Hang in ThereHow to make the best of a bad job.

Hang in ThereHow to make the best of a bad job.

Issue 45

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Arts & Culture

  • Words Asher Ross
  • Photograph Julian Song

Having to implement a project you dislike is the worst. With merry ease, some creative director or executive outlines their vision and then leaves for a month of lunches while you are tasked with making it real. Now, alas, the all-gray interior must be designed, the loathsome video must be shot, the accursed app must be coded. 

You aren’t alone. Very few of us have genuine creative control over what we do. So, how to proceed? The traditional guidance is to muddle on. Character, and professionalism, after all, are defined by how well we perform in suboptimal situations. This type of advice traces its roots to Stoic philosophy. Stoics taught that character and virtue should be pursued with near-inhuman indifference to circumstance. Marcus Aurelius, a Stoic and Roman emperor, lived by t...

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