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Justice League of Designers

Repeatedly, I meet designers, who maintain full-time jobs, while running their own freelance studios outside of their day-to-day duties. Not only do these entrepreneurs have a steady 9–5 job, but they also insist on doing more work in addition to the work they do at the office.

Which office is which? Do they call their 9–5 office the office, and the one where the magic happens the office? Maybe they defer to the IRS jargon and call their atelier with their computer and design book collection the home office.[i] Gigs, experiments, labs, research, freelance, authorship, software tutorials, entrepreneurial endeavors… call it what you want, I can’t help but calculate the hourly rate these folks pull down when working on home office work between 9–5 at the office away from their home. Working on said secret work during a full-time job can net you a pretty good paycheck at the end of the tax year. But as a college teacher, I don’t have the luxury of being able to work on other tasks instead of what I should be doing; when I’m in the classroom, I’m with students, not taking calls from clients or dabbling in Illustrator to revise a logo nor use campus facilities for printing a client’s stationery proofs.[ii] But academic life requires one to balance teaching, service, and research with research being endeavors like scholarly writing or consulting (or namely, freelance, for those of you that insist on that word).[iii] So when I’m not in the classroom, I maintain a communication consultancy that designs for a wide variety of clients. However, it’s hard to believe that so many designers do work on top of their 40-hour (or more) work week for no other reason than to satisfy creative urges. Or is it something else? Each time I meet these moonlighting superheroes, I wonder why they can’t be satisfied with their daylight duties.[iv] What warrants them to betray their boss, clients, and staff like this, with so many (fruitful?) distractions? Is it because they’re tired of working with the same clients every day? Maybe. Dealing with the same projects and a single style manual? Sure, if you’re in-house, I can see the problem. Do you hate the products you’re pushing, and want to invoke change from the inside? Okay, unless you work for Philip Morris cigarettes while also working for the Truth campaign or Adbusters, this probably won’t apply.[v] Surely, countless other explanations could exist where these gigging insomniacs become trapped in a tangled web driven by independence, commerce, truth, or beauty.[vi]

Now as for the sleepless nights and independence, they begin in one place: school. Today’s graphic design education still revolves around an antiquated mentor to student model, where a mentor assigns problems, projects, and exercises for students to solve on their own. Critiques and art direction move concepts from infancy into a mature state of refinement. Typically in a university setting, these budding designers must act as researcher (anthropologist, fact checker), writer (you need text to work with typography), creator (designer), and audience (pretending to see things with a discerning and objective eye). Rarely is teamwork employed or prescribed. Is it any wonder that designers are born (bred?) to work around the clock on self-directed projects? Akin to the artist model, this also breeds withdrawal, pushing designers into their Office of Solitude to work (or play) day and night, and through the night in order to arrive at something personal and/or rewarding.[vii]

During these around the clock nocturnal emissions (in medical terms, also called wet dreams or my favorite, night falls), the off-hours designer has ownership over gig choices, creative direction, client relations, and the coffee maker. Those who perform on the side tasks may have grown tired of being spectators, and would rather take the dog by the leash and lead. Unless you’re high on the totem pole in your office, designers report to a bevy of superiors: creative directors, art directors, editors, or any number of Executive Officers. One can easily grow tired of taking orders, being pointed at, and/or being told where to push and click the mouse. So to temper these directions, designers start up their own ventures, concocting experiments like Jekyll in his lab.[viii] How do they prevent a conflict of interest? If you work full-time at Nike, but operate in your home office doing work for Adidas, chances are you’ll have a subpoena handed to you rather soon. (And in all honesty, if you do work for both teams like that, you deserve to get caught, but I wonder how often it happens in today’s twisted world.) Right or wrong, the conflict may have more to do with money than legal matters because the designers who work off hours can rarely pay the bills doing off-hours work alone.[ix] (9–5 Paycheck + Gigging Funds = Cha-Ching) These folks can be heard talking near the water cooler or at Starbucks after the five o’clock whistle, throwing any of these proud nuggets into the atmosphere:

“I have a home office where I do my own design. I just work at FedEx Kinko’s to use their printing equipment for my own gigs. God, I couldn’t begin to tell you how much dough they’ve saved me!”

“You like my new Audi, well, I have a freelance gig in addition to my full-time work. Oh yeah, and I play with my band on the weekends too.”

“My freelance gig pays twice what I make at the office because that job is dirt, and it pays me like I’m dirt. One day, I’ll run my own studio.”

“Sorry but I can’t watch Project Runway with you all tonight, I have got to stay home and finish this logo for my father-in-law.”

“I have a computer that I use for my freelance jobs, and it is way more powerful than what we have in the office.”

“I have to leave work early for a doctor’s appointment.”
(I have to meet a client for drinks, and need to beat rush hour traffic.)

There are occasions when some of the gigging designers choose to abandon their full-time practice and go solo. At lectures and conferences, you’ll notice them (a) at a great distance from each other because the competition is heated; (b) swapping war stories about how they have to manage so much work in addition to design and production; or (c) not attending because they’re so caught up with high-paying gigs. I’m most intrigued by these folks. With enough “on-the-side” work, they leave behind their colleagues and peers in order to do things on their own 100%. How do they cope with this change in lifestyle? Don’t they feel out of place when they start doing their off hours work during the on hours of 9–5? Maybe not. If Kal-El (Superman) didn’t have to be Clark Kent anymore, life would, in theory, be easier.[x] For Superman, this would liberate him since he wouldn’t need to pretend to be human, and could dedicate his time to saving lives. The designer wouldn’t have to juggle two lives either, so say goodbye to crammed schedules, all nighters, mistaking colleague’s phone calls for client’s, the speeding tickets from racing to press checks, missing one deadline in favor of your own, or hiding work from gazing eyes that walk past your office wondering why in the world After Effects documents are floating in your Finder when it’s strictly a print agency you work in. It would be so easy, being Superman without posing as Clark Kent.

