When I talk about seniors, I’m not talking about people who are over the age of 65. I’m talking about senior advertising people. However, the two do share similarities in the title of “senior”. Both groups have many years of experience, try to give valuable advice to the younger generation, and both know A LOT of stuff. But contrary to popular belief, seniors don’t know everything.
Ad seniors aren’t the great and powerful Oz. If you’re in need of a heart, a brain or some courage – a senior isn’t going to be the one to magically give you what you desire. As a high up industry professional told me once “Creative Directors aren’t Gods, they are human beings just like you.” They don’t have all the answers.
So what does this mean? Just because they may not know every answer doesn’t mean you should stop asking questions. Senior ad folk have been in this business longer with more agency experience and more client interaction than you. They not only found a way to get into this business but how to stay in this business. Trust them, respect them and pay attention to what they have to say.
Don’t be afraid to give your opinions on ads, campaigns, ideas etc. Personally, I like asking juniors their thoughts. I see it as an opportunity to gain a fresh perspective – and who doesn’t love that? Learning something new helps you become a better advertising professional (no matter what your title is). And inviting others to participate in the discussion can also be wonderfully educational.
Lastly, don’t get ahead of yourself. A junior is like a child who can’t wait to grow up. As tempting as it is to just skip ahead, you need this time to really learn and absorb as much as you can. Your skills as well as your creativity needs to grow naturally. Otherwise it just won’t work right.
The number of years required to be a senior is pretty vague, it ranges from skill to ad agency. But I know that no matter how many years I’m in this industry, I’m never going to know everything. No one can. But every new piece of information makes me a little wiser and I’m thankful for that. The things I’ve learned along the way can help those starting out. It’s part of the reason I guest blog on Dear Brook.
Thinking that a junior can’t offer something relevant, or that a senior needs to know anything and everything is stupid. We are all on a learning path; we’re just in different places.