Friday, 26 December 2008

The Gatekeeper to agency experience..

They give with one hand...and can sort you out. Photo via benaspenod, usual rules apply.

Hello there. In between bouts of turkey, drinking, presents and sitting, I've had a few notes about that mythical beast, work experience.

If you've not been one of the lucky ones who've gotten in through the grad scheme milkround, perhaps it's the right time to start to think about a spot of time in an agency. It may not be paid, it may not be the most exciting job in the world, but it's vital in order to beef up your cv and prove that you really want to be here.

Personally, I found it invaluable, doing a few bouts of work experience (though don't go mad with it - you don't want to look like a bridesmaid and never a bride). Certainly helped me decide what job I thought i'd be best suited for (though work experience did sort of seem to be either superb fun, and somewhat unreal, or work the account execs couldn't be buggered to do themselves).

It's also good, because it teaches you about what sort of agency environment you'd like to be involved with - are you a big agency person, or a small one? Do you value a place which places great emphasis on creativity, but is a bit of a sweatshop? What do you thrive on?

Annnnyway...those are some of its benefits. But how'd you get it?

The simple answer is - it's not easy, but it can be done. There has been some chat about nepotism, but let me assure you - though it may exist, it can be overcome through persistence. I used to rant and rave about it too, but hell, it's just another barrier, and one which exists in pretty much every industry. Grit your teeth and get on with it; i'd suggest doing the following:

1) Blanket email - but with a caveat. Write a couple of short paragraphs about yourself and why you think you'd be suitable for some work experience. Try to be original, but short. HR people don't have all day to read these things, and they get enough of them.

2) Ring. Ring at the right time. Anyone can pick up the phone to an agency. 's not hard...christ, embattled account execs have to deal with a large variety of mad requests from clients. But HR people aren't used to such weird requests ("Can you make the colour a little bit more...sympathetic?). So, pick your moments. Just after you've sent your email, phone the agency, ask to speak to the head of HR (or someone similar - if you've done your homework, you should have a reasonable idea of whom it is) and say you've sent a note through.

Be warned though, phone during the day, rather than early morning or late in the working day, and you'll get a short shrift. HR folk don't have time during the day to deal with you. If you are the first email to get their attention, you'll do ok. And they'll be more likely to bear you in mind.

3) Do something different. This being advertising, people often try 'creative' ways to get in. One of the best i've ever heard about was an ad being placed by the agency with a pair of shoes, and the line "Think you could walk a mile in these shoes?", recruiting for agency staffers. Well, the chap in question found a life sized dummy, the pair of shoes, and wrote his CV on the side of the dummy, with the line "I think i've filled them", and posted the lot. Needless to say, he got in.

In recent years, i've seen people post cake or try to scare W&K, and some have been successful. Others, less so - but it gets your name in front of people, and means they remember you. Heck, even our own Sammy and Anton both got on in the industry by doing it.

Obviously, it's best if there is a point, and it's not just 'wacky' for the sake of it. The Saatchi examples worked well because there was a reason.

4) Above all - be charming. HR people (or even the account execs/managers/planners involved with recruitment) are few. They have other responsibilities to be getting on with than catering for you at this point. An agency isn't Deloitte, with a whole department dedicated to getting the best from you. So be patient, and be nice. As my mum is fond of saying - 'Manners cost nothing'.

And they really don't. The HR person who says yes to you has tremendous power, and even if you get in and on, and are rude to them, they'll do for you. Hell, same applies for receptionists, security guards and postroom folk. They make the agency tick, and you'd do well to remember that, you fortunate bugger.

Obviously, if you are nice, more chance of getting in and on, and you'll be remembered even if you aren't successful.

That's your lot. To those still doubting the point of work experience, if you've had a few unstructured ones, well - just let me put it this way...I got 1 grad interview straight out of university. A year later, with 3 pieces of work experience under my belt, I got to all (barring one) of them.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

WPP Fellowship Message from Jon Steel...

The Fellowship logo. Usual rules apply.

I've just been sent an email from Jon Steel, who very kindly wrote a Star Story for us last year, about how he got into the business.

This is more a personal reflection on the WPP Fellowship, as he's in charge of seeing the best and brightest get through. So, without further ado, here 'tis:


Reflections on a very large pile of applications

JON STEEL, WPP Fellowship Director

Last night, after five straight days of reading and re-reading applications to the WPP Fellowship, I typed the final name onto my list: 108 people, from all parts of the world, who will shortly be receiving invitations to a first interview.

It’s a strange feeling. In part, I am happy because the job is complete, and I know that once again we have assembled a wonderful group of candidates. Yet at the same time I look at the large cardboard box that contains the ‘no’ pile, and wonder, not whether I have made a mistake, but rather how many mistakes I have made. Who have I missed? And what might they have achieved had I decided to place them on the pile on my right, rather than the one on my left?

This year WPP received the highest ever number of applications for our first degree Fellowship program: 1700 give or take a few. Traditionally we have competed not just with other marketing communications companies, but also with management consultants and investment banks. And this year, thanks to the financial crisis, these were looking a little less attractive than normal. To be honest, I had expected that our numbers might rise even further, but many potential applicants have told me that if business isn’t likely to pick up for a couple of years then they are just going to wait, take a gap year (or two) and not bother with applications until things improve.

About five years ago we moved to an online application process, which has generally worked well. This year, working with a new technology partner, we encountered more problems than usual, mostly caused by the incompatibility of new versions of some operating systems. It took one candidate two weeks and a lot of individual technical support to submit her application, but we got there in the end. I wrote to everyone to apologise for any problems experienced, but in the event that the technical issues prevented you from receiving my note of apology… well, we’re all very sorry for any inconvenience that our technical teething problems may have caused. We’ll work very hard to ensure that there is no repeat next year.

Having received the applications, we divided them among twelve current and former WPP Fellows for initial screening. Everyone was given around 150 applications, and I asked them to reduce these to 25. The brief was to identify candidates with high levels of academic achievement, a clear interest in marketing communications, a healthy mix of experience (in life and business), and an interesting perspective on the questions we had asked.

About a week later, I received the top 25 (or, in a couple of cases, 35) from each of the screeners, and a number of late applications that resulted from the technical problems. From a total of around 350, my task was to select a hundred or so for first interview. Most of these interviews will be conducted face-to-face in London or New York, with a few taking place by telephone.

