by Patrick McNerthney—Creative Director, Outcasting
Your final product is what people see.
They don’t get to see all the hard work behind it: your research, analysis, brainstorming, testing, corrections, management, organization, worry, and passion.
Nope. Your work is just suddenly there.
Ready to be judged. Oh no.
I once threw a rooftop birthday party for a friend. It was glorious! A perfectly hot summer day, fantastic view, great drinks, salmon on the grill – I even hired a DJ.
You know what I remember most about that day? The guy who said he didn’t like my DJ’s music.
What about all my hard work? What do you mean you don’t like it? Maybe I don’t like you! Here, why don’t you try the salmon? I’ll smear some right on your face…
When we’re not appreciated for the time and effort placed in helping others, it can really hurt, and make us not want to help further.
This may be why the Oscars point out relatively obscure achievements . They know films would not come to fruition if not for the team behind “…efficient, artist-friendly workflow design of the Silhouette rotoscope and paint system.” Whatever that is.
Since we lack a professional honorary association to acknowledge our hard work, we have to come up with an alternative.
And that’s to tell ourselves a different story – a story about who our work is for, and whether it creates good on their behalf.
I mean, my friend did have a great time at his party. Mission accomplished.
So that event you’re organizing, the presentation, party, activity, field trip…who’s it for? What makes it a success in their eyes? If you’re looking for acknowledgement of your hard work or the absence of criticism, you’re going to be disappointed. But if your goal is creating positive change for even just one person, you have cause to celebrate.