Yeah, right. Orson Welles, who was one of the most promising talents to erupt from Hollywood, was quoted as saying, “I’ve wasted the greater part of my life looking for money, and trying to get along… trying to make my work from this terribly expensive paint box which is an… a movie. And I’ve spent too much energy on things that have nothing to do with a movie. It ’s about two percent movie making and 98% hustling. It’s no way to spend a life.”[xi] Did you get that? Nothing to do with a movie! As a full-time gigging designer, you could be so caught up with non-design work, that you wouldn’t really be a designer. You’d be a hustler. Now we’re not getting into specifics, but for a moment think about this:

Yourself + The Number of Other People in Your Residence =
People You’d Have Contact with (excluding baristas, postal carriers, and other service people)

Would you be happy toiling away on God-knows-what by yourself? Okay, maybe you would, and rest assured, it is possible to do this for clients and make a living, as I know a few talented people (such as this dude) that manage their own high-paying gigs through a laptop, cafe, and cell phone, but not everyone is cut out for such a laborious lifestyle. (In the end, you will not even have a life outside all the design work and baggage you must carry.) Now I cannot tell you how lonely Orson Welles was, but he couldn’t even look back on his moviemaking life with pride because he got consumed by too much crap besides what he wanted to do: make films. Alas, poor Welles had so much to offer, but had to walk the tightrope of administration, pitching, and fund-raising, along with whatever else Hollywood demanded of him. He died a very lonely man, who endorsed spirits in his spare time to make ends meet.[xii] If Welles would have made good films (in addition to Citizen Kane), while still selling wine, then no problem. Even Leonardo Da Vinci had sponsorship.[xiii] Leo relied on the Medici family to further his personal research, that also benefited their kingdom and greater humanity.

Unless you want that hustling lifestyle, you need to keep your day job for the same reason Superman needs Clark: Kal-El can’t afford to pay the rent saving the day 24/7 as Superman. And some gigging designers cannot support themselves on gigging alone either, especially when they do it for some higher purpose as activists. Those that pledge allegiance to non-profits or other self-defined, meaningful ventures will supply their talents because they believe in the cause more than the financial compensation. (Think of any time you’ve donated time, money, or design to the AIGA.) It’s a noble endeavor that takes a special person. However, the designer’s lifestyle won’t always adhere to the 40-hour work week, but rather, can total 50–60 (or more) and this will become nearly unmanageable with extra gigs thrown in. Doing pro bono work in addition to full-time labor strikes me as not only courageous, but also crazy. These superheroes moonlighting for free have to be one thing: untethered, or namely single (and there’s nothing wrong with that). Those pursuing experimental work in the lab—searching for function, or that dangerous word beauty—won’t get paid either. The authorship craze that finds today’s designers as writers (or vice versa) has been visible since the advent of desktop publishing, although it can be traced farther back to the early 20th Century movements like Futurism and Dadaism. The 20th Century writer, film-maker, and poet B.S. Johnson, who shared similar avant-garde notions championed new forms too:

The novelist cannot legitimately or successfully embody present day reality in exhausted forms. If he is serious, he will be making a statement which attempts to change society towards a condition he receives to be better, and he will be making at least implicitly a statement of faith in the evolution of the form in which he is working. Both these aspects of making are radical; this is inescapable unless he chooses escapism (Aren’t You Rather Young To Be Writing Your Memoirs, 1973, reprinted in Dot Dot Dot Nine, page 6).

Johnson wholeheartedly believed the writer must shape his work (as a publication or body) based on need, experimentation, invention, or media influence instead of using the same vessels over and over again—some vessels he deemed primitive because they did not agree with how his stories unfolded. Leagues of designers search independently (without clients) for new forms that function, decorate, explain, narrate, or the like. And similar to Johnson, they do it for one reason: for themselves (Dot Dot Dot, page 11). This experimentation does not pay, so unless you’re doing R&D (research and development) at industries such as Intel or Google, chances are you need that other job while experimenting in your lab.

And in the end, balancing these two poles benefits your intellect and character. Go ahead and experiment, pad your wallet, or work for a cause, but imagine if you needed to drop your 9–5 job, in favor of doing this freelance (fine, call it that if you want), secretive, and/or pro bono work full-time.[xiv] Would you still love doing it now that it’s full-time work? No, probably not. Even Superman needs a vacation, and for him that comes in one of two ways: escaping from planet Earth or dressing up as Clark Kent. If Superman did in fact drop his alias Clark Kent in favor of being a full-time hero, he’d be miserable, doomed by the demands of that job. Now you can’t escape from the planet Earth (because you’re not Superman nor Supergirl for that matter, and for the record, I do not endorse the notion that designers are superhuman nor world saviors, if you like that idea, go to more design conferences), but as Clark Kent (9–5 Kal-El), Superman (after hours Kal-El) gets a break from hurling asteroids away from Earth’s orbit, chasing Lex Luthor, and managing any other calamity that requires his attention. Furthermore, Clark keeps him in touch with the world. How invaluable. Even if you simply need your 9–5 job to support the other gigs, this job job should do something: connect you to current practices, technology, administrative operations, peers, the economy, friends, and best of all, culture, to name a few things that will make you well-rounded. Who wants to be alone, isolated from human contact in their home office?[xv] Sure, you may get clients, some worthwhile gigs, or discover brand-new-self-involved design, but you will not be around many other people besides print and paper reps, or other fulfillment staff. If you’ve already been down that path, you know what I’m talking about, but if you haven’t gone solo to stew your own secret broth like a wizard/witch mixing bat ears with snake skin, then maybe you should, just to experience it. Just remember that even Superman came back to Earth, and he didn’t give up being Clark Kent either.[xvi]

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[i] My mentor said, “Freelance is code for unemployed,” and to this day I see what he meant because you have no place of business and no benefits.

[ii] I have observed many designers, programmers, and the like do what I like to call double dipping. For instance, when I worked in an agency, a colleague of mine didn’t get enough web development work, so he had a lot of downtime spent on high-paying animation and video. He drove the newest model of BMW, while the rest of us could barely manage the payment on our Hondas.

[iii] I despise the term freelance because (a) while I’ve done pro bono work—and it is in fact free—I don’t like the word free associated with me since I am not free, thank you very much, so get a coupon if you want something at a discount; and (b) I once met a designer with business cards including his freelancer title equipped with a lance logo, to which he said, “Get it, freelance”—he insulted my intelligence and taste, blech. Still, I’ve survived (very well) doing nothing but contract work (fine, call it freelance if you like).

[iv] David Barringer’s association between the day-to-day Bruce Wayne and Batman’s nocturnal activities stands as the most well put off hours metaphor I’ve read (American Mutt Barks in the Yard, p. 13). And who doesn’t want to be a superhero?

[v] Fans of Rudy Dutschke (and Max Bruinsma’s article) will no doubt appreciate that change can happen—and from the inside out.

