Socrates once said: “The more I learn, the more I learn how little I know.” ages before my time, but could he possibly be foreshadowing the feelings of anxiety and discovery of students constantly searching for ways to get an edge on their competition?
The “cutting edge” is expanding at speeds rivaling to the Indy 500. Students hoping to break out into the large scale agency scene are faced with newer and bolder challenges than our predecessors- especially for creative types. As a Senior about to graduate from one of the top undergraduate advertising programs in the nation, I still feel like its my first day. Getting hired by a large agency feels a lot like auditioning for Broadway. If your not a triple threat with a killer head shot, you better have a plan B, C and D.
So whats an ad geek to do? Diversify.
When the economy is down the specialist suffers. The more skills you posses the more profitable you are to an agency and your clients. Unfortunately, at the end of the day its not your beautiful copy, artwork, and strategy that matters – its whether or not you made the client additional profit.
I decided to stick to three areas of study to use as a jumping point to exploit my skills to present myself as profitable new hire: Style, Substance and Rock’n’Roll. The Style aspect being all things design ranging from traditional print to interactive media. Substance, well that’s everything needed to keep everyone on task, trafficking, account and media planning. I don’t work at chach-chi’s so wearing 30 pieces of flair isn’t mandatory, but the one piece of flair I can’t ignore is my crazy imagination and love for music.
I’ve recently started reading the book: Chasing Cool. “How to infuse [the product] with that very desirable, nearly unobtainable factor.” the very essence of the craft. how do you present a product or service fuming with that factor making it the flame your target market is drawn to. parallel to that to a job search and you could possibly take over the world…ok not the world, but anything is possible.
So the challenge still stands can you present yourself as a brand across several mediums creating flow and uniformity to your prospects? You can’t do it all, it is nearly impossible to be a expert at a large majority of the disciplines required to create an all inclusive campaign for your brand and those you hope to advertising. This is where the real test begins, how well can you network? Of course in advertising its not necessarily what you know but who you know. Being able to network with experts in the field you need help with is as esseintal as being proficient in that field.
As they say in show buisness be nice to the people you meet on the way up the ladder, you’ll see them on the way back down.