Advice to Millennials Working with Advertisers
My previous post spoke to advertisers who are looking to work with millennials, here is a companion piece with some tips to help the younger generation succeed in advertising:
A clever insight doesn’t make an entire campaign, it needs depth and planning. Advertising may seem like it’s come along way from the “Mad Men” days, but in some places not that much has changed. Outdated technology will frustrate you, but if it’s what the company uses, you need to use it. You need to pay your dues. Feel free to ask questions and to voice your opinions, but make sure to do so at the right time.
Remember: Like Breeds Like
Contempt for your employer will breed contempt in them for you. Respect people to garner respect in the workplace. Positivity and enthusiasm in your work and for your work is infectious, and will keep you motivated at the same time it makes you look more attractive to employers.
Learn to take Criticism
In a high-stress, long-hours work environment like an agency or in-house office, tensions run high. Even if you always make sure to temper your thoughts and deliver the message the right way, other people might not. Don’t let stress push you into letting your emotions take over in the face of negative feedback or constructive criticism. Criticism and critique are, if you can listen to them openly, some of the best growth feedback you will ever receive. Learn from it.
Prioritize on Needs, not Wants
Sometimes, a crappy job is the best experience for launching a successful career, don’t job-hop if you’re still learning, growing, or getting something out of it. Prioritize tasks that are important over those that are exciting or interesting. Never read your email in the morning until you’ve checked something important off your list, because deadlines and customers are more important than an hour or so of email-reading delay.
Commit Yourself to Quality
If you’re on the wrong track, it is better to stop and reevaluate, and possibly start again from scratch, rather than turning in a project that won’t pass muster. If you clearly see it’s wrong, ask for outside input and correct course. Put more effort into your job than is expected of you. Stay late sometimes. Keep improving your work, learning new technology, and be persistent.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s a rough business, sometimes. Eat healthy, stay active, go home and get sleep. Your mind is the number one tool in the ad world, and if you don’t treat it like a valuable tool, you will fall apart. Don’t abuse substances to cope or keep up.
Be honest with your work. Don’t mislead clients. Be open with your boss about your needs, wants, or desired growth.
Before you Complain to Anyone, Come Up With One Possible Solution
Don’t complain out loud until you’ve come up with at least one answer to the problem. It may not be a good answer, but it shows you are looking to fix a problem, rather than just negging. Don’t blame others. If you’re unhappy, or a mistake was made, look for a solution and take initiative to make the situation better.
Think on Your Feet
Sometimes you’ll be wrong. Sometimes, an idea will backfire. Don’t let that stop you from being decisive. Make a decision and act. Be bold. It’s an intense job, where timing is everything, and being quick helps you get the job done on time.
Do your prep. Break down tasks into time blocks, and schedule them in your phone for alerts. Your alerts pop up 10, 15, or 30 minutes before the scheduled task, which gives you mental space to prep. If your time is up on a task, even if you aren’t done, move on to the next thing and circle back around later. This helps prevent “writer’s block” when you’re stuck on a problem.
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