[vi] I get urges and oftentimes act on them in the middle of the night when it’s dark and quiet; best of all, neither student, wife, nor client will bother me. During one of those nights, having read a Design Observer article about Barbara Kruger in between making a client’s style guide, I was consumed by the thought of Kruger herself having a style guide. Oh, the irony, and I had to see it through. It consumed me, literally. Between the hours of 10 p.m. that night and 5 a.m. the next day, I gave birth to the Barbara Kruger Style Guide.

[vii] Apologies to David Barringer for my own superhero analogy. And please insert your own definition of rewarding here. Don’t rely on me for this answer, you’ve got to identify it and subscribe to it.

[viii] To those designers that call their ventures labs, I congratulate you. This is an intriguing idea, to create as if experimenting—searching for new forms that have purpose, either applied or intrinsic.

[ix] As much as Armin Vit loves working with Michael Bierut at Pentagram, I bet that if given the opportunity, he’d resign and work full-time on all the Underconsideration ventures: Speak Up, the Design Encyclopedia, and the other hot ideas brewing beneath its URL. Of course, he’d want to make at least the same salary. Right?! And by the way, Mr. Bierut is an awesome person and designer, from which Armin will (and has certainly already) learned a lot. But like any other person moonlighting, there comes a time when you want to go all out, and ditch your alter-ego cloak for what one could call the real you.

[x] Apologies again to Mr. Barringer.

[xi] For an indepth look into Welles, and his Hollywood struggles, I recommend this TCM documentary.

[xii] One of my favorite scenes from Buckaroo Bonzai has Jeff Goldblum’s character discussing Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast to which one of Goldblum’s colleagues states, “Orson Welles? You mean the old guy from the wine commercials?“ Oh, to be remembered solely as a spokesperson.

[xiii] Please don’t get us started on the Da Vinci / Designer with a Capital D comparison. Okay?

[xiv] Whatever your secret work is, you can do it, and it doesn’t have to be design-centric. It could be making sweet relish with a logo and identity system that you designed, and selling it in jars at the Farmer’s Market.

[xv] This supposes that your secret work would be done 100% in your home office, all by your lonesome. Sob.

[xvi] My closing remarks about the superhero references: you are not a superhero, designers are not superhuman, but Superman was used to illustrate the 9–5 labor (Clark Kent or your day job) plus the off hours (Superman or your gigs). No part of this essay is intended to excite designers into visionary comparisons with any member of DC comics Justice League of America.

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ARCHIVE ID 2751 FILED UNDER Business
PUBLISHED ON Jul.26.2006 BY Jason A. Tselentis
WITH COMMENTS
Comments
Armin’s comment is:

Jason, great post.

> “You like my new Audi, well, I have a freelance gig in addition to my full-time work..."

As far-fetched as this sounds, it seems common, at least in my experience. At marchFIRST, one of the designers had a lot of freelance work after (and even during) our 9 to 5 job. He drove a nice VW Jetta, always had the latest gadgets and was always looking for vacationing spots. And this was a guy in his mid-20s tops. It helped (a lot) that there wasn't much work at m1, so it was a 10 to 5 job with plenty of time during the day to work on other things.

Regarding footnote number 9... Yes, there is the parallel utopian possibility that I would not be working in a design firm (whether it's with Michael at Pentagram or with Joe at DesignRocksDude) and instead devote myself full time to UnderConsideration IF I were able to make the same amount of money. The reality is that I would have to moonlight as a designer to maintain my UnderConsideration endeavors, so in the end it comes to working your ass off if you want to achieve what you want to achieve and at the same time be able to live a life that involves cable TV, good wine, hearty food, more than 600 square feet of living space and nurturing entertainment.

Plus, personally, I can't deny the thrill of doing more than I should – or more than I thought I could. It is rewarding and fulfilling and much more interesting than picking lint out of my belly button. (Although I do enjoy a good picking every now and then).

On Jul.26.2006 at 08:50 PM
Randy J. Hunt’s comment is:

I just found some orange fuzzies in my navel.

Thanks for the post, Jason. I have to admit, I scrolled to the bottom of the page to see who wrote this "Justice League..." post and I was excited to see a wealth of itty-bitty footnotes Ii could swim around in.

Yesterday, I was telling a good friend and colleague that "I moonlight as myself."

I think the notion of real v. freelance or primary v. secondary or pro v. hobby is unfortunate. A 9-5 job is the real world. Being a student is the real world. Electing to not design in the confines of the dominant model to enable other modes of working is the real world.

I was surprised and quite thrilled when Arem Duplessis, Art Director of New York Times magazine, said in a lecture, "I really want to be a real-estate investor." It made me think about how amazing his design would be, even moonlighting hobby design, if his 9-5 was managing real estate investments. I'm sure design skills would be a huge asset there too.

Also, I'll have you know that a period of my adolensce was focused on acquiring Superman comics, often in multiples. Some would do the 9-5 of being read, and others would "freelance" as collectibles.

On Jul.26.2006 at 09:40 PM
Will Mangum’s comment is:

Hear hear!! You speak nothing but truth.
As a "consultant" of the past two years, I honestly can't tell you how relieved I am to be starting a full time job next week.

On Jul.26.2006 at 10:53 PM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

Interesting post, Jason, but I am a freelancer and I've never look back to living among the galley slaves chained to their designer oars. And I'm not crying about it either. Everyone chooses what they can endure.I haven't held a j-o-b in over 20 years. I've tried in moments of weakness but always missed out. It doesn't matter unless you are unsure of your ability to find work on the trade winds. I sail thru my own seas.

I think my own work has grown infinitely stronger by connecting me to MY TIME, not anybody else's clock. The ability to be fluid and focused thru different assignments, interact with new people from week to week, to experiment without limits and without office politics is something I value.

Oh, yes, financial instability is unnerving sometimes, but tomorrow I may wake up and get a new assignment from out-of-the-blue that is fantastic. It's happened before. Risk, creativity and motivation make life interesting.

On Jul.27.2006 at 08:20 AM
Bryony’s comment is:

I personally prefer counting mosquito bites than harvesting lint, but that is just me…

Having recently switched teams between the 9-5 + UC gigs, to freelance + UC gigs I am still in the process of relearning and retraining myself. Having done the 9-? for all of my years as a designer this is new, yet the same. My purpose was/is among other things to devote more time to UC (so that Armin does not need to quit his job like I did), and so far that has been the hardest thing as I am as busy as I was when I had a full time job. Other than my commute time, my schedule has not changed much.

