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