So you’re considering a career in advertising and aren’t sure what it entails? As a critical facilitation agent to enable to a successful career for our teams across the tech and advertising divisions, here are my top ten tips based on observations:
1. Control Perceptions
Don’t leave your personal brand to chance. Many do and it is easily the biggest career mistake people make. If you want to be on the creative side of advertising, whether it be concepts, copy or strategy, have a portfolio and publish it. People in advertising need to take their own advice and promote themselves. Perception is the reality. Babar Khan Javed, the lead for our APAC expansion, has built his entire professional brand around brand journalism. It’s not too late to catch up.
2. Get Briefed
The blueprint for every project lies in the brief. It’s the document you turn to in order to match your output with the client-side input. Ask questions from client side leads, like Vipul Jadhav, to clear out any confusion. Having a successful career in advertising means that before every meeting, you get the brief. It’s your guide to the problem statement, the customer insights, campaign objectives, market state, and the client’s market standing.
3. Brainstorm Silently
You have two ears and one mouth, take a hint. During a brainstorm session, it pays to listen until the words have expired. Speak when spoken to or to add value the existing ideas on the table. Always respond with a smile coupled with “Yes, and ..,” and start with being in agreement mode. It will help you and the team formulate better ideas and move the ideation process towards a constructive common goal. Ideas get better buy in when it’s a team effort. If the group attendees start talking about your idea, democratise the credit happily.
4. Ideas Before Execution
Go to YouTube and watch at least five ads from Nike. What do they all have in common? They all build up towards something. An intangible mission statement that plucks at the aspiration wiring of the mind. That’s called the big idea. You may have heard of it. It’s called “Just Do It”. Having a successful career in advertising means that every campaign you create will need a big idea that is the underlying theme of the execution. Start with the big idea, and then move into execution. Many newbies get enamoured in the execution elements without understanding what the brand stands for in the iris of the audience.
5. Stay Professional
One of the problems of being right brained is that no opinion is grounded in actionable data. There is no objectivity, only subjectivity. If you think like the former, talk to Ahsan Khalid, our CTO for a role in his team. But for those in creative and strategy, the name of the game is ideas are a dime in a dozen. If you want to have a successful career in advertising, it’s imperative to remember to stay unemotional when receiving internal or external feedback.
6. Stay Updated
Unless it’s an employee based firm, don’t expect anyone to conduct weekly sessions that keep you up to speed with the latest success cases, trends, and tech. Do it yourself and do it often.
7. Befriend Clients
Within the advertising agency, your clients are the people in the accounts and client service teams. Befriend them, make them look good and they will sell your idea to the actual client much better. A successful career is built on relationships.
8. Establish Limits
A fifty-hour work week is not uncommon in the advertising business, but a creative is truly in their prime when the mind is fresh. No your limits and raise the red flag when you’re near burn out. This is encouraged at Centric DXB.
9. Side Hustle
Work when you’re not working but dive into what your passion is. It’s a great way to revitalise the mind. Babar Khan Javed, our APAC lead, offers his time to Google’s Startup Weekend events every month to mentor founders and fund their ventures. Have a side hustle for yourself, no one else.
10. Network Often
Spend the first six months going out for lunch and after work drinks with your colleagues. Build strategic relationships within and outside your agency. The fastest way to do this is by staying in touch with your friends in college, whether or not they are in your field. You never know where an opportunity may rise up. Never burn your bridges and keep your ear on the ground.
Now go forth and conquer adland.