Even though I have been doing this for a few years, I never cease to be surprised at just how difficult it is to distinguish between different applications. It’s much easier to say ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’ than it is to say, ‘no.’ At this stage, everyone has excellent academic credentials and seems to have packed an awful lot into a relatively short life. They are interesting, sometimes witty. One makes a joke about Tony Blair ‘sexing up’ a report on weapons of mass destruction and I laugh out loud. I agree with all the ‘must interview’ recommendations of my screeners, and the ‘yes’ pile grows at an unsustainable rate. I want to meet them all.

Only after reading about fifty applications do I start to get a clear idea of what constitutes first interview material and what does not. I thus have to re-read all of them. I have the first of a series of very bad headaches.

I always start by reading the personal introduction. This has to engage me in the same way that a 30-second commercial has to engage before it can inform. It’s the equivalent of the first conversation at a party. Is this person interesting? Do I like them? Would I like to continue the conversation? I then move on to academic achievement and interests, looking at the choices they have made and judging the balance of analytical and intuitive skills. Finally I read the essay questions, asking whether the applicant has an opinion, whether that opinion is well argued, and how well they write.

Like all recruiters, I admit to prejudices. For example, I will not extend an invitation to a person who does not write well. I hate bullet points. I loathe jargon, and especially the word, ‘paradigm.’ My experience has led me to conclude that people who talk a lot about thinking ‘outside the box’ are generally incapable of doing so. And I believe that if you don’t pay attention to detail in an application, then it’s a good sign that you won’t pay attention to detail in your working life.

This year brought its fair share of basic errors. Applicants wrote about ‘knew ideas,’ ‘pop idles’ and ‘geographical boarders.’ ‘Were’ inexplicably became ‘where.’ In the letter that we asked applicants to write to their favourite teacher, explaining their decision to follow a career in marketing communications, several chose to include that old saying, ‘those who can, do, while those who can’t, teach.’ If insulting their favourite teacher had been a part of the brief then that might have been a good idea. And one guy, quoting me from an article I had written, referred to me as ‘Jon Peel.’ I’ve been called worse, but it really helps to get such details right.

But one person’s loss is another’s gain. As the numbers narrowed I felt inspired and humbled in equal measure. Inspired because of the remarkable things that so many of our candidates have done, and increasingly because they look at the world, and at their lives, in ways that I could not. And humbled because I know that I never would have gained a place on this program myself. At that age, I simply wasn’t good enough. (Maybe that’s still true.)

I’m looking forward to meeting or talking to each and every one of the 108 people who have made it onto my list. They are drawn from every continent on earth, and between them speak a staggering 30 to 40 different languages. A few lucky ones will eventually join us as Fellows. Hopefully we can find places for many more inside our operating companies.

Of course the process isn’t perfect, and I know that in the cardboard box in my office – and even in the larger box containing the applications cut in the first screening – there lie large number of candidates who would, if given the chance, do a great job for us. If you are one of those people, I hope that you won’t give up on this industry, and won’t turn your back forever on WPP.

To everyone who has applied this year, I would like to say a sincere ‘thank you’ for all of your efforts. And I wish you all the best for the holiday season and beyond.

Monday, 1 December 2008

wanting to post

but not having a second to breathe!

So much to share. So much (gr)advice . Such little time.
Eyes being glazed over after the hard day's work so going near a computer screen is as likely as the fat kid refusing the cake.

But busy is good. Account Handling is good - OOH CONTROVERSIAL. You all have the fun of AH to look forward too - even if the name on your passport is unique enough to grant you access to the planning world! These three have had their stint.

I'm currently experiencing a very different side of adland's client services coin - a digital coin at that. The speed, the creativity, the pro activity and potential is incredible.

Maybe its a case of 'Yeah I'll do a few years traditional, figure out the best route into digital from there...'

If your heart is set on 40 seconds in Corrie then so be it. Otherwise digital employment now will develop your creative/planning/account handling potential and set you up nicely for a global, universal creative currency that some are even describing as recession proof.

Regardless of whether you care - no excuses for anyone brushing up on their non standard digital formats. Wow them with your critique of attempts at geo targeting. Win their hearts with your appreciation of synchronized road blocks..

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Rejection's A Bastard..

Great illustration. Via AnnieMatronic. Usual rules apply.

...but it really, really doesn't matter.

By now, the acceptances and rejections will be coming thick and fast. Some will have gotten to a first round interview in the places they really wanted to. Others won't have been so lucky, and will be wondering why, and what they could've done differently.

This post is trying to help people make sense of rejection.

Firstly, as we've tried to say, a lot of agencies don't do graduate recruitment very well; there an awful lot of agency staffers roped into it. But then, don't expect wonders - agencies aren't PWC or Deloitte, they don't have whole teams plotting and planning your psychographic profile. They're human, they make mistakes. I'm sure there were thousands of applications, and maybe you misspelled something. Who knows? advice is just don't worry about it. Here's a little story for you. When I first came out of University, being a lazy arse who didn't think to apply for any grad schemes in his final year, I noticed them all opening. I thought that i'd better think a little and try to get on with it.

Starting to be a little more fastidious, I blanketed them all. My first application was a success, and I started to think that this advertising application lark was pretty straightforward. Not so.

I then got rejected (without any real explanation, to be honest) from the rest. And I didn't get any further than a first rounder with the one interview I got. Bollocks.

I set about getting a spot of work experience - working at home in the Midlands to afford to come to London to do some ad agency bits and pieces. I then reapplied the following year, getting to every first rounder (work experience does make a difference). Got through to a few second round days as well, but didn't get on any schemes.

Well, bugger that. Kept blogging, kept coming down to London to meet people and eventually got hired as a baby planner by United London.

Which then went bust. You could say rejection was a bit of a bastard by this stage. There's nothing quite like being told your agency is going to close a few months into the job. Happily, I was able to find some freelance and then my current job. Which, amusingly, had rejected me when I was a grad without explaining why.

So honestly - don't take it personally. Retrenchment, grad rejection - they are part and parcel of the industry. It's very competitive, and I hope Ad Grads can help people get in without all of the faff I went through.

