FIGISM #13: Symbiosis

Enjoying well-deserved bonding time at our FIG fall retreat this past November.

Scanning the news recently, I came across a Digiday article entitled, ‘It’s brutal: Junior agency employees feel the squeeze from low margins.’ The article exposes the common practice among agencies, which are experiencing industry-wide reductions in profit margins, to rely on junior employees to assume the burden of a disproportionately large percentage of client work. As a result, these junior employees, who are often making entry-level salaries between $35k – $40k, are working up to 75 hours a week for no additional compensation. To make matters worse, client work often suffers in quality, as senior employees are benched in favor of their cheaper, less experienced counterparts.

This piece made me simultaneously cringe and thank my lucky stars that I’ve landed at an agency that prioritizes the health and wellness of all its employees. At FIG, we work hard, sometimes VERY hard, but we all acknowledge and embrace the idea that there is life beyond work. We are a tightly knit group and we depend on each other – as such, it’s essential that everyone contributes. Because we are all willing to pitch in, from interns to our most senior employees, our ecosystem is sustainable, and avoids placing undue pressure on any one person.

This support system allows employees to go on vacation, have a baby or simply take time for self care. It creates an environment where we can benefit from the wisdom and experience of others. And, it makes coming to work a heck of a lot more fun.

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” – Aristotle

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