Computer Arts - - D&ad New Blood Career Advice -

In part three of our D&AD New Blood se­ries, Tom Man­ning ex­plores the im­por­tance of dis­cov­er­ing your goals and pur­pose, and why these don’t have to con­flict with mak­ing money

Af­ter scrolling deep into an In­sta­gram worm­hole, I found this pix­e­lated piece of wis­dom: “If you wouldn’t do your job for free, then quit.” You’ve no doubt heard sim­i­lar ad­vice be­fore, such as: “Do what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Like all good apho­risms, these feel part truth, part fan­tasy, so I asked Bruce Duck­worth, pres­i­dent of D&AD and found­ing part­ner of Turner Duck­worth, for his thoughts. He agreed that you should love the job you’re do­ing; “how­ever you shouldn’t do it for free.” Damn straight, Bruce. So let’s talk about money, and how it’s con­nected to cre­ativ­ity.

When I left univer­sity, I’d learnt how to think and gained prac­ti­cal skills, but I had next to no knowl­edge of the com­mer­cial world. Un­paid place­ments were still the norm, and it seemed like work­ing for free was of­ten the price you paid for do­ing what you loved. But the cre­ative con­nec­tion to busi­ness is fun­da­men­tal. “As de­sign­ers, we pro­vide solutions to com­mer­cial prob­lems and op­por­tu­ni­ties,” says Duck­worth,

“we should un­der­stand the com­mer­cial part too. When we do, we come up with bet­ter cre­ative solutions.” If you un­der­stand the value your cre­ativ­ity adds to a busi­ness, ask to be paid fairly for it.

But be­ware go­ing too far the other way. The al­lure of ex­otic hol­i­days and fancy meals out can mess with your pri­or­i­ties. Put­ting money be­fore cre­ativ­ity will leave you feel­ing dissatisfied and un­ful­filled. And the feel­ing is com­pounded be­cause no amount of money will feel like enough to en­dure the te­dium – you’ll al­ways want more. “I’ve al­ways put cre­ative ex­cel­lence first and money sec­ond,” says Duck­worth. “If the work’s good enough the money will come. But don’t take your eye off the money for one mo­ment; hav­ing it al­lows you to choose the projects you do.”

Money af­fords you free­dom as a cre­ative, en­abling you to de­rive mean­ing and pur­pose from your work. You just have to fig­ure out what it is you want to achieve. For Duck­worth, pur­pose is es­sen­tial. “Ours is to cre­ate work that is in­flu­en­tial in the world,” he says, “so to ful­fil that, we want to work on the world’s big­gest, most in­flu­en­tial brands and make ev­ery­thing we do for them ex­em­plary. That dic­tates ev­ery­thing we do, the size and shape of our busi­ness.”

So what’s your pur­pose? To cre­ate a fairer so­ci­ety? Or to help peo­ple re­alise their po­ten­tial? What­ever it is, ask your­self these three ques­tions: Why is this im­por­tant to me? What will achiev­ing this goal do to my life? And what will hap­pen if I don’t achieve this goal? An­swer­ing these ques­tions makes sure your pur­pose is true to who you are, and mo­ti­vat­ing enough to in­spire you to act.

Right now your goal may seem dis­tant, per­haps bor­der­line im­pos­si­ble. So work back­wards to make it man­age­able. What’s the one thing you can do this year to help you achieve your goal? Know­ing that, what can you do this month? This week? To­day? Ask­ing these very sim­ple ques­tions will set you on

course to get what you want out of your job. It also clar­i­fies your re­la­tion­ship to money. How much do you need? Enough to achieve your goals. Any less and a change needs to hap­pen. Any more is a bonus that can speed up your jour­ney.

Can you in­spire oth­ers to help achieve your pur­pose? My pur­pose is to use my cre­ativ­ity to build ideas that im­prove the planet and the lives of the peo­ple on it. A bit lofty? Per­haps, but I be­lieve it’s es­sen­tial. So ev­ery time a brief lands on my desk, I ask how I can use the brand’s money and in­flu­ence to make that hap­pen. Af­ter all, do­ing good is good for busi­ness. Peo­ple buy a brand be­cause it says some­thing about what they be­lieve, so do good and you’ll be at­trac­tive to good peo­ple.

When you start out, the risks are many and the re­wards can seem a long way off. “It’s eas­ier to end up dis­il­lu­sioned and broke than suc­cess­ful,” says Duck­worth. “But the pride and sat­is­fac­tion of creating some­thing new that didn’t ex­ist be­fore, and pro­vides some­thing peo­ple want – that’s the real re­ward.”

Hu­man Fil­ter This project by a team from Fon­dazione Ac­cademia di Co­mu­ni­cazione en­vi­sioned a more eco-friendly way to wash clothes.

Ford: Ford Fu Ryan Ho and Chloe Lam’s project is a lucky charm that uses In­foCy­cle and E-Bike tech­nol­ogy to en­sure safe mo­bil­ity for the el­derly.

Amnesty In­ter­na­tional: Ev­ery Minute Mat­ters This project by Lau­rens Grainger and Matt Kennedy high­lights how dif­fi­cult refugees find call­ing home.

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