But if you have to go through it as well...don't worry. It's just another way in.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

A Point For Awesomeness

Campaign - 14 November 2008

While getting my early morning Facebook on Musa gave me the heads up about AdGrads getting into Campaign for laying the smack down on BMB and giving some love to TBWA. That's awesome, but we won't stop calling it like we see it or let the fame get to our heads :)

And come January, when all the dust has settled from the graduate recruitment stuff, we'll be asking all of y'all to give us your best and worst applying/interviewing experiences so we can do a graduate recruitment report card. By you and for you. I had to put a cheesy line at the end. Whatever.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Some Agency Props..

Like this a lot. Via invisibleElement. Usual rules apply.

Well, after Sam's denunciation of another agency's graduate recruitment, I thought it'd be a good idea to talk about when an agency does it really well.

[NB: I've not been paid, nor do I work for the agency in question. Honest.]

TBWA, take a bow. This pdf is very very good. It should be required reading for anyone contemplating a career in our business. If I was a potential grad, it'd be bloody useful.

Nice one chaps.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

We Will Not Be Silent

Build from the bottom. Via Paul Goyette

I was having a look at the Facebook groups and came across a thread about how a London agency was handling graduate recruitment this year. I wasn't impressed so I blogged about it on my blog. But I think it's important more people read it, so here we go.

We started this journey just under 15 months ago, the whole point of it was to be a place where people could find out about a career in the communications industry - because as fate would have it a significant number of advertising agencies are ridiculously poor at setting their stalls out to potential new hires. They then aim to charge large multi-disciplinary corporations with the mantra that 'we know all about communication'. Ironic methinks.

A year on, we are fortunate enough to still be considered relevant; because of the fact that you guys take the time to read and interact with us - which is awesome, because of the generosity of some of those already in the industry, but also possibly because a vacuum exists that few have attempted to fill. As a result, the IPA have been touch a few times, some agencies have labelled it as recommended reading, others have elevated it to essential - which is nice.

You see hits and links and free lunches are great, but they're not the point.

The point was, and still is that advertising agencies are in the proverbial bucket of crap when it comes to the hiring and retention of the best that society has to offer. The reasons are too numerous for me to dive deeply into for this post, but essentially ad agencies have been dipping into the same bucket for too long, ignoring some kung-fu crazy people, and losing many other potential grads by simply not getting the word out about what an amazing career working in comms can be. People then go into finance and consulting and are miserable. I'm generalising of course. But it does happen. A lot.

This was an attempt to increase awareness about advertising as a career, and hopefully begin to be part of a change in the way advertising agencies recruit and retain junior staff. By and large we'd like to think that it has been a positive influence, agency websites are much more forthcoming about what advertising is as a career and the IPA are really pushing to improve this facet of the industry.

AdGrads is now a funky little community on the web, be it on Twitter, Facebook or the blog itself. So as in any community, people talk to each other about what's going on. And because of this, when an organisation is unhelpful, rude or plain ignorant to a member of the community, word gets around.

Many London ad agencies are recruiting at this moment so there are countless of y'all who are examining applications and websites and hoping to stand out; just as I was not so long ago. Many of you are studying as well as trying to complete obtuse application forms. I'm sure some of y'all have part-time jobs on top of this. It is only your enthusiasm and passion that is driving you. Of course it's a requirement to have these qualities for the world of work, but that doesn't mean that they should be ignored.

So imagine a London agency that claims its goal is to use creativity to solve business problems.

Now picture said agency running a grad scheme this year. Let's say they have a fancy flash website. Where do you think they should put information about the graduate scheme on it? Perhaps in a 'careers' or 'join us' or 'contact us' section? No no, they're far too cool for such silly things. Let's imagine they devote a tiny little link right next to the hugely popular 'T&Cs' link right at the bottom of the page to the future employees of their company. And let's imagine they use the grand font size of oh say 6 for this link.

Now perhaps this would link to a section with a little bit about the agency, what they believe in, why grads should apply, what kind of training they should expect, maybe what they'll earn and other things like further reading that could be done, who to contanct with questions - that kind of thing. That would be useful, wouldn't it? But again no, our agency is perhaps far to busy or lazy to do anything of the sort (and let's remember that agencies such as BBH and Ogilvy HAVE gone to the trouble of doing all of this, and will probably get a higher number of quality applicants as a result). Let's say they just whack up a Word document of the application form. And nothing else.

But you see, advertising applicants - or AdGrads if you will, aren't put off so easily. We know this. So let's have one of them call up our agency to ask them for some further information about the scheme. Wouldn't it be bad if our agency was unable to tell an applicant the nature of the job it's offering? First telling them to look at the form, then claiming to not know what the form actually says, and finally resorting to telling the potential applicant to essentially 'apply and you'll find out everything if you get the job'. Doesn't sound like a very wise and informed bunch of people does it? Maybe not the kind of effort you'd want out of a company where you'd be expected to put your heart and soul into, to do all the little things that senior people may not want to do, but still need to be done.

And perhaps this wouldn't seem like the kind of company that uses creativity to solve business problems. Because it seems to me that this kind of attitude is exactly the kind of business problem that might need some creativity to get solved. Or barring that, maybe just some common sense.

Let's call this agency BMB.

If I could, I would tell the inevitably hard working men and women involved in this state of affairs that the funny thing about living in the age we do is that this kind of behavior, be it with your clients, your employees or your future employees spreads quite quickly. And the little student who you show disdain for may know some more students. And these students may know some people who used to be students, but now write a blog about getting into advertising. And maybe the guy who writes a blog about getting into advertising thinks that maybe this year, you don't deserve to get the best people, because as his dad often tells him "You get what you put in". And it doesn't seem like you're putting that much in this year.

"Power to the people, right on"
John Lennon

This is our 100th post. Quite fitting given the subject I think. Thanks for sticking with us.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Possibly the finest post on ad careers ever..

But not before the best chart ever. Via Jcniemeyer. Usual rules, etc.

I'd love to be able to claim that it's one of mine...but i'd be lying through my teeth.

No no, it's by an engagement planner at W&K, Jerome Courtial. He's written a rather special post right here.

It should be required reading for any ad person, or wannabe ad person. Be sure to look through all of the links too - he even references Claude Hopkins, someone only Paul Feldwick, me and the ad historians seem to know exists.

Short but sweet this 'un. Hope those applications are going well. Apply some of this thinking to your interviews and you'll go far.

(Yes, I have used that chart in a presentation. It went down well).

Monday, 27 October 2008

Tales of Twitter

Twitter is awesome. We love it.

And we're on it.

Check us out at

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Empty Space? No Problem...