But overall I think that most designers like to do “something” beyond the 9-5 job. They might love the work, but there is still that urge to personalize and do something close to you, where nobody else is involved that makes it exciting (and the monetary value is a good incentive). Maybe we need to dwell in the psychological aspect of this need…

On Jul.27.2006 at 08:25 AM
Gunnar Swanson’s comment is:

Jason—I’ve known people who had enough “side work” that they started their own financially successful design business. That’s very different from having enough extra work that you feel very busy or liking your cheap private projects better than your job. This essay seems to confuse various situations that are, as business plans, unrelated.

A couple of other things that could confuse some readers:

I despise the term freelance. . . I’ve done pro bono work—and it is in fact free—I don’t like the word free associated with me

I don’t think there’s a standard definition but most people I know who describe themselves as freelance designers do most of their work for design firms. Since my career has never depended on overflow from other designers, I always called my business a one-person design firm.

Although people use “pro bono” to mean free, it literally means “for good.” A free logo for your brother-in-law’s new business probably isn’t pro bono. Many paid jobs may be.

Doing pro bono work in addition to full-time labor strikes me as not only courageous, but also crazy.

All sorts of people work long hours then go build houses for Habitat for Humanity or pick up trash on the beach with the Surfrider Foundation. A poster or a brochure on the side? I think the word “courageous” has been devalued to the point of meaninglessness.

you could be so caught up with non-design work, that you wouldn’t really be a designer

Or maybe people who sit in front of computers and bitch that some AE makes them do stuff they don’t like aren’t really the designers. One of the joys and/or sorrows of self-employment is that you learn how much of the design process is outside of the realm of “designers.”

On Jul.27.2006 at 09:48 AM
Dav’s comment is:

Great read.

I myself am working from Monday to Wednesday at a local agency. Mediocre commercial design. Nothing special, kinda boring. But. That IS my job. This is where the money is. Or comes from.

From Thursday to Saturday I am working on my own. On independent design projects, doing 'non commercial' design stuff, helping friends with design related things. And such. This is what I love. This is where my heart is at. I would looove to 'just' do that. Work on my own. Team up with related creatives. Doing work that rocks, instead of doing work that sucks. But, to be sincere, it just wouldnt work. Right now, right here. Some day it sure will, and I am really, really, really looking forward to that day. :)

Until then: Cant buy me love. :)

On Jul.27.2006 at 09:59 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> I’ve known people who had enough “side work” that they started their own financially successful design business. That’s very different from having enough extra work that you feel very busy or liking your cheap private projects better than your job.

Gunnar, I think Jason is not talking much about business plans or the differences between one-man design firms and freelancers, but about situations. As a one-man design firm you might feel that you need extra money or extra challenge or just simply don't have the time or energy to look for more clients, so you might say "well, maybe after I'm done with my 9-5 work for my own clients I'll take on some work from design firms in my extra time." This situation is then about your "regular" workday not being completely fulfilling whether it's creatively, financially or emotionally. And it is this duality of similar, yet possibly conflicting, activities that are gist of the post. (Although Jason can clarify on his own, of course, this is only my interpretation).

On Jul.27.2006 at 11:11 AM
Jason A. Tselentis’s comment is:

Gunnar, this isn't so much about business plans as it is about time, but you make me wonder, "Would putting this post under something other than the business heading help?"

As for the content, it deals more with time and the places we dedicate it. How and why do designers distract themselves in the off hours "for good" tasks, experimentation, or extra gigging money? The situations that designers put themselves in strike me as taxing; there's so much work to be done from 9-5, but these designers will add more work to their already full plate. Is this a cultural issue, where we thrive on overabundance, adding more conflict/challenges? Or are designers scatterbrained folks, incapable of focusing on one task at a time?

And to the notion of evolving from a solo designer into a full-fledged studio, sure, it can be done and has been done, yet that's another topic for another post; but some solo designers never go that route in favor of total control. Does this Han Solamente mentality really start in school as I suspect? Or do others have differing opinions, thoughts?

On Jul.27.2006 at 12:33 PM
Brian Alter’s comment is:

Today’s graphic design education still revolves around an antiquated mentor to student model…

Seriously, how is the mentor/student model outdated? Are you proscribing it simply because it doesn't prescribe teamwork? I'll take it to the "hands across america" method any day!

On Jul.27.2006 at 01:33 PM
Christina W’s comment is:

At first I was a little confused as to the point of this article - being one of said designers who has a 9 to 5 job and 'freelances' for both studios and clients on the side, I really couldn't find much to relate to - I'm currently an in-house designer, and my employer really could care less that I freelance, so I have nothing to hide - I actually made that one of the stipulations in the job interview, that I would be 'allowed' to continue freelancing. I don't have conflict between the two jobs, I just have to be really efficient.

After finishing college and working in a studio for three years, I went back to school to finish a design degree and built up a client list while at school because to me, having 'real' work was as important if not more important than the schoolwork.

When I finished school, I really wanted to go out on my own, but didn't have the finances in place to do it. Plus I moved back to a lovely small-town backwater for "personal reasons" so it's not like new clients are falling out of trees. I do 99% of my contract work via email/internet anyways, so for the most part it's not a problem. Heck, I have clients whose voice I've never heard, let alone seen face-to-face. Most new clients are direct referrals from current clients.

Anyways, finances being in the negative after university, I decided I needed a job. And I made a budget to pay off the loans/credit card, put away savings each paycheque, etc., and have a plan in place so that in about 15 months I'll have everything paid off and enough savings to carry me for a while. That'll be the real test, to see how long it flies, because I'll have to build a different type of business - the one-person studio.

Jason - didn't notice the 'Business' heading on the article, but did also get that drift from the writing. As far as spare time goes, well, I'm kind of a hermit anyways :) I come home, have supper, go exercise for a couple of hours, and come home and work. Most of the time I enjoy it, sometimes it's grinding, you've got to start somewhere...

On Jul.27.2006 at 01:49 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

There's a bit of an arrogant tone to this post.

"betray their boss"?

"Secret work"?

It's no one's business what I'm doing after work.

Or, at least, shouldn't be. Yet there's still design firms who think they can own their employess by insisting on no outside work or non-complete clauses. A lot of insecure bosses out there, I guess.

"However, it’s hard to believe that so many designers do work on top of their 40-hour (or more) work week for no other reason than to satisfy creative urges. Or is it something else?"

