This is for all the advertising students and new grads out there. The hopefuls who are determined to be a (insert job title here). The ones who can’t wait to think up REAL campaigns, have REAL budgets, deal with REAL clients. I’m talking to you.
You’re probably thinking this is how your career path will go:
- Go to school
- Choose a side (creative, business, account or client)
- Build a portfolio
- Go on interviews
- Meet industry professionals
- Get your foot in the door
- Be a (insert job title here)
- Make lots of money
Does this sound about right? The truth is for some people this is exactly how their career path will go…but for many, it won’t.
I know art directors who’ve become fashion designers, tattoo artists and painters. I know buyers who are now construction workers. I know account guys who, well basically have stayed in accounts. But overall, a lot of people I know who thought that they were going to end up in advertising aren’t there anymore. I even know people who went to advertising school, built a portfolio, got into the industry…and opted out. For whatever reason, their career path changed.
So that idea in your head about how you’re going to be a (insert job title here) in the next couple of years might not be entirely accurate. And I’m here to tell you, that’s not a BAD thing.
When I first started out, I wanted to be an advertising photographer. Now I’m a social media content manager. My career path has changed along the way – from art direction to copywriting, marketing to SEO copywriting and now to social media management. I even had a stint as an account coordinator for awhile (although it became evident early on that accounts wasn’t my thing). So how has my ever-changing path benefitted me?
I now have a variety of skills under my belt. I’ve had the privilege of working on a wide range of accounts (from small to national). I’ve had the pleasure of forming relationships with mentors and friends that have kindly bestowed their wisdom onto me. But most of all, I’ve been given the opportunity to do what I really love to do. The career moves I’ve made have made me a better, wiser and more creative person. And I don’t plan on stopping now.
So my advice to all you advertising students and new grads is this: When you do get your first job in the real world, embrace it. It IS important. It’s the stepping stone on your road to success. Where you go from there on out, you’ll never fully know. So don’t get discouraged if your starting point isn’t exactly where you expected, or if your path goes in a different direction. The career moves you make should never be viewed as mistakes. They are experiences worth holding onto.
I don’t know where my path will lead me five, 10, 15 years down the road. But I’m confident that if I have fun and have faith, I’ll get where I want to go.
Where has your career path taken you? Leave a comment below.
Thank you josie for this post! And if any of you readers would like to share a post, send it over!