Working in a closed shop environment can be stifling to you as a business. Joining a team or a management service (outside of an agency) can seem like a good idea. A collection of people who cooperate and support each other in a social environment sounds fantastic on paper.
However, I have seen first hand the problem with that.
Absolute power will corrupt absolutely.
There is always someone at the top of the food chain who is controlling the flow of information or who decides what information is given to the group. We all run a business and sometimes we will get work outside of the group and with market forces such as they are, is that you can be vilified if you are not seen to be supporting the group.
In the last few years, I have seen and experienced examples of this. I work extremely hard to create the business, development strategies, marketing and the general force of my work is all done behind the scenes, yes I share and support but within constraints. Diversifying your plan and business can make the difference. Look at other avenues can and does open new doors and allows you to be more flexible about what you take on.
Look at work away from the group, try and diversify your marketing strategies and research. The market is wide open and the potential is there to work if you are willing to put the time into it.
Step back from the collective groups and look at how you work, where you work and what is being brought to the table. If its all time for......or speculative and lacks a direction or the favourite one "good for your portfolio"it's not going to put money in the banks and buy your makeup. Look at the structure, who is getting the bulk of the business and being put forward for the shoots? If the skillset is low and they are still getting the work, is this really the team you want to be a part of?
If your business is important to you then treat it with reverence. Closed shop teams that control the business are not worth it if you are not making money,