For me it's absolutely something else. I have a great 9-5 job right now. Been here 4 years. Good benefits, good pay, security, and plenty of room explore my skills. HOWEVER, it's not a graphic design gig with a variety of clients/projects. It's an in-house web developer gig with one client/project. As such, if I were to just sit here for 4 years doing nothing on the side, my portfolio would slowly turn to dust. And, alas, that's a bad thing for anyone in these types of industries. Resumes, alone, don't keep us employed.

So, for the most part, my side gigs, while they do bring in some extra money, are mainly to keep the portfolio stocked.

On Jul.27.2006 at 02:19 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> Or, at least, shouldn't be. Yet there's still design firms who think they can own their employess by insisting on no outside work or non-complete clauses. A lot of insecure bosses out there, I guess.

Darrel, it is understandable why an employer would either ask or demand that you don't engage in freelance work because it is unavoidable that the outside work affects won't affect the normal work, unless you believe that someone can go to the doctor so many times. Which is why some designers like to keep their freelance jobs under the radar.

Non-compete is a whole different thing that is designed to keep the designer from doing work with former clients after they leave or doing work for possibly competing clients while still employed.

On Jul.27.2006 at 02:49 PM
christina w’s comment is:

I think it's up to the individual designer's responsibility to decide how much work they can handle and whether or not they will allow it to interfere with their day job. I check emails in the morning and when I get home from work, I check cell phone messages at noon and when there are minor emergencies, they get taken care of on my laptop over noon hour (not on company computers) or it has to wait until after work.

I guess it's a different deal if you don't respect who you work for and don't care about wasting company time, but if those employees weren't working on their side work they would probably just be surfing the internet or something, don't you think?

On Jul.27.2006 at 03:18 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

"Darrel, it is understandable why an employer would either ask or demand that you don't engage in freelance work because it is unavoidable that the outside work affects won't affect the normal work"

Life affects 'normal work': kids, marriage, family, friends, habits, school, tv, cars, traffic, and, yes, other work.

"Non-compete is a whole different thing that is designed to keep the designer from doing work with former clients after they leave"

I know what it's for. It's just wrong. And, fortunately, rarely legally enforceable.

On Jul.27.2006 at 03:53 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Maybe an extreme comparison, and I'm sure someone will have a simple reubuttal, but for the sake of argument: If a full-time, well-paying 9-5 job is marriage, would engaging in work outside of that agreement be an affair?

On Jul.27.2006 at 04:02 PM
Pete A.’s comment is:

Interesting article. It describes my current situation quite well. I work a 9-6 day job as a web developer for a clinical trials software company. What this really means is that aside from the front-end coding I'm the only "graphics guy" here so I have my hands in all aspects...webmastering the Intranet and corporate (public) sites; designing icons for their software; designing collateral and signage for conferences; etc. In the past, I enjoyed good money during the dot.com craze...I've also lived hand-to-mouth with the occasional freelance gig as well as being on unemployment for three years before finding my current gig which I've been at for more than two years now. Being unemployed in NYC is not a fun thing.

Now, I do have freelance clients on top of the day gig plus a partnership with a friend who uses me when she needs some flash work done. It's taken away more weekends than I can remember. So, why do I do this? Honestly?

Money is the main reason. After the dot.com fallout, I found it so hard to get work that I was acting like the dog with its tail between its legs...I tried to take anything that would help pay the rent even if it came to underselling myself. Having a steady day job allows me the benefits and confidence of knowing where my next check is coming from. It also allows me to be more choosy as to projects I want to work on as well as setting my rates. If someone doesn't like my rates, that's fine, they don't have to use my services. It puts things on my own terms. It also helps with extra money for savings and various expenses.

On Jul.27.2006 at 04:21 PM
Jason A. Tselentis’s comment is:

After the dot.com fallout, I found it so hard to get work that I was acting like the dog with its tail between its legs...I tried to take anything that would help pay the rent even if it came to underselling myself.

An interesting anecdote. How many other people are covering their bases with extra work on the side, moonlighting on top of their already busy schedule because of fear? Fear of losing the 9-5?

On Jul.27.2006 at 09:23 PM
ed’s comment is:

just a fair warning - i am trying to fight off the effects of benedryl, so if this makes absolutely no sense, then don't worry, if it does make sense, it's the drugs.

I have to ask - was this an issue 30, 20, or even 10 years ago? I think it's just a sign of the times. It happens in most creative professions, these days. It is not unusual for the people who are my age (and out of school) to do graphic design during the day for an agency, design watches at night for fun, and dj on the weekends for a good time and to meet women (or men). It's just that the most creative people are going to be trying to apply their creativity and won't stop till they are all satisfied. Everything is so fast paced now with the technology before us that never sleeps, that we have to work 5 to 10 hours after we get off of work just to stay ahead of the creative curve. Everything in our lives needs to have creative input, especially what we do in our spare time. I just think it's a cultural thing.

Also - stress levels are very high in this profession, as they were when you were in undergrad and grad school. people need to vent. they need to assert some kind of control on their lives, which they can achieve through moonlighting. Now, at the beginning you seemed to steer this in the direction of "we do this for money at work, but we do this for self-gratification at night" but later on you steered away from this and entered the realm of money, vanity, and everything in between. I personally think that the more interesting one is doing it for love not money or power. doing it for supplements to one's income still faces most of the challenges you face at work minus the apparent bureaucracy of working for an agency. doing it for power is just silly.

those are my two personal explanations for this:

1. sign of the times/creative urges
2. venting from stress at work (cool down time)

On Jul.27.2006 at 11:11 PM
Jess’s comment is:

I've never understood the workaholic attitude. As the previous poster said, I think it's really a sign of the times. People have lost all sense of slowness. The media more or less pounds the "everyone today has a hectic lifestyle on the go" propoganda in our heads and most people, I've noticed, feel strange if they don't somehow live up to that.

I just kind of thumb my nose at it and goof off. :) Life's too short to work after hours. OK.. so I don't have all the gadgets and I drive a Neon. They're only things, after all.

On Jul.28.2006 at 08:35 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

"If a full-time, well-paying 9-5 job is marriage, would engaging in work outside of that agreement be an affair?"

According to some of the arguments presented in the post, I'd say 'yes'. I'm not saying they were valid arguments, though. ;o)

""everyone today has a hectic lifestyle on the go" propoganda in our heads"

That's partly true, but in terms of 'workaholic' syndrome, it's very much a cultural/financial issue. In the US, at least, it's becoming more and more of a necessity to have both parents working. Work hours are increasing, rather than decreasing. Wages for middle class folks are dropping, relatively speaking. In otherwords, a lot of americans are feeling the pinch. And it's no different for graphic designers.

