My 3 Pieces Of Advice For Advertising Newbies

It's my last week at my job before I start my next unpredictable adventure in #thisadvertisinglife. I don't have too much going on as most of my projects have been transferred to other writers, so now the countdown to my good-bye happy hour tomorrow starts. I'm supposed to be "mentoring" our interns this week, but because I barely have any work to mentor them with, I decided instead to write-up a short list featuring my top three pieces of advice should they choose this industry as a career path. In the grand scheme of things, I'm still "young" in the advertising world, but I feel the experiences I've had thus far have already instilled in me some serious life lessons that can't not be passed on. So, here's what I emailed them this morning:

1. Never post anything on social media that even subtly has to do with your job.

No, really. Don’t. Not a picture of your desk. Not a beer you got from the beer fridge or beer cart. Definitely nothing negative — e.g. “ugh. counting down the hours until 5,” “ugh. the bathroom smells like s***,” “ugh. look at this coworker’s ugly shirt she doesn’t know I m posting and making fun of." Just… don’t post anything that involves your job, ok? This is how I was fired once, true story. It was ridiculous and an over-the-top reaction for something so innocent, but the company I worked for didn’t see it that way. Keep yourself entirely separate from your job when it comes to social media with the exception of listing where you work on Facebook or LinkedIn. You are a completely separate entity from your place of work. Know this and live by it.


2. Know that, for the first few years, everything you create will most likely be crap.

Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t get all dark and moody with your creative-self. Just know that it takes a while to hone a specific craft. No one is going to expect you to be a genius at writing or creating right off the bat. If you are, that’s great. Good for you. But chances are you most likely have “a lot to learn” (you’ll hear this a lot during reviews and it’ll be annoying), and it takes watching experienced creatives come up with ideas to spark the same kind of thinking within yourself. You’ll be amazed at what you pick up along the way. Just be patient with yourself. You'll get it, and when you do, you'll feel invincible for a brief moment before you go back to doubting your talents and feeling insecure more often than not (such is the nature of the advertising beast).



Do you hear me??? This business, just like any other, can be catty. Don’t add to that. Yes, being a creative lends itself to this sort of naturally instilled competitive streak. But watch yourself. At the end of the day, we all just want to be heard and we all want to be thought of as awesome. Don’t be an asshole to other copywriters at your job or prospective art directors who reach out to you, wondering if you have connections. If someone else’s idea gets chosen, support them. If you are having trouble coming up with something for a certain project, don’t be proud — ask a fellow creative for their insight. This industry is already unpredictable and crazy enough — the least we can do is not add to it by being competitive, petty weirdos.