Thursday, 15 November 2012

Wannabe and current Planner types, read this...

That's these guys.

Hello gang.

An interesting opportunity, this. I'd estimate some 80% of the people who email me off the back of my witterings on AdGrads want to work in planning.

And, as a planner, I'm delighted to hear that. However, one of the most tricky questions I get asked is 'how do I get a Junior Planner job?' To be quite honest, there's no one clear or easy way into this line of work. It is frequently frustrating, and often requires months/years of interning or being an account handler/manager first.

I was lucky. Through a combination of blogging, interning and being in the right place at the right time, I was able to get into planning without having to do account management for several years. Partly, it was down to one of the dons of planning, Russell Davies (the mind behind 'Grr' for Honda and 'Run London' for Nike, and that's just the tip of the iceberg).

He and his good bunch at the London Strategy Unit have realised that formal grounding and training in planning is fairly thin on the ground, and want to help wannabe (and current junior) planners with some best in class training. Note, this ISN'T just for wannabe planners - it's for those in the business as well.

They're just about to launch a series of training mornings at their place, and have sent the blurb along. Read on:

"One of the things we’ve observed in recent years is how difficult it is for junior strategists, and wannabe strategists, to get a proper foothold into the discipline, particularly agency-side. And by ‘foothold’, we mean access not only to the kinds of people and businesses who can help them on their way, but also to the kind of training and other professional development tools that turn brilliant potential into brilliant performance.

Of course, there are people and organisations out there who have already recognised this, and we have a lot of time for the APGs and IPAs of this world. But they can only do so much, limited (as they often are) by available space, available time, and of course available money. (The money point is also important as the relative paucity of available subsidies often precludes people who aren’t already in successful businesses from getting the kind of training and support that can help them get jobs in successful businesses – ironically enough.)

So, we’ve decided to try and do our bit. Next Monday at 9.00am we’ll have a new Events section up on our website where you can register interest in our first ‘strategist bootcamp’. That’s a working title; we’re beavering away so hard behind the scenes right now that we haven’t quite decided what it should be called yet.

We’ll be running our first event over a couple of days in February next year. It’ll feature interesting industry folk as well as senior LSU people. It’ll be hands-on, practical, and give every participant something of genuine career value. As it’ll be our first one, and we want to use it as an opportunity to try stuff out and learn as we go, we’re going to run the whole thing without attempting to profit from it. That means we’ll be sharing with everyone exactly what it costs us to stage, and simply dividing that by the number of paid tickets available. Tickets will be strictly limited, although to help out those who aren’t currently in jobs we’ll also be offering a few free ones – we’ll leave information on how that works for next week.

It’s going to be brilliant, or at least the start of something brilliant, and we hope that you’ll spread the word and come back to learn more next Monday."

So, keep an eye on their site. It's going to be brilliant, whether you want to work as a planner, are just into planning (also, have a look at this post) or if you want to brush up on your skills.

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