Sep 12, 2014

Top 10 things I’ve learned from advertising

10. You’ll meet some of the most talented people in your life. Simply put, I’ve met artists, writers and people with endless amounts of talent that somehow ended up in advertising. They are priceless gems that are not appreciated and underutilized.

9. It is the best job in theory. In practice, advertising sucks because of agency culture, power plays, revisions, shitty clients etc. In theory though, advertising is the strategic use of creativity. That’s awesome except not every agency is built the same. Still, the process is often broken and you will know to redo one thing about twenty times. Enjoy regurgitating and re pushing it down your throat.

8. You’re body will eventually give up on you. Sore neck, sore back, headaches, indigestion, spasms, carpel tunnel... you name it and you’ll get it because ad agency culture often leads people to unhealthy work habits that push them to the brink.

7. You won’t matter. Your health is not the agency’s problem. The agency’s problem is ensuring you keep pumping out material that allows it to squeeze the client for an extra buck.

6. The agency civil war is endless and retarded. Execs hate creatives. Creatives hate execs. It’s par for the course and definitely something that could be avoided if people grew up.

5. You will always be underpaid. This could be your perception or reality. The fact remains, you’ll feel underpaid. It could be the process, what you bring to the table or just the amount of hours you put in that dilute your salary, you’ll feel like you’re being screwed.

4. You will not get a medal. I’ve seen people be 20 years in an agency be rewarded with the cheapest spa package at a cheap spa place, valued at less than $120.

3. You will meet the people you most respect and least respect in the same confines. It’s amazing how much variety there is in an agency. I’ve met people whom I’d chisel a pedestal from granite and other people who would get my piss to put the fire out in their hair.

2. You will not be taken seriously by your family. This is a fact... a sad, frustrating fact, thought still a fact nonetheless. You will be the black sheep, the weirdo and you will never play it out so might as well get used to it.

1. Odds are you will work in a bunch of places before you’re 40. I jumped between 5 agencies in a 3 and a half year period. This isn’t necessarily a healthy thing.

Are there more lessons... of course yes, though these are the top ten you need to be able to survive and know what you’re in for, so good luck.


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