Don't fear it...picture by stringberd, usual rules apply.

It would seem that with application season in full swing, some of you asking questions about the forms you've been asked to fill out.

Seems that the prospect of finishing off the app forms with white space has left you in something of a pickle; that you aren't quite sure of what to put. Well, here's a (slightly pointed) thought about that.

Once you finish University, you aren't going to be mollycoddled any more. Sure, many agencies will talk about their spangly recruitment programmes for grads, and will make good, i'm sure. However, advertising (or comms in general) isn't for those who like to be spoon-fed.

No, it's for those who want to take. Those who aren't satisfied with what they see on TV, in the media or just generally around them. Those who want to grab it by the scruff of the neck and make it all just a little bit better.

Blank space shouldn't be worrisome; so there's no clue as to what they want? Invent your own! There's a lot to be said for trying to make a compelling story about yourself, to explain how you came to be where you are today, and how you'll improve the agency beyond all measure.

Sam has already blogged about how he PR-ed his experiences with Saatchi & Saatchi, and how that directly led to him getting a job. There's a similar story for Anton and sort of a similar one for me (blogging does help, honest). We may not have all been on the milkround, but that doesn't really matter.

What empty space gives you is room to manoeuvre. Make the most of it - it's what you'll be doing in your advertising career.

(NB: For that JWT question - I had the same one waaay back in 2005 - which helped me get to interview/was complimented on how I answered that 'use the space' question - I basically wrote a stream of consciousness using different typefaces. Made them chuckle).


New beginnings and all that, picture by this guy

This is kind of an apology. Cause we've been really shit. Like really. Laziness is gross like something nasty, and I've been super lazy (and so have the rest of the guys) in not updating the blog and replying to emails and all the rest of it. So this is, in fact, an apology to all y'all and a promise that we won't be as shit in the future.

I've updated a bunch of grad schemes with their dates and links on the right, along with links to our posts on interviews, forms and such delightful things. There is more on the way, and we hope to get some more star stories up soon. Also we'll be hitting up universities in conjunction with the IPA pretty soon, if you want us to come visit, let me know.

Also just like last year, we want you guys to tell us your experiences on how applying is going, to be featured in our Diary of an Applicant flavor of posts. If you're interested in writing about how stupid application form questions are, how EVERY agency says they're the best (and they ALL do, and it's impossible for them all to be, so obviously someone's a liar) or anything that you want, send me an email and let's talk.

Don't give up, leave a comment, ask a question or send an email: samismail (at) yahoo dot com
(It's written weird so I don't get a ton of porn and emails from Africa about big bucks headed my way).

We're back and it's gonna be awesome.


Monday, 29 September 2008

The IPA Come Through..

There they via Mr. Whisper. Usual rules apply.

A few IPA related bits and bobs to tell you about

This event looks interesting. Facebook page is here. All being well, muggins here will be there (I like Short & Sweet as well, but it's not an IPA affiliated event).

The lovely Adah at the IPA has also informed me about the following events at London Universities (a few of which are in the past...oops, should have blogged it sooner):

FRIDAY, 26 September
Goldsmiths, Freshers' Fayre, Students' Union Building, 1:30 - 2:30pm

UCL 3pm - 4pm Entrance: Wilkins Building, North Cloisters

TUESDAY 30th September
London Metropolitan University - City Campus at 84 Moorgate, London EC2M 6SQ
lunch time

WEDNESDAY, 1st October
University of the Arts at the Truman Brewery 4pm till 6pm

FRIDAY, 3rd October
Westminster University, Harrow Freshers Fayre, Sports hall, 2:30-3:30pm

Worth popping along to one of them, if you're keen to get into this crazy bidness...

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Applications 2008

Well we're nearing that time again. Soon it'll be application season and as usual we'll be addressing how to tackle the endless forms and seemingly ridiculous questions. Drop us a line if you wish to ask anything in advance.

Anton xx

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Star Stories: Charles Frith

After a long break, we return with a star story from one of my best friends - Charles Frith, rather than tell you all about him, I'll let him do that. Charlie's blog is Punk Planning, check it out here.

I donʼt think that this should be a guide towards getting into advertising - if anything it should serve as a how-not-to-do-it with a few nuggets picked up along the way.

As a friend of mine put it some years back when I declared my occupation, ʻoh thatʼs so 80ʼs” and she was right. We were among a handful of people dancing on a catwalk after a fashion show was over (while the music still was kicking off) and so I guess the glamour remains in pockets if you keep your eyes peeled. Burmese royalty links or so she claimed.
Nevertheless Iʼve always loved advertising and when a vacancy arose in a small below the line agency called Counter Attack in London on the Albert Embankment, South London at the end of the eighties. I not only applied for the administrative role in advertising but was elated to be given a position that exceeded my experience based I was told on how I conducted myself at interview stage.

I loved all the people there and it was my first full on taste of people who work within the creative industries. Iʼve been hooked ever since. When the ad business produces superstars they shine greater than any other business Iʼve ever know. Truly inspirational and clever people to work with.

I was however young enough to subsequently chop around and try a few different opportunities including a spell with a direct marketing printing outfit in Nottingham where I was a useless sales person in their London office. However no incentive could have been greater than to strike out abroad on account of falling in love with a young East German au pair from Leisnig in Germany not that long after the Berlin wall had come down.

I had a fascination with politics and particularly Communism, that in part explains why Iʼm currently inhaling deep lungfuls of power and bureaucracy here in Beijing with a view to getting a grip on global politics for the next twenty or so years. They will be important decades.

My German experience proved to be a pure blend of Victor Hugoʼs Les Miserables (something positive only occurs about 200 pages in and nothing happy happens until the end) and Franz Kafkaʼs The Transformation. Itʼs a book in itself, that part of my life and I shall enjoy sharing it as I kept a detailed and extensive journal of that period which never happened again till I took up blogging.

On my return to the UK I had no intention of working, given the weight of events I had experienced during this period which even took me out to the Far East for six months where I learnt Thai and worked for a Direct Marketing company. So back in England I felt pretty numb about life with no inclination to work for some time, and so I enrolled for a marketing degree at the age of 23. They let me in on account of my advertising and marketing experience (and secondary school qualifications) and I had three wonderful years of doing what came naturally to me. Studying marketing and design.

