At my first job in advertising, we pulled a lot of late nights. Presentations and big pitches would always go late the night before they were due and as the junior art director, I was typically stuck managing the deck and laying out the images as they would come in at 2 or 3am. One particular night, my boss came over to my desk just to make sure I was ok. It had been a long week and this night was going to be a really late one. He started by asking me a question:
“Are you a fireman or a banker? For me,” he continued, “ I’m a fireman. We have a very important job of putting out the fires. We get a call that something is burning, we rush over and we’re here working all night and into the morning as long as there’s still a fire. Bankers, on the other hand, clock in at 9 and clock out at 5. No matter where they are with their work. No shame in that, just a different kind of person.”
Answering this question has helped me find the right job and ask the right questions in interviews to understand a company’s culture and process.
So which one are you?
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