Chumbawamba. They sang: "I get knocked down, but I get up again."


A Creative Director was asked to train some Account Handlers. He had them spend the morning making a model airplane. Then at lunchtime he reviewed their work. He took each plane in his hand and crushed it to pieces. "That," he said, "is what it feels like to be a Creative."

This story probably isn't true, but it does illustrate one of the harder aspects of our job - daily rejection of our work.

There is no way around this problem, only better ways of dealing with it.

Here are 10 tips you might try. If one of them works for you, great. None of them work for me. I still get pissed as hell.

1. Our work is often autobiographical, so we take rejection of our work as rejection of ourselves. But this is bullshit. The team/client have no clue of your autobiographical inspiration, they're purely rejecting the pieces of paper they see in front of them. You're a valid person! It's just the work they have a problem with.

2. After each negative meeting or review, ensure you have some time alone with your partner to curse the account team/ client/ creative director to high heaven. Don't feel bad about doing this. It's essential.

3. After the slagging-off session, do not be tempted to begin a sulking session. Slagging-off clears your head. Like a sorbet. But sulking is bad, because you can get sucked down into a negative spiral. So don't sulk. Rant, clear your head, then get back to work. If you sulk, the terrorists win.

4. Okay, so they've said no to your idea. Bring it back later, when they're desperate...

5. Okay, so they've said no to your idea. But did they reject the whole thing, or is there one bit of it you can salvage?

6. Tell a trusted friend the idea. If the friend doesn't think it's much cop, then you realise you haven't lost much anyway. If the friend thinks it was brilliant, then you will get a lot of sympathy from him.

7. Focus on what you've learned from the rejection. So your CD was once bitten by an orang-utang and will not countenance any primate-based TV ads. That's a good learning.

8. It was a shit brief anyway. Now your work has been rejected they'll put another team on it. Great news! You're off the hook.

9. Remember, you can only be happy if the world recognises your genius. An ad that doesn't get bought, can never be recognised as genius. You need an ad that DOES get bought. Only that can make you happy. Or a little less unhappy, at least. So stop snivelling and get back to the layout pad.

10. Put your rejected work in the bottom drawer. A good idea never dies. It just sits there in limbo, like a soul waiting for the right body.


Tip No.25 - Look Creative
Tip No.24 - Don't Be Afraid To Ask
Tip No.23 - Your Idea Has To Be 120%
Tip No.22 - Read Iain's Tips
Tip No.21 - Don't Behave
Tip No.20 - How To Discuss Ideas
Tip No.19 - Read Hugh's Tips
Tip No.18 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part IV - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job
Tip No.17 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7)
Tip No.16 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together
Tip No. 15 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part I - FAQ
Tip No. 14 - Make Friends With Traffic
Tip No. 13 - Get Reference
Tip No. 12 - Don't Stop Too Soon
Tip No.11 - Be Very
Tip No.10 - Breaking Up
Tip No.9 - Working Well With Your Partner
Tip No.8 - Finding The Right Partner
Tip No.7 - How To Approach Agencies
Tip No.6 - Never-Seen-Before Footage
Tip No.5 - Dicketts' Finger
Tip No.4 - Two Blokes In The Pub
Tip No.3 - Play Family Fortunes
Tip No.2 - Should You Take A Bad Job?
Tip No.1 - Don't Overpolish

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