My only regret was I probably could have scored a first class degree if I put my mind to it. I was however diligent with the lectures and tutorials which compensated for my refusal to do exam revision, except for one memorable all nighter where an accountancy student took me through profit and loss, cash flow, and financial statements. Amazingly 3 months of lecturing on a subject that bores me to tears was condensed into a night of rough scribbles on paper and I passed with flying colours. Or at least just flying.

As ever with these things some serendipity is needed. Just before I graduated I went to a party and spent a whole night talking to a young woman who later revealed that she was a copywriter from the ad superstars of the day called HHCL and partners - I think she found me interesting as she ignored her partner for the night. I was in awe of a living breathing creative from the agency I most wanted to work at. Yes folks I slept my way to the middle.

Thatʼs categorically not true, but meeting people and being interested in them is a sure fire way of being seen as interesting. So is encouraging gossip like the anecdote above, and so when the opportunity arose to interview with HHCL. I grabbed it and was fortunate enough to have been mentored by one of the intellectually toughest planners I have ever encountered to this day.

It was Mark Piper who memorably gave me his copy of the Koran before it really mattered because he was that kind of guy. A voracious reader and a heavyweight intellect. If you donʼt know the difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims youʼre probably best off working in a bank or something. Planners are information whores. They suck it in any way they can get it and the best of them know how to process that information into something that matters. Youʼre either into it or not. The rest is down to accumulating experience.

A year later almost to the day I joined Howell Henry, I resigned. I remember it well because I could have stayed on a couple more weeks and secured my annual bonus but I wanted to get as far away from someone as possible. So I jumped on a plane did some interviews, secured a position, and moved back to Thailand, with its welcome tropical heat, the most awesome food, amazing culture not to mention Thailandʼs unique place in the DNA strands of the planet and undeniably the hottest women in the world outside of The Emirates and maybe Estonia.

I decided to accept DDB in Thailandʼs offer, and due to my London experience became one of the few Planning Directors in that part of the world. I had an incredible time sharing what I knew with people who had never even heard of planning. We won business, banged out some ads and life was good. I was 29 years old, earned a comparative fortune and lived like a king. There are few finer buttoned down yet buttoned up feelings in life than waking up knowing that your maid has crisply ironed to perfection every shirt in your wardrobe.

Moving on, about a year and a half after joining, our agency was mandated by New York to merge with a HUGE local agency that I knew I could never join on account of the Managing Director wearing a polyester tie. He wasnʼt trying to be ironic either so I took my severance and had the brilliant good grace to have a couple of clients that wanted to continue working with me. AXA insurance and my best ever client and later close friend VW.

This launched what Iʼve retrospectively called my ʻexecutive freelance careerʼ (thanks Rob) which took me round the world from Europe to Asia. The freedom of working for oneself is great as it allowed me to take some self indulgent yet also enormously rewarding lifestyle decisions like pile the rum and books in equal measure either side of me; shoulder high, and plough through the stuff that I believe has contributed to my intellectual calibre with more validity than any degree ever could. I cherish that more than any 73% increase in year on year sales ad that I was ever involved with. I probably thought I was Hemingway or something.

Iʼm thinking the likelihood of anyone having read this far is very low and highly likely that those same people if they exist are asking, ʻyeah but whatʼs this got to do with me?ʼ is high.

Bear with me.

Towards the end of 1996 I decided to relocate to London and get to know all these amazing people who were sharing their ideas and thinking through blogging. Those people were single handedly responsible for me falling back in love with communication theory, business and creativity all over again. I had been getting more and more stale with the more interesting work projects coming from things like market entry reports for multinationals into India, than cracking out another ad with superlative families, beaming superlative white shiny teeth and all the other things that I have talked about which are directly related to media literacy and is the most important subject to learn about if considering a career outside of the M25. Or rather how to challenge it.

I learnt something else while I was in London and that is the interaction of online and offline which is I believe not only the most critical relationship to be managed outside of the monologue to dialogue shift. Its the reason Iʼve set forth once again to take the next stage of my life here in China. Iʼm not sure if I can handle another winter here but whatever happens Iʼve learnt something important and met the people who matter because despite thinking this would be home for a while I now know I need to tick off a few more boxes before the energy begins to ebb.

Many young people have asked me how I could have led such a wild and exciting life. The truth is that I had the energy to do it when I was younger and was frightened of it all at the time. Now that Iʼm older there is little that fazes me but the energy to relocate once more diminishes with each passing year.

So what are the most important lessons I can share? Well read the 48 laws of power and there you have a comprehensive list of 48 immutable laws I have broken. Donʼt do that please. There is one maxim that is important and will help you in a planning/advertising career more than any abundance of intellect, more than any charisma or creative surplus or rock and roll lifestyle:
Itʼs nice to be important, but itʼs important to be nice.

Lastly if youʼre considering a move into the marketing communications business and you have no regard for the great challenges we face as a planet you will always be restricted by the limitations you have set yourself. Selling stuff is easy. Selling the right stuff the right way takes courage, vision and patience.

I know because Iʼm still waiting.....

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Building a Premium Brand…..Ad Agency

We slave our days debating, theorising, writing charts, crafting presentations, scamping creative work again and again, re touching, presenting I could bore you and go on, but all of this to work towards making their clients the most competitive brands in their sectors. Some agencies are better than others at it. But many fail to put all that energy back into the bricks and mortar from where it’s born.

Why are agencies or advertising not regarded as premium brands or as an industry (if we want to talk about broad strokes). You take the finance industry and it’s regarded as premium, you take management consultancy and again premium. The Saatchi bros tried to add value to the way agencies operate back in the 80s, they tried to buy Midland bank which really was a PR stunt but they were also toying with the idea of adding a management consultancy branch to the famous Saatchi & Saatchi network. It didn’t work. For one thing the market drivers didn’t require ad agencies to offer differentiation at that time but also they were ahead of their time structurally speaking but weren’t clued up to how this would work alongside their core competency – creative communications. One would need to feed off the other and back then there was no to little way this would work. Furthermore adding in this commercial consultancy arm was going to be bought in, just shoved in, no cultural birth from inside the Saatchi brand at all, so again, it was bound to fail.

So there’s an example of an agency trying to elevate itself above its lowly known industry. But what now? Well, McKinsey will chuckle at us by informing the ad industry that we are considered a low ranking and low paid industry because of what we give away…for free. In particular pitching is our biggest sin. We hand over a fully fleshed strategic and creative approach to a brand’s business for the total sum of sweet fuck all before we even have their business. This can’t be helped anymore, if one agency holds back another will bend over screaming ‘over here over here’ with bells on, of course they’ll get the business.

