Being the Problem Child

Being the Problem Child


I’m my boss’s ‘problem child’. Not that I have tantrums, or won’t do as I’m told (most of the time...), but that I really mess up his Org Charts.

I’m one of those whose job covers several disciplines. Sometimes I write, sometimes I edit, sometimes I strategise, sometimes I produce – but always it is content based. I just don’t really have a clear job title.

I’ve recently been called a ‘content architect’, which actually describes my role quite well. But none of us can quite bring ourselves to use it outside of Shoreditch, so historically I’ve been a Content Producer.

Over the years, I’ve had pangs of worry that I’m a jack-of-all, master-of-none. Mainly from a few experiences across other big agencies of being told that I need to specialise to really get anywhere. Now, after 6 years in an agency I love, I’m happy to say that I don’t believe that to be true anymore. Some people really excel in a specific thing and are passionate about doing it - footballers wouldn’t demand that their job included 3 days a week of metal-work, for example. They’re footballers, through and through. But that’s just not me. And I know there are plenty out there like me.

Who says you can’t be really good at more than one thing?

The attitude that being good at a bunch of things makes you not quite great at any, really bothers me. The worry in forcing someone to specialise, is that by potentially shoehorning them into a specific role, we’re not nurturing that person’s natural talents and need for diversity. I’ve never been the kind of person who would be happy doing the same thing day in, day out, and ultimately I think it would make my work suffer. Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing good about spinning too many plates, as can often happen – but being at Kids Industries has given me the opportunity to explore and cultivate multiple skills and disciplines, rather than choosing just one. And actually, when we drill down into it, I am an expert in one stand-out area: Children and Families. That is what becomes the glue between all of the disciplines.

So with that in mind, the benefit for clients - especially in a smaller independent agency like ours – is that the multi-disciplined among us can confidently and capably take a client from start to finish through the creative on a project. We have incredible design, research and development teams along the way, but being able to respond to a brief, have real creative investment at all stages along the way, and be the same face at delivery, is really invaluable.

The benefits for me mean that I can have visibility on all creative aspects of a project, do what I love every day, and always have the diversity that actually makes me thrive.

The only casualty I can see? The bloody Org Chart.

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