Interests outside of work good for creative careers, survey shows
Feb 09,2007 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

In the creative field, all work and no play can get in the way of career advancement, a new survey suggests. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of advertising and marketing executives said employees who are passionate about interests outside the office typically perform better on the job.

The national poll includes 250 responses -- 125 from advertising executives among the nation's 1,000 largest advertising agencies and 125 from senior marketing executives among the nation's 1,000 largest companies. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing marketing, advertising, creative and web professionals on a project basis.

Advertising and marketing executives were asked, "In your opinion, are creative professionals who are passionate about interests outside of work (for example, music, sports, theater) generally more or less effective on the job?" Their responses:

Significantly more effective  26%

Somewhat more effective  42%

Neither more nor less effective  25%

Somewhat less effective  2%

Much less effective  1%

Don't know  4%

"Creativity doesn't operate in a vacuum," said Dave Willmer, executive director of The Creative Group. "Most employers recognize that original concepts typically have building blocks, and a person's hobbies and interests are an important source of inspiration."

Willmer cautioned, however, that there can be too much of a good thing. "When hiring, managers need to differentiate between job candidates who are enthusiastic about their hobbies and those who are obsessed with them. Top performers are able to balance personal and professional interests."