Monday, 20 August 2007
Reality vs Fantasy
Or otherwise known as 'shattering those illusions'.
There's a helluva lot of a discrepancy between what a lot of graduate schemes will tell you, and what the job is really like. If this blog does nothing else, it should help wise you all up about what the job is really like - short of properly experiencing it.
The first job, if you are able to get onto a grad scheme, will undoubtedly be in account management. Now, personally (and again, due to my upbringing - dad's a suit, y'see), I thought the job would have incorporate a helluva lot of strategy from the very beginning. Wrong.
You'll be binding, checking, photocopying and client pleasing, spending an awful lot of time on PowerPoint as you go (though the latter never really leaves you, I won't lie). The pace of life gets really quick, really fast. No dicking about, this is a job, not an extended University booze cruise. Along the way, you do have a lot of fun - you get to have (some) long lunches with the client and the senior agency management, the odd random and fun day out and generally experience a lot of different things.
It's a good thing, really - because it helps you realise just what the meat and drink of the job is straight away, and what each of the different departments in an ad agency do - there's a danger that if you have your heart set on being a planner at first, you'll never really find out what the art buying department, account handlers or production do on a daily basis. No, you get to experience it all, which is great for your learning.
You also begin to realise why a lot of junior account handlers either move into planning or drop out of the industry - it's just not like the land of academia they knew, or the picture painted by the agency.
Now, the job does change. You become more senior, the strategic element of the job gets greater, and it becomes a lot more cerebral. Which is great for some people, but not for everyone - it's why the likes of Anton and myself became planners - plainly, we didn't feel that the job was for us, but we liked the strategic element.
You may have an idea of what you'd like to do now - plainly, a lot of you who are more academic will be thinking either 'planning sounds great' or 'oo err, maybe advertising's not for me - it sounds like a slog'. But you have to experience it to realise where your strengths lie and where you fit in.
Just don't get taken in by fantasy, that's all...