To be clear, this is not a ploy to deter people from a career in advertising. It’s just a way of saying you’ll either hate it and/or love it.
As a junior, you don’t want to complain and look incapable of dealing with something on your own. But sometimes you should actually address a real issue. Project requirements, timelines, the brief, work relationships, etc. Just because you’re at the bottom of the food chain doesn’t mean you have to bend over and take it. After all, juniors are human too.
It’s not easy because if you go from ad school straight to an ad agency, advertising IS your life. But advertising that’s inspired by other advertising is actually really tragic. Unsubscribe, turn things off, go outside, and force yourself to be inspired by life.
Always. What if something happens at your agency and you get laid off? Would you rather have good work in your portfolio to help you find another gig? Or bad work in your portfolio but some money to wipe away your tears? Good work will eventually lead you to more money.
I was actually surprised at how many people don’t know how to present. Here’s some quick tips I learned during school: Keep it short, concise, and confident. Make it your own so you’re telling a story versus selling something. Put only the necessary basics on presentation slides. Take advantage of pauses. Know your work so you face your audience and don’t read off a wall with your back to them. Remove all “Uh… um… yeah…like…” from your vocabulary. And NEVER start a sentence with “So…”
I gained a lot of respect just by reaching out to the strategists to learn what their original thought process was. Sometimes their explanation changed my mind and I would get inspired. Other times, we’d talk it through to push it to a place where we all felt strong enough to move forward. It helped me to learn how to be push the work respectfully and present strategy, which apparently many creatives don’t do.
I was pretty friendly before Brandcenter. But I once I got there, I was faced 200 new friends at once with presentations, crying, laughing, massive eating and drinking sessions with people from all over the world every week for 2 years. It was pure madness but amazing at the same time. It definitely prepared me for the ad world.
A professor once told me, “Don’t stress out. It’ll eventually make you hate the game of advertising. And once you hate it, you’ll never come back.” It’s sound advice.
Pitch your best and craziest ideas, even if they’ll fail. At least you tried. Don’t be predictable and safe. This is one of the few industries where we have the freedom to do that. Take advantage of it. You want to be Mozart and not Salieri.