I originally got into serious freelancing due to getting laid of during dotcombomb times. It was rather nice...I ended up putting in about 30 sporadic hours a week at my own schedule. I was loving it. But, then came a baby. And we wanted Brenda to raise the kid at home for at least a year, so, back to work doing the 9-5.

Alas, one income is tough. Really tough, so then began the habit of moonlighting a few nights a week to get some extra padding in our savings account.

We now both work again, which helps, but I thin the reality of wanting some 'extra padding' in the savings/retirement is what keeps me doing it. Albeit a lot less than before.

On Jul.28.2006 at 10:16 AM
Tom Michlig’s comment is:

Speaking further to the "non-compete" issue, you, as an individual, have every right to turn down a job because you don't agree with non-competes. It's a bold statement to be sure, but it's an option. I once worked with an in-house photographer who flat out quit his job because he was opposed to the company's new policy to have everyone sign confidentiality agreements. I've only signed one non-compete in eight years, and it was so vague (no geographic limitations!), it would be near impossible to enforce. But depending on how big of an a-hole your employer is, they can still drag you through the legal system and cause you to incur all kinds of legal fees if they decide to take you to court, even if the court rules that their claims hold no water. It's cheaper for your employer to fuck with you than it is for you to be fucked with, in other words.

On Jul.28.2006 at 10:18 AM
Christina W’s comment is:

If a full-time, well-paying 9-5 job is marriage, would engaging in work outside of that agreement be an affair?

OK, I'll bite :) I think I have more of a marriage of convenience, like when you get married so you can stay in the country. Me and my 9 to 5 job are good roommates and good friends but there's really not much to be passionate about. And they explained that there would be a lot of boring work when I took the job. I guess if you have a jealous partner, then it could be considered cheating... I hear there are a lot of happy swingers out there, too :D

The key phrase is 'work outside of that agreement' - it assumes all jobs have the same expectations and agreement - that you won't 'cheat'. If I had a kick-ass studio job and had such an agreement, or was worried about conflict of interest, I probably wouldn't put the marriage at risk either - but I guess that's for one of the swingers to answer.

On Jul.28.2006 at 11:12 AM
Pete A.’s comment is:

An interesting anecdote. How many other people are covering their bases with extra work on the side, moonlighting on top of their already busy schedule because of fear? Fear of losing the 9-5?

Just to clarify, I wasn't trying to say I freelance on the side out of fear of losing my day gig. It's more for having a bit of extra money on hand. For example, my wife's family lives in the Philippines...when we go to visit them it's a $2500+ trip. We also send a bit to them to help them out. We currently live in NYC...those who live here know...rent is sky high...for nothing but a hole in the wall. I'm also a musician and I like to tinker...I'm building a guitar amp...expensive hobby. My wife and I are looking for a new place and to start a family...this costs money. Might buy a car...another expense, along with insurance. Now, while I have a good day job and my wife works as well, aside from other benefits, I have 15% going into a 401K which absolutely robs me of take-home pay. Why do this?; So at some point I can borrow against it for a house....suffer a bit now and reap the benefits later. So as far as the money issue goes...every little bit helps. I don't over-burden myself with extra work...I take a gig here and there and it works out great.

As far as the idea of designing for a shop during the day, then coming home and designing for yourself to "unwind"...if that's your thing, so be it. It's all about finding your own sense of personal balance and what's important to you. I try not to allow myself to get so wrapped up in it like design is "end all, be all"...it's not. Here are a few things that have molded my thinking.

I. Back in the early 90s I wented to a school for recording engineering...I've played guitar my entire life and this seemed like a safe career bet at the time. Long story short, I moved to NYC and started working my way up through the chain from intern to general assistant to assistant engineer to engineer. Through the course of things I realized this wasn't for me but as a GA, I remember making $5/hr (no taxes taken out) and working insane hours (I remember a few 95 hr weeks)...no life...sleeping under studio blankets...showering at co-workers apts. in the city). I burned out quick and started doing temp data entry work....and was making 3X as much which was enough to survive on. I vowed I would never subject myself to that kind of nonesense of working around the clock...I did the 9-5 in order do my own thing..and to teach myself...that's the way it's been ever since.

II. As the Internet took shape, so did my career. I am completely self-taught but busted my hump to get to the point I'm at...I did the 9-5 gig and studied design, code, etc at night...I did that for years....and I still do that to keep up with the 15 yr old kids that have every CSS rule/hack commited to memory. Most recently, I got into 3D modeling/animation and spent a year and a half to the grindstone with that...then it all just hit me...Look at me...what am I doing? I'm 36...I'm spending 12-15 hrs a day sitting here, staring at a screen. Why? So I can wake up one day when I'm 80 and realize I made absolutely no difference aside from keeping myself afloat?

III. I found out yesterday, a friend I know through a few online forums just died in car accident in Hawaii. We weren't close but have traded email in the past and he was one of those selfless, giving, mentor types...really knew his stuff...he would've been 55 this August. Needless to say, this had me absolutely stunned and saddened and it really drives the point home...life is too short.

Find that balance...do what you need to do. I design at home when the mood hits. Would I be better if I sat and honed my skills all the time? Absolutely but there just aren't enough hours in the day and I'd rather be hanging with the Mrs. Someone else might want to design 24/7.

On Jul.28.2006 at 11:17 AM
Mr. Frankie L’s comment is:

If a full-time, well-paying 9-5 job is marriage, would engaging in work outside of that agreement be an affair?

To me, work outside is more like a good friend(s)
That friendship wouldn't necessarily interfere
with marriage – but it could if I started to
neglect my marriage.

Bryony, how much time (hrs) do you typically
devote to UC? I never realized how intensive
it was.


On Jul.28.2006 at 12:13 PM
Tom Michlig’s comment is:

To the "marraige/affair" analogy: That seems to be assuming that the agency can do no wrong, and that the agency is always being faithful to you, as a "spouse". Hardly always the case. Some employers like it when their "people" feel like they owe the company some debt of gratitude for the honor of being employed by them.

It also implies that "well-paying" is the key to a fulfilling career (akin to saying that the physically beautiful spouse is the key to a fulfilling marraige).

