The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Hello Colenso …

So this is it.

First day at school. Again.

In another new country. Again.

It’s always a weird feeling starting a new job. A mixture of excitement and nerves.

Excitement for the possibilities that lie ahead and nerves that you don’t really know what the hell actually lies ahead.

Most of this is because you are not you when you begin a new job.

You’re in this weird place where you want to throw yourself in the mix as quickly as possible – both to start feeling settled and to show your value to your new colleagues – while at the same time, knowing you have to learn a whole new set of people, protocols and situations while navigating the judging eyes that are going to follow you around for weeks.

But I have to say I am particularly excited about this.

I’ve loved Colenso from afar for a long time.

And as I wrote a while back, I almost joined them 6 years ago and always regretted it didn’t work out [simply because my head was not in the right place after Mum died] … so to be given this chance again is something else.

But the main thing is how they have acted towards me before I joined.

Lots of companies talk a good game when they’re trying to hire you and then – the moment it’s all signed and sealed – turn into demanding, inconsiderate pricks.

While it has only happened to me once, it fucks with your mind.

You doubt your judgement.

You question your decisions.

It’s pretty debilitating.

And yet, while it has been almost 8 months since we agreed to get married, Colenso have been amazing in how they have dealt with me.

One of the big things is how steadfast they’ve been not involving me in stuff till I’m here.

Of course they checked in … but they never gave me work to do, because they didn’t want our first experience working together to be one where I’m the only person on Zoom and 13 hours behind the rest of the team.

And while I would not have minded, I totally get why they wanted that to be the way.

That said, I did want to use the time to get to know the team and I basically had to beg to get that to happen.

Of course it’s not the best way to build any sort of understanding, rapport and relationship with people – so rather than talk about work, we tended to chat about what’s happening in our lives and how we feel about it – which took away any formality and allowed us to start revealing the different sides of each other.

And while I can’t wait to get to know them properly from here on in, I’m happy we have got to a stage where they feel comfortable enough to already call me a range of ‘choice’ names … which means I’ve just saved a week on my typical timings, ha.

While the past 13 months have been a very special time for me both personally [spending so much time with my wonderful family in our new home] and professionally [working with amazing people doing work I never dreamed I would be a part of] I am utterly thrilled to be starting here today.

Don’t get me wrong, I know it won’t all be rainbows and unicorns.

I’m old enough to know there will be plenty of times full of pain, drama, arguing and asshole challenges … but when you work for a place that only has its eye on the work they create, it means everything works out in the end.

For all the tension, scars, arguments and bloody hard fucking work it takes for creativity to be at its sharpest and most dangerous – at least a lot of the time, but not all of the time – once you’ve got it there and let it out into the world, it’s amazing how all the tension, scars and arguing fade away.

Better yet, it’s replaced with excitement, energy and possibility.

OK, and nerves, but even that is in an excited way.

Now I accept this might all sound like bullshit, but it isn’t

I lived it at HHCL, Cynic and Wieden.

It’s why it’s the founding principal behind Uncorporated.

It’s why places like Uncommon, are attracting the biggest names rather than chasing them.

And it’s why a small agency on the other side of the World has consistently played against the very best in the World.

The key word here is consistently.

Not one offs.

Not once upon a time, a long time ago.

I mean doing it day in and day out.

Finding new ways to do old things.

Looking for opportunities where creativity can change outcomes.

Embracing technology to expand the possibilities of creativity rather than just efficiency.

Staying on the path even when you could take short-cuts or potentially crash and burn.

Because in an industry that is increasingly defining success outside of the work they make and the cultural impact it creates, it’s those who let the creativity do the talking who create and attract the most interesting futures.

Not just for themselves. But for clients and culture alike.

So thank you to everyone who helped me get to this place in my career.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me actually get to New Zealand.

And thank you to Colenso for your stupidity in giving me this opportunity.

I will be eternally grateful, even if my new planning gang won’t be.

Right, time for the oldest ‘new boy’ to go cause some chaos.

Have a great day, I know I will.


22 Comments

Good luck. Not to you Rob, to colenso. They’re the ones who’ll need it.

Comment by Bazza

I never doubted that.

Comment by Rob

hr are about to earn their fucking salaries.

Comment by andy@cynic

They are lucky to have you. Well, luckyish.
Have a great day Robert.

Comment by George

“Luckyish’.

Comment by Rob

Luckyish in the same way you survived a car crash but you broke your back?

Comment by DH

Jesus … that’s harsh isn’t it?

Comment by Rob

Are you wearing long trousers?

Comment by Billy Whizz

Yes … even I can’t do that on my first day.

Though I did when I popped into see them last week. I hope they understand this is the best gift I could give them.

Comment by Rob

Not taking the job would be the best gift.

Comment by Billy Whizz

smartest thing youve ever fucking said billy.

Comment by andy@cynic

Have a great first day at school Rob.

Comment by Pete

more innocent people about to be fucked with.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’ve always liked Colenso but you made them sound decent people too. Do they know what they have just unleashed on themselves?

Comment by DH

What a good post. I know you will be hugely successful there as you are everywhere you go. But I am excited to witness what you create. I feel you may be a wonderful match for each other.

Comment by Lee Hill

What could possibly go wrong?

Comment by John

Only about 3846735734638456 things.

But then you knew that.

Comment by Rob

I have a story about Colenso. My art school was just around the corner on College street, so it was pretty normal then (1990s) to chat with Colenso boys at the cafe or the local bar. All amiable crew. So in 1997, I was putting together an exhibition and I was working with some artists from overseas, and I was keen to do a limited run catalogue, but we were poor art students, and being only 21, I didn’t know anything about fundraising. Anyway, one afternoon in the local pub, I ended up talking to a Colenso guy and tell him about my show, and he says oh, well, if you need a sponsor I’m sure Rog will help. So Monday there’s a few faxes exchanged and by the afternoon, someone from the office came down to my painting studio with an envelope of cash to pay for printing a catalogue, courtesy of “Rog”. There were no contracts or invoices or anything, just an envelope of cash and a fax from Rog wishing me luck. I never did meet Rog or get to thank him, but I still have the fax.

Comment by Hutch

That is a brilliant story … do you mind if I use that in the office?

Thank you so much for sharing.

Comment by Rob

By all means. Enjoy your time there, I grew up in Auckland, the people are cliquey as hell, but the place can be awesome.

Comment by Hutch

Faxes in NZ. And they say globilisation is bad.

Comment by John

been fired yet campbell?

Comment by andy@cynic




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