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Setting Boundaries in Your Creative Role

Hey Creatives! We're only one day from the weekend! And that means your clients, reviewers, and stakeholders are about to hit you up with all the changes, edits, and requests that you've been waiting on all week. 😩

(Because what we do isn't work, right? It's magic! ✨🎨)

In the beginning of my design career I used to think I was being a "conscientious employee" or a "team player" by taking on all those last-minute requests, and killing myself to get things done for others who seemed to always need my design help at inappropriate hours, and have a general disregard for my time.

What I didn't realize was that this lack of boundaries was the slow boil that left me feeling frustrated, disrespected, unappreciated, and burned out. And, let's be honest, really disliking my coworkers.

Sound familiar? 🤨

If so, here are 3 things you can do:

1. Honor the last-minute request, but set aside a time next week to discuss workflow expectations going forward, so that you can always do your best work (e.g. explain that rushing = errors).

2. Negotiate solutions for other tight deadlines (e.g. moving other work, shifting your schedule, etc.) so a potential rush on their part doesn't equate to low quality work on yours.

3. Review the brief or timeline that was discussed in the beginning of the project to get a sense for where this project went haywire, and work with your manager to come up with a solution so this doesn't keep compromising the work.

Having boundaries AND systems in place will allow you to do better quality creative work for your clients. And remember: Doing your best is all you can do. You don’t owe every bit of yourself to your employer. And if that's something they expect, then perhaps we should talk. 😉

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