To me, mandated non-competes give me a sense that the agency doesn't trust its people, and that the agency is insecure in the quality of projects and atmosphere it provides to it's people. So they use a document as a deterrant. There are some cases where said documents make sense, especially in highly specific markets, where classified or proprietary ideas/software are used, but many have them for no reason (and again, would be hard pressed to enforce them).

On Jul.28.2006 at 01:00 PM
Jordan’s comment is:

Jason, I'm glad you wrote this because in the past I've often had similar thoughts about how much of what you've written exists in me. It is peculiar how so many designers cannot escape design, and it is as if learning about and practicing design completely alters our world view.

One day, we wake up, much like Spider-Man, and have these urges and the power to create work in ways we’ve never done before. After that moment everything is about design, and our time is constantly filled with design work, design thoughts, and design experiences. I've worked in-house, consulted, freelanced, taught, researched, and doodled, and it is often very difficult for me to pull away from those things. I have no idea why this is, and it goes beyond simple entertainment and money.

I've often thought that there is something I must be trying to communicate to others about myself. If design, is as many of us considers it to be, about communication; what is it that so many of us our trying to communicate through our superhero endeavors?

On Jul.28.2006 at 01:32 PM
Jason A. Tselentis’s comment is:

If design, is as many of us considers it to be, about communication; what is it that so many of us our trying to communicate through our superhero endeavors?

This would be a great place to say "With great power comes great responsibility", but I didn't say that. Peter Parker's uncle did. However, it feels like your suggesting that something valuable should come out of these moonlighting affairs, Jordan.

On Jul.28.2006 at 09:44 PM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

Interesting question. It may be an outlandish idea, but to be called upon to transform things for the better is the essence.... a sense of truth, strength and compassion...


Each culture has its supermen and superwomen if you look hard enough. It's in human nature to strive for that. If we are ordinary, how can we bend steel?

On Jul.28.2006 at 10:58 PM
Jordan’s comment is:

Jason, I'm not so sure I’m suggesting value come from a designer's after hours endeavors, so allow me to clarify. I don’t mean to imply that after hours work should produce lofty and impacting effects on the design field, culture or mankind, though that is a possibility. And if valuable is to be taken in a contextual sense, then I believe most of the work created from 5-8:55am (we need 5mins to get coffee before work) already has various kinds of value.

Simply put, I have a suspicion that the fruits of mankind’s need to create, design, and build carries a deeper socio, psychological, and/or spiritual message. What makes design different from other hyper-productive workers in different fields is that design has a communicatory foundation; therefore, it seems more likely to me that if a message is to manifest itself, through the collective intelligence of the workers in a single discipline, then design has the most potential for that to occur. In may be occurring already.


btw: kudos on the Peter's uncle quote.

On Jul.28.2006 at 11:17 PM
Michael Surtees’s comment is:

Should I be surprised or just disappointed that no designer has taken the opportunity to talk about the politics of teaching in the realm of design?

On Jul.29.2006 at 03:21 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Michael, it may be too early for a Saturday morning to be reading, but what does "the politics of teaching in the realm of design" have to do with this discussion?

On Jul.29.2006 at 08:59 AM
Michael Surtees’s comment is:

Good question Armin and I'm sorry that I don't have an appropriate answer. After reading the whole “article” that was the first question that came to mind for me.

On Jul.29.2006 at 01:49 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Um... Okay. What made you think that? And why is article in quotes? It sounds like you are trying to critique the post – let's call these things on Speak Up posts, shall we? – but don't seem to be very sure why or how.

On Jul.29.2006 at 06:49 PM
Michael Surtees’s comment is:

My cop out is that I can't crit the post, my bad. It is what is.

On Jul.29.2006 at 08:06 PM
pk’s comment is:

i think surtees might have been addressing the teacher/student bit:

Today’s graphic design education still revolves around an antiquated mentor to student model, where a mentor assigns problems, projects, and exercises for students to solve on their own.

which tselentis says is the crux of the problem.

but talking about "the politics of teaching in the crux of design" is kind of a huge field. surtees, if you can be more specific than you might be going somewhere.

If you work full-time at Nike, but operate in your home office doing work for Adidas, chances are you’ll have a subpoena handed to you rather soon. (And in all honesty, if you do work for both teams like that, you deserve to get caught, but I wonder how often it happens in today’s twisted world.)

forgive me for asking this, but why does someone deserve to get caught doing work for both teams? i don't see any real moral value in either organization, so why should workers for the sportswear industry care enough to "pick a side?"

On Jul.29.2006 at 09:21 PM
Mark Notermann’s comment is:

Jordan:

I've often thought that there is something I must be trying to communicate to others about myself.

This makes sense. But you lose me here:

...it seems more likely to me that if a message is to manifest itself, through the collective intelligence of the workers in a single discipline, then design has the most potential for that to occur

(What single discipline, btw?)

You seem to be suggesting that there's something in the back of all of our minds...could it be that we design to understand?

Just as modernism was an attempt to simplify our relationship with the machine-age world, are we simply trying to reconcile life in the data stream?

On Jul.30.2006 at 12:03 AM
pk’s comment is:

scratch that last question in my prior comment. i missed the "works full time at nike" portion, reading too quickly. although i still am a little weirded out in the moralizing tone. seems kind of anachronistic to put all one's eggs in a single basket in a day and age when it's made clear that employees are expendable.

On Jul.30.2006 at 05:06 AM
Ricardo Cordoba’s comment is:

Jason, what a great, thoughtful essay (er, post -- sorry, Armin)! Thanks. And by the way, the Barbara Kruger Style Guide is hilarious!

On Jul.30.2006 at 06:00 PM
Tselentis’s comment is:

I wish Michael Surtees would elaborate on the comment about teaching relative to this post. Or can anybody else pick up where he left off?

On Jul.30.2006 at 07:08 PM
Tselentis’s comment is:

Mark, You seem to be suggesting that there's something in the back of all of our minds...could it be that we design to understand?

Understand what? Communication? The audience? Content?

On Jul.30.2006 at 07:14 PM
Cheshire Dave’s comment is:

I have a little bit of a different situation that applies to this post. I've freelanced (emphasis on the free) for an awesome tiny theatre company for the past five years. I started because I was deadly bored in my job at the time (the subject matter was interesting, but for the most part the design work wasn't). For the past 16 months I've worked for one of the biggest nonprofit theatre companies in the area, and I'm as creatively challenged as I want to be.

Suddenly I found myself a little bored with what I was doing for the little company. I felt I either needed to do more or less with the company, and I opted for more: I became the managing director. I'm still designing posters, postcards, programs, &c. for the company, but I'm also responsible for running the business aspects. As a result, it's a huge new responsibility, but it's also reenergized me (even as it's deprived me of sleep).