Let’s not get bogged down in structural differentiation right now, no client gives a shit how we work, that’s really about an internal process that can produce better work. What we’re talking about is about lifting this slow and often clumsy industry off its knees and having it recognised for the actual ROI it creates, therein lies value, therein lies premiumisation.

Well, whilst we continue to give away so much we need to develop other lines of offering that aren’t as face value/obvious as creative communications. So this means agencies taking all that stuff at the top of this blog and putting it into their own revenue streams. This means agencies stepping up to brand creation level. Why can’t an agency create the intellectual property for a new brand – either to launch it themselves or to sell it to another brand? Why can’t an agency be content owners and develop TV programming ideas to sell to both networks and clients? Why can’t agencies build up quant and qual research offerings so that can provide fully justifiable segmentation studies (for example) when at pitch level and to a degree brand consultancy level. Why can’t agencies also have a NPD/packaging arm, and one that really does operate as one?

All the above can be seen in parts dotted around agencies in London, but usually these divisions have been bought in and therefore operate as separate PLCs, therefore they’re working towards their own agendas, therefore they don’t work together, therefore this will more than likely end in an in-cohesive mess. Such a way of working really needs to be born from the outset, grown internally so that agendas move together not individually. This as a way of working will of course be slow burn to see the results but it’s my reckoning that here lies value and here lies the premium brand ad agency. The account management led, political, department driven and structured agencies are moving towards a dooms day, FACT. Whilst some may say that it was never the job of large agencies to change the way the ad industry looks is pretty much hiding from their responsibility. It is of course large agency’s role to morph, adapt, grow internal new business lines and structurally shift regardless of upheaval. The apathetic who sit back and watch their shareholder’s cash fall are those who simply don’t understand how to make these changes or aren’t empowered to do so. They’ll fail. But how exciting to see some make these changes, be brave to implement them and enjoy premium status.

Anton xxx

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Sloth - The Greatest Sin in Ad-Land..

Hopefully not a potential grad..picture by pierre pouliquin, usual rules apply.

Anyone who reads this seen Se7en? Well, if you haven't break off and watch it now. It's a blinding film.

Done it? Good. You'll have noticed that one of the more unpleasant parts involves the untimely demise of someone who has been deemed to be slothful, one of the seven deadly sins.

While real life won't quite punish you in the same way as a very nuts Kevin Spacey, in the end, you'll see the benefit if you don't fall into the trap of assuming that by rocking up to an agency with a good degree and a few thoughts, you'll get a job. Nonsense.

Being lazy, but bright, only takes you so far. Christ knows I'm sure you've met enough people throughout your life that were quite a bit cleverer than you, but really disinterested in pushing the boundaries. Well, advertising, like a lot of communication disciplines, rewards those who aren't afraid to have a point of view (without being a nonce about it) and be proactive in following it up.

So, you are interested in the future of comms? Write a blog post about it, start a debate - think around the topic. Maybe that's not what you're getting into the business for - maybe you are in love with the idea of a music track to help tell a story. So, write a podcast, with all your tunes on it.

Just don't sit there and twiddle your thumbs. You might not, for reasons of finance or whatever, be able to do work experience in London. So, use whatever means you can to talk to people on the other side of the fence. Set up a Skype chat with a planner or a creative (or whatever your discipline) on the other side of the world. God knows you can do it easily enough now.

Also, don't expect a CV and a 3 paragraph email explaining why you are so 'passionate' about the business to prove your talent. It might get you an interview, maybe. But Christ, you are going into a business which rewards lateral thinking - entirely the antithesis of the sloth like behaviour you might have been practicing before you got out of university.

I think it was Gandhi who said 'You must be the change you want to see in the world'. And so it goes. Not willing to shake things up? You're going into the wrong business.

Friday, 25 April 2008

OxForward Careers Fair

A little short notice, but if you're at Oxford, come to the OxForward (man that's a lame name) Careers Fair on Tuesday. I'll be there with the IPA doing something, I'm not quite sure what, but it may involve getting people to tell agencies that their recruitment processes need some work :)

Have a good weekend everyone.

How Failure Can Be A Good Thing


Wednesday, 23 April 2008

The IPA Summer School

This is their logo, so you know it's official.

Opportunity numero dos is a spot on the IPA Summer School for tw0-oh-oh-eight. You get the chance to get your hands on a thousand of the queen's faces and should be free to start on the 7th of July.

All the goods are here and deadline is May 27th so get cracking.

Opportunity Knocks - Work Experience at Hubbub (And You Get Paid)

Pic courtesy of Aunt Owwee

Everything has been quiet while everyone gets on with what they need to, finals, new job, old job and all the rest of it. But we have some opportunities for you.

Firstly, Hubbub (the sister/brother/cousin of Grand Union) are looking for someone to do work experience over the summer. The placement will be between 2 and 3 months depending on your availability and you'll be paid expenses of £200/month - so your grub and travel should be covered. Byron from Hubbub says this about the role:

How about a summer placement at a place where keeping tabs on Youtube, Skins and Glastonbury is in the job description?

Hubbub is looking for a friendly and fun-loving placement candidate to spend the summer in our lovely rooftop office five minutes from London’s Oxford Circus. We’re a branded content agency, which means we create engaging content on behalf of brands – from live events to TV shows, mobile applications to online communities.

It’ll be great for your CV, working across clients such as Sony, Lacoste, Hugo Fragrances and Boots 17 on a wide range of projects. You’ll gain valuable skills in disciplines from Account Management to Creative, in a lively and environmentally friendly agency.

You don’t need experience or a degree in marketing – just a little passion, and a lot of enthusiasm.

If you’re intelligent, well organized and up for a challenge, send your CV and cover letter to, as we’d love to invite you in for a chat.

So email Bryon with your stuff. Boom.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Woo hoo, we're gonna take down the established

Like the sun will rise in the morning advertising has at last woken up to something that was said by myself and Sam, oh, some 4 years ago.

This was that the current working model of AD and CW as creative teams is a bit pony these days and that teams of a creative and a planner is a certain way to getting better solutions. Both are required to be seasoned and by that I don’t mean the old school ivory tower kind of creatives and I don’t mean the planners that will spend lots of time making sure everyone is aware of how considered they are. No sir.

