Creative helps connect client with creative talent in all areas of design, marketing, communications and advertising.


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