A grey suited and grey faced pensions fellow spoke to me at the start of my career, he said 'you should have a years salary in savings pots at all times'. I walked out of the room laughing.
The idea that you wouldn't spend all your hard earned cash on sweet sweet beer was insane.
Why let it sit in the bank earning next to nothing each month so that future Dave can enjoy it?
Screw future Dave.
Turns out, when I started saving for future beers I felt better about the sweet sweet beer I was having in the moment.
In fact, I started being even more risky with the money I wasn't saving, I bought my favourite car from the Playstation game Gran Tourismo, an FTO. It was a 15 year old car and constantly broke down. At any point a buggered engine part could have wiped me out financially (and physically).
But by god it was fun.
It is counter intuitive, yet in a way makes sense.
More security = the confidence to take on more risk.
But I don't believe everyone thinks that way. Others start to see the number rise, so they become even more cautious with their money. They start to watch the pence like a hawk, to make the number grow they start to avoid risk at every turn.
I see the same when creative people get jobs in agencies.
They go either one of two ways. They dream of all the great creative ideas they will have, then they get an agency job and they become dull. They are so focused on being their idea of what an agency creative should be, of repeating tried and tested creative ideas, that they stop trying anything new.
They see each brief with the tools they have used before, then the tools become fewer.
It happens in small steps, like a jacket getting tighter until you feel you can't move.
They stop taking risks.
Then there are those that use being an agency creative to allow them to try new things and to push themselves. Each brief is a chance to explore a new tool that they have been dying to try.
You see, security is the base on which we can take risks, and a good creative loves to take risks. The job doesn't define them, it gives them access to challenges and budget that pushes them as a creative.
If the approach you are taking doesn't excite or scare you, then you are just keeping your job.
You aren't pushing yourself.