The creatives I’m talking about are young enough to have grown up with digital being integral to how they see communication and old enough to be able to stand up and defend work in the face of a client that they are passionate about.

The planners…..well….are pretty much the same but where they come in isn’t to over complicate and confuse the beautiful mind that sits of opposite them but to make their life easier. It is their role to paint the picture of what’s going on in market, in sector, in segment and in target. This doesn’t mean massive charts and graphs, this means a chat. This means having a crazy wealth of knowledge on the topic that when asked by the creative it pours like Sangria in Magaluf.

This isn’t to say that the planner is the total and utter gimp of the creative. Far from it. They are a crucial part of the stimulus which gets to the idea. What I am saying is that we trade on creative ideas we don’t trade on bureaucracy, schmoozing and doing exactly what we are told. That leads us down the dark path of mediocrity which surprise surprise many large clumsy networks are in. It’s only a matter of time before these clumsy dinosaurs are exposed for their total lack of creativity and that no amount of regular lunches will save them from their inadequacies.

So in comes the dawn of a new shape of agency. It isn’t digital screaming how traditional has it all wrong and is so out of touch with its one way dialog. It isn’t a creative team locked away in an office with a closed door, waiting for someone to walk in so they can throw their one award at them from 1999 ‘pfft, don’t they know we’re THINKING’. It isn't the standard start of TV when planning integration.

It is a meeting of two minds, both colourful, both commercial, both rebellious the only differing bit is that one prefers to be called a creative and one prefers to be called a planner. One has spent more time mocking up their ideas into visual manifestations and one has spent more time mocking up their ideas as evidenced stories.

This creative force will of course out manoeuvre any traditional setup. That and the old structure is fucking dull and limited. The problem though is that this model can’t be just ‘imposed’. Because it is quite free it can’t exist in the larger nertworks, they would just ruin its purity anyway with process. Nope, this needs to be the culture of a small agency, it needs to be integrated slowly because the importance of the two that make up the team is ridiculously crucial. You can’t just nip down to Watford and pick these people off the shelf, they need to be discovered having wanted to work like this, have already thought like this, have tried it out maybe.

So, there you go, another structure rant over, next will be about how you go about getting the ball rolling on it. I’ll wait until I’ve caught my breath before I start on that one.



p.s. This model was the topic of my dissertation (written June 2004) and that the structure of ad agencies needs to change. If you want a copy let me know and I’ll be happy to send it

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Another Day, Another Job Opportunity

The lovely Caroline over at the IPA has let me know of another role that some of you may be interested in.

It's at OPera Media and the role is as a graduate research analyst.

The following stuff is from the job description:

OPera Media is a joint venture between Omnicom Agencies PHD and OMD Group. OPera handles negotiations across TV, Radio, Cinema, Press and Digital. OPera strives to provide the ‘Best value buying without compromising planning excellence’.

This role is a fantastic opportunity to learn how media really works. You will be on a steep learning curve with the chance to work across all media from Search to Inserts. Reporting to Research Manager, you will work closely with the Research Director in helping drive value for OPera and its brands and advertisers. The research team ensure that OPera is at the forefront of media research development, enabling greater access to information regarding the performance of all types of advertising and media measurement.

The role will require you to:

  • Distribute media research knowledge to our network, clients and the press.
  • Support the buying and negotiation process across all media.
  • Develop reports; media market forecasts.
  • Manage strategic research projects.
  • Research and develop evaluation techniques to prove the value of the different media
  • Develop OPera’s Internet/Intranet solution.

The role will need an individual with:

  • Good knowledge of media and business
  • Awareness of all the key media currencies and also the systems used to analyse such data.
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Able to work under pressure
  • Highly numerate and analytical
  • Organisation skills with the ability to multi-task across various projects
If it sounds like your kind of thing, send me an email with your CV and a covering letter and I'll pass them on.

On a separate note, the Digitas role has now been filled, with an applicant who went to them via AdGrads, I think that's pretty damn cool. But hey, I am biased.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Year Long Placments

There’s been some questions knocking about on how to secure a year long placement and having started my career with one I thought I’d write a quick post on it.

The first thing to really bare in mind is that these are quite rare and that it is at the total discretion of an agency to give one outside of their usual grad scheme. You’ll be going there with little to no experience and it will take time and resources of the agency to get you up to speed to become useful to them. So what you have to barter on is your passion, willingness to learn and contribute beyond the call of duty (late hours) and that you’re cheap….really cheap. It’s not a pretty picture really but if you secure a year long placement I can’t begin to explain how invaluable it will be to your career. You’ll walk into grad schemes knowing how agency depts work, you’ll understand the processes and more than likely you’ll know more about the agency than your competition.

Secondly is getting in the door to be considered. The best thing to do is get your CV in total tip top quality. Rather than writing one which follows the standard template start to think about what someone in an ad agency will look for in an account assistant. It’ll be admin skills, co-ordination, commitment and dedication and also a glimpse that you’ll be a fun addition to the team. I tried a number of styles of cover letters to secure mine, the out there ones rarely worked to be honest, it was more the demonstration of passion and interest in the said agency and industry.

Thirdly, get really tight with the IPA. Call them up and ask to speak to someone who can give advice on graduate training schemes, then ask about a year long placement, do they know of any, how often do they come about, will you look at my CV and see if its ok and if you hear of one pass on my details. Send an A4 envelope with your CV and bespoke cover letter to every agency under the sun. It’s a DM campaign so the more you send the more chance you have to secure an interview. All this seeding should be done over the course of around 9 months before you want to take a placement. You may get one early but in case you don’t this kind of planning will allow you to chip away at the industry for a long period of time before you crack your way in. The more desks and HR people that see your name the more likely they’ll remember it if you come up again. Familiarity leads to consideration which leads to conversion.

Then when you secure that interview, it’s the case of researching that agency over and over again well as its competitors.

That’s the basics really, post a question if you want to know specifics.

Good luck



Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Star Stories: Marcus Brown

Photo courtesy of Matt Baker

One of the best things about blogging is that you get to meet amazing people. Marcus Brown is one of these amazing people. He does a lot of stuff, but as a start you should check out his blog: The Kaiser Edition. He ain't German, but he lives there. And his story of how he got into advertising is pretty damn awesome.

