Category Advertising, Insights, Inspiration, Moose Life
Last week, we offered Nuggets of Wisdom for Advertising Interns, which inspired our summer blog series, “So You Want a Job in Advertising?” Over the next few weeks, we’ll share tips, tricks and insider knowledge regarding what it takes to make it in this crazy marketing world. Subscribe to our RSS feed so you don’t miss a single installment.
Not even a year ago I was still in college.
I lived in a dump with seven dudes and three dogs in a six-bedroom shack. I had no job because I didn’t want one. My grades were only a shade above decent. I contributed nothing to society. It was awesome.
But in an interesting twist, I like being a professional copywriter and living the working life better.
This post is for anyone who wants an advertising agency job and hasn’t landed their first gig yet. This is not a list of things I’m good at. Instead, this is a list of things I noticed have helped people get (and keep) an entry-level advertising job. I used a few of them myself, and look at me now! Blogging like some kind of expert. (Hey Mom!)
Be an open book. I’m a writer, and I used to spend a lot of time working in secrecy. Don’t do that. Share everything relevant that you created with everyone who helps you create. I thought if I hid my bad ideas and shared the good, everyone would think I was a golden boy. That’s absurd. There’s an insane amount of genuine hard work that goes into professional copywriting. You’re going to have bad ideas and make mistakes and it’s going to sting. But you know what’s worse than having a bad idea? Thinking it was a good one.
Do work that you love. Do stuff you think is really cool, and keep doing it. Even if you start off doing terrible work, it will get better when you care, and you’ll only care if it’s stuff that you’re into. Don’t create work that you think will get the best grade. Grades are important, but they’re completely devoid of any actual meaning. Develop a style that you love and own. It’ll improve all on its own. Just keep making stuff in the meantime.
It’s okay to be weird. The concept of “fitting in” implies imitation and privilege, which is in direct conflict with the concept of teamwork. Any kind of good team needs people who are good at all kinds of weird stuff. An agency needs their writers to write and their account directors to direct accounts. If you imitate, you’re wasting time that you could’ve spent developing your skill and being a better asset to your team. Besides, I’d rather play on a great team than on a bad one, and I do better work around weird people than boring ones.
None of this matters if you don’t work hard. I’m typing this at 8:15 on a Monday night. Almost half the people on my floor are still here and a few of us were out of town for business over the weekend. You know what keeps us here? We like this stuff and work extremely hard to be good at it. You should too.
Either that, or I know a couple guys with a couch you can crash on.
Share your thoughts and leave your questions in the comments below, and we’ll respond with professional advice, straight from the Moose’s mouth.