Honor Clement-Hayes

PRO

22 June 2015

What’s so bloody wrong with in-house?

That’s a defensive way to kick off but I FEEL defensive. My whole career (can I say that at four years in?), I’ve been asked if I’m going to go agency side or when I’ll be striking out as a freelancer.

Cool your gams, people. From what I hear on the street – Twitter – the lone ranger life ain’t all it’s hyperbolised up to be. It just sounds scary, plain scary. Clients from hell, irregular money, the threat of pyjamas taking over your entire wardrobe – I’m not sure I could hack it.

In-house is where the organic soup is

Espresso machineI’ve been pampered, you see. My first *real* job was with a hugemassiveglobal ad company. By the time I’d worked my way up to more than a nothing, I was drowning in subsidised Costa lattes, homemade organic soup and fluid expenses. I had a shiny laptop. A pension. Air con, awards.

It’s probably that last one that holds me back: the pat on the head. Isn’t a pat nice? I fear who I would become if I didn’t get to feel that warm, glowy pride you get from a bit of praise. I know what you’re thinking at me: you’ll feel that when you know you’ve done a good job for a client. Pish, I say! I’m a needy millennial and I don’t have faith that my own internal pat on the back would do the trick.

Can I be all things to all of myself?

I guess I’ve reached the point in my life where I’m considering my future and finding the options terrifying. Can I really be my own boss, accountant, colleague, maintenance guy, teacher and HR team? Beyond my actual job, I can barely manage sock-sock-pants-bra every day.

Working from home is glamourised to the point of fantasy but I’ve been home. I know what’s there. The washing up, the laundry. Endless depressing tasks to procrastinate the day away. Whenever I work from home I feel like I’m in a school at night. I wander around the quietness, prodding things. I don’t find that a creative environment at all.

Is it all in the office you build? Is that it? You get your chair, your books and your pens all laid out nicely. Then the creativity begins. Maybe it is, I don’t know.

But who do you TALK to? #copywritersunite, obvs, but any real people? Don’t you get lonely? I am not known to be a people person but I do know I’m a better writer when someone is there to talk me down from my more wild ideas.

I’m cosy where I am

Snuggled into another in-house role, I’m comfortable – and I’m not sure why I’m not supposed to be comfortable. This is a society that scorns the job-for-life: move on! See the world! BE SOMEBODY YOU DWEEB! Even if you’re bankrupt, entrepreneurial spirit is more admirable than a steady work ethic.

For now, the idea of jumping out into the hungry void is not for me. Give me a couple of years and I’ll get back to you. If you have any advice or admonishment in the meantime, you can reach me on @mutatedmusings.


What do you think?

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Rod Prod

June 23, 2015 at 8:48pm

The ideal role is in-house on a fixed contract. Agencies are only interested in charging clients as much as possible for as little effort as possible. When in-house the rest of the organisation will revere your writing abilities whereas in an agency the top skill is to squeeze more out of the client. In-house all the way.