Now then, I have to admit that I have no idea about graduate programs and the likes. Never heard of them, let alone been on one so if you wanted to find out how to 'best get through one and then get a job in the advertising world' this isn't the article for you. Sorry. In fact I was a little surprised that Sam asked me at all, but ask me he did.

So here we go.

One day, back when the Internet was black and white and I was standing in front of an industrial photocopying machine I got a call from a man who spoke German badly. He wanted to know if I had ever thought about working in advertising. I asked him if there was any money in it and he said yes and I then informed him that I had just, that very minute, been thinking about a career in advertising and isn't life funny like that. He agreed and invited me in for a chat about the internet and commercials and things.

I had no idea who this man was, I had never heard of Ammirati Puris Lintas and I had always thought that people who do advertising must be complete and utter tossers with the attention span of goldfish. That was 10 years ago and I can confirm that nearly all people in advertising are complete and utter tossers with the attention span of goldfish.

I was actually determined to turn down any job offer and go back to being a freelance artist/ graphic designer/ web developer who just happened to also work in a photocopy shop. I did, after all have my principles.

I arrived at the agency and was guided by the man who had invited me (one of the partners) into a little room where he asked me if I wouldn't mind helping building the internet department for APL and if I could do stuff in Macromedia Flash. I informed him I'd never used Flash before. This unsettled him a little and he left the room only to return with a PowerBook and went on to inform me that in around an hour we had a presentation to give and he had informed his partners that I was the famous 'Mr.Brown' (I was an artist back then and was enjoying a little coverage in Frankfurt) and that there would be moving pictures and things would happen when we rolled over things with the cursor (can you make something go 'beep'?)

So I had less than an hour to learn how to use Macromedia Flash and design a presentation with moving pictures and rollovers but completely void of any content. “Just make sure it looks really sexy; that was my brief. The fate of an entire department depended on it; depended on Macromedia Flash.

Later I was asked if I would like to take the job. Remember those principles? "fuck'em" I said yes.

It's a true story. That's how I got into advertising.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Calling All Grads

For those of you that have graduated and are still searching for that way into adland, we may have something for you.

Digitas are looking for a grad to start in account management as soon as possible - also known as 'yesterday'. They wanna move quick so you should as well. Their client list is long and full of heavy hitters so check out their website for the lowdown and if you're interested send your CV to Rob Moore. You will have to have graduated because they want someone who can start pronto.

On a side note, we're not going to EVER let headhunters or recruitment agencies hawk their general wares to you. But if agencies get in touch about grad-level roles they have, we will chuck 'em out to y'all. And we don't get commission (cause I know someone will ask!).

Peace out and good luck.


Monday, 28 January 2008

The Road Ahead

We are that is.

We are still here. Honestly. But more importantly, there are more agencies to apply to if you haven't found yourself a job yet. Ogilvy, Leo Burnett and Iris deadlines are coming up in February, links to them are in the Application Deadlines box on the right, click 'em, fill 'em and get 'em.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Happy 2008, Sam You're a Little Late

The sun sets on 2007, in 2007 - I took this picture, I think it rocks.

Greetings fair readers.

I've been really really slack in my posting habits and for that I apologise. I could attempt to spew a litany of excuses, but as my brother used to say 'It don't *£$%*& matter!'.

Now January exams may be on your radar / just dropping off it and some of you who haven't had any luck on the job front may be beginning to lose hope. I have one word of advice for you: don't.

There are plenty more places to apply to and even more non-traditional opportunities out there. This whole thing is far from over. I'm in Dubai at the moment causing trouble in the world's largest hard hat zone, but I'll be back later this week and should get my (more) regular posting back on.

Until then - for those of you who feel kinda like it's going nowhere, I leave you with something from Ben Stein:

"It is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life. The human spirit is never finished when it is is finished when it surrenders."

And a big thank you for all the emails you guys have sent me, I do have some things cookin' job wise, I just can't say them out loud yet. x

Monday, 21 January 2008

Nothing cures a hangover like the Imperial War Museum

Nope. The museum is NOT a client of ours, but a visit will cure your post holiday-detox boredom binge.

Be sure to see the Weapons of Mass communication exhibition before 30th March. Without giving too much a way it is an extensive collection of iconic propaganda messaging from both sides of the wall. Also includes Karmarama's Make Tea not War!

Go. And if you have no friends cool enough to go with you all of us will be happy to tag along.

Friday, 4 January 2008

If you think ‘fuck you’ in your first week you’ll probably go on to be a star

One thing is for sure this industry has enough conformists to become as boring as banking and as un-exciting as auditing. I’m not suggesting that you go in on your first day with feet on the table, chewing gum, scratching your privates and claiming to be the messiah that will save the agency, though I would love to buy you a drink if you did. What I am saying is that if you disagree with the ways things are done and have far more inspiring, creative and productive theories then you’re more than likely to be a future star.

Paul Arden tells a great tale of career paths in his book ‘Whatever you think, think the opposite’. It tells of Steady Eddie and Reckless Erica. You’ll spot the Steady Eddies in your interviews or even in your grad in take. They’ll be the well behaved one, making friends wherever they go and pretty much celebrating the work of others that when you see it you sneer with mediocre indifference – you’re a reckless Erica. Good I say, don’t lose that. You probably won’t last long at your given agency. You’ll learn what you need to know and get bored very quickly with Steady Eddies and their mediocrity church whilst you’re wanting there to be fire and brim stone falling from the sky in anarchic joy and if a creative reckons that sniffing cocaine off a hooker’s tits will inspire them then by God you don’t want him/her to be lonely whilst doing so. You may get fired before you leave. So what. You’re a survivor and you’ll find your niche creative community one way or another.

The quite patronising point I’m trying to make is never lose your ‘fuck you’. It’ll keep you pure and quicker than the Steady Eddies which you should hold nothing but brutal and warranted antipathy for. This doesn’t mean that stupid attempt at advice which goes like ‘never pretend to be someone you're not’. That is quite literally ridiculous. If you are the same person all the time then only certain people will always buy you and from you. This isn’t the kindest of industries and thin and transparent (often well being) skin is chewed upon, ironically by a Steady Eddie. Be who you need to be to get what you want, sell what you want and push what you want It’s the essence of ambition I think, to overcome any obstacle that is in your way and reach your goals (with the exception of hurting innocents in order to do so).

Happy New Year rant over and much luck with all your up coming interviews and ultimately jobs. xxxx