I really don’t want to call this post ‘how to get ahead in advertising’, but that’s what it’s about.
I’ve just finished reading this excellent compendium of advice from current successful advertising people.
For the time-poor:
1. Trust your instincts in terms of which job to go for.
2. If you have the choice, work somewhere good for less money that somewhere shit for lots of cash. The money will follow the good work you’ll do at the good place.
3. Don’t let your title define you. Look for ways to contribute even if they’re above or below your pay grade.
4. Be open to experiences outside advertising in order to keep yourself fresh (and not fresh for your job necessarily; fresh for life as a functioning human being. None of them said that, but that’s my advice. The idea that everything you do has to have an ulterior motive of career success seems a bit empty and dark).
5. Be hungry, but feed that hunger. Don’t be timid.
6. Be ego-free: don’t judge ideas by how clever they make you look, but by how useful they could be for the audience, or how they will inspire your audience to feel.
7. ‘Stop jerking off spiders’ (I suggest you read the article to find out the meaning of that one).
8. Be really fucking nice to everyone.
9. And always be positive. I was in a meeting the other day where certain things started to look a bit difficult. I responded by saying: ‘the bigger the crisis the bigger the opportunity’, But the crucial thing is that I meant it, and it changed the mood. And it’s true. You can go through life solving tiny problems that don’t really matter, or you can take on something big that needs a shitload of work to make it happen. Which do you think will be most satisfying? Which will help you grow? Which will make sure you die happy?
I hope that helps.