It's ok with the powers that be that I work for both companies. The unspoken caveat is that it's ok as long as the smaller one doesn't negatively affect the larger one. I absolutely don't want to jeopardize my position at the larger one.

I don't want to be a workaholic, but I do always want to be moving forward. I've gone about as far as I can as a full-time art director in the nonprofit theatre world, and I'm happy in this position now, but I'm wondering what else the future holds for me. I'm giving this managing director thing a shot to see how much I enjoy it and whether I'm cut out for it at a place where I could be paid to do it. So far the answer is, I love it, but selling theatre is hard work on a good day, and my little company has been having about three years of a bad day, and I haven't been able to reverse that yet in the six months I've been doing the additional work, so... maybe not. But we'll see.

On Jul.30.2006 at 08:36 PM
Mark Notermann’s comment is:

Jason:

Understand what? Communication? The audience? Content?

Yes.

All of it.

I'm talking less about any of the specific activities we engage in as much as the design process as a whole. The "need to create, design, and build" as Jordan said. For me it's the "need to visualize."

As it can be said that one learns by teaching, I understand by designing. Does that make any sense?


On Jul.31.2006 at 12:56 AM
Michael Surtees’s comment is:

I think King was trying to make me sound smarter than I really am. Jason, I honestly found the whole post long winded. Coming from academia, it is a lot easier to take shots at profession when accountability is different on a campus. If you take money out of the equation, a more challenging question would be to talk about being a design teacher as apposed to an observer that does some on the side.

On Jul.31.2006 at 10:55 PM
Jason A. Tselentis’s comment is:

a more challenging question would be to talk about being a design teacher as apposed to an observer that does some on the side.

Michael, can you state this another way? Or give an example? Thanks.

On Jul.31.2006 at 11:12 PM
A.S.’s comment is:

I have a question...
What if you like you day job and the wonderful work you do there everyday, but it doesn't pay well?

I've loved the work I do from 9-5 for the past seven years (two different jobs) BUT I don't make much $$$ at all. Thankfully my wife makes good money doing reasonably fullfilling design work 9-5.

The "conflict" for me has been plenty of work, not much money. Has anyone else been in this situation?

Seems like everyone makes enough at their day job and isn't crazy about the work. My job is a job a lot of people want, not for the pay, but the clients and work we do. But I'm beginning to notice, it's mostly single people without families, mortgages, and well, lives outside of work.

Am I an idiot for keeping a job that doesn't pay well, just because the work is good? I know one thing is for sure, I can't sustain this much longer. I want to go on vacation, have children, do things other than design, like normal people. So if you've ever wondered what it would be like to have a job like that, with cool work and cool clients... better be ready to give up the former.

On Aug.01.2006 at 06:25 PM
Issara Willenskomer’s comment is:

Hey, man, thanks for linking to me! I also really enjoyed what you said about school. The academic world is clearly based on an outdated model that needs to be re-analyzed. The teacher/student dichotomy is failing. Students come in with more technical knowledge than the 'teachers.' So where does that leave us? Mostly with a bunch of questions. What would be a superior academic model? We can assume a tremendous disparity in class structure. Some students will be software masters, others will be novices, and most will have no formal design training. I think you're right when you say that there needs to be more collaborative projects. Keep up the great writing, man!

On Aug.02.2006 at 03:10 PM
Brian Alter’s comment is:

I know this is veering off-topic…

Jason T & Issara,

Maybe I'm just sensitive because I'm at a point where I feel like a need a mentor, but can you all elaborate on what is so outdated about the mentor/student model? Besides lack of teamwork (and sleep) what is the BIG PROBLEM at which you seem to be hinting?

And how does it matter if students have more technical knowledge than teachers? A good teacher would impose a set of restrictions on projects anyway.

On Aug.04.2006 at 12:48 PM
Tselentis’s comment is:

Brian, to your question about the educational problem, it's at the root of creating individualistic designers because of the complete lack of others. I wish this subject had been addressed earlier above. My argument about mentor/student was intended to address why designers take on so much: research, design, writing, performing as user, etc. This burden teaches designers 'one way' of functioning; when they go into the working world, and must share (or give away) these tasks, perhaps they feel empty and as a result go off to persue endeavors where they can once again take it all upon their shoulders.

Not every institution operates along the lines I write about, and not every student leaves academia feeling empowered like a superhero—with urges of doing it all around the clock. But many students take on so much in the design classroom that they don't recognize teamwork until later in education or worse yet, when they leave school.

Mentors are valuable people, capable of delivering direction, support, and knowledge. I do not frown on mentors per se, but wish that more design education could foster teamwork, and the willingness to use existing resources instead of designers trying to be jacks of all trades. Still, design is as much about process as anything else, so to give students an entire spectrum of problems to solve while wearing various hats wouldn't hurt. Or would it?

On Aug.04.2006 at 02:50 PM
avery’s comment is:

I don't see what all the fuss is about. I work 9-5, teach a class or two, and do some freelance at night and on weekends. My 9-5 boss knows about my extra-curricular activities and is totally supportive. She believes that these outside influences will absolutely filter into the creativity of my design in-house. The variety in these activities keeps my work fresh.

I think this phenomenon of moonlighting is also a case of CYA for designers. Jobs are not secure. Most 9-5 workers don't get great benefits if at all, everyone seems to be downsizing, and jobs all over the US are getting farmed out to other countries. Companies aren't generally loyal to their employees, so I don't see anything wrong with employees taking care of themselves at every opportunity.

And I totally agree with the poster who said you have to keep up some freelance so your portfolio doesn't get stale. If you ever want to change jobs, it's always a good idea to show potential employers a variety of work in a portfolio so they can better imagine your skills meeting their needs.

On Aug.06.2006 at 12:25 AM
jenn.suz.hoy’s comment is:

Couldn't be more true-to-life. Our office has a few with the secretive windows/tabs that are constantly being closed/minimized when there are lurkers about.

I also find it true what you said that our voracious lust for the Superman life wouldn't be there if we called it quits for the alter-ego and moved to Krypton permanently. Isn't that the message of The Incredibles? Mr. Incredible wanted the alter-ego life to just settle down for a bit...until a court order forced him to remain Bob Parr (sort of a backward correlation to the Superman reference, but same idea).

On Aug.16.2006 at 02:43 PM