Creative sector pay and some dodgy logic

Creative sector pay and some dodgy logic
There's a Harvard Business Review piece doing the rounds online this week, Seven Rules for Managing Creative People.

There's a Harvard Business Review piece doing the rounds online this week, Seven Rules for Managing Creative People.

Credit where it's due: author Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology and an "international authority in personality profiling and psychometric testing" makes a few good points, although they're not exactly earth-shattering, such as the importance of keeping creative types stimulated with meaningful and varied work.

"Few things are as aggravating to creatives as boredom. Indeed, creative people are prewired to seek constant change, even when it's counterproductive. They take a different route to work every day, even if it gets them lost, and never repeat an order at a restaurant, even if they really liked it."

However, Chamorro-Premuzic is getting slammed in the comments section by readers with their hackles well and truly up, and for good reason. His fifth rule for managing creatives? Pay them poorly ("the more you pay people to do what they love, the less they will love it," he reasons).

Sure, there's the argument of diminishing returns – US research has found the optimal income to be between $50,000 and $75,000, beyond which the happiness tipping point tapers off.

But as anyone in the creative sector will tell you (and as statistics bear out) careers in the creative arts are already among the lowest-paying, and for those just starting out, unpaid internships are still the pathway into the industry.

Enjoying one's work shouldn't be a reason to pay them less. Do we really need encouragement to keep creative jobs poorly paid and undervalued?