How about some UNlearning next year? (Part 1)

Hello readers,

I know what you’re thinking: where the hell has Dear Brook been all this time?

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Well, I’ve been busy which I’m sure you understand. I’m no longer a Junior in advertising, I am now a Senior in advertising (yay). Being a Senior means more responsibilities, more people to deal with and busy as fuck. So this year was big for me. Huge. A lot has happened but before we wrap up this crazy year, I wanted to share with you the most valuable lesson I learned. Ironically, that lesson is to UNLEARN.

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As Juniors, you spend most of your time absorbing a lot information, learning from your peers, getting better at presenting, concepting, writing, designing and following your superiors direction. It’s an amazing time to be a sponge and get excited about anything and everything that’s thrown at you. Oh the joy of being a Junior. But, once you start feeling comfortable with this advertising thing, make sure you use your brain and your common sense to make educated decisions and not just follow blindly. The future of this industry depends on YOU.

The ability to recognize what’s right and wrong for YOU as a creative is extremely important. You need to start building yourself as the creative you want to become and not let other people define that for you. Let me explain.

As creatives, your biggest job is to have a POV. Your POV is everything. Sometimes, you come across great people and mentors who want to see you grow and encourage and embrace your POV as a creative. There are other times, where you work with insecure people who think it’s their way or the highway—unfortunately, this is very common.

You will come across HUGE egos in advertising.

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You will come across people who could care less about advertising and they’re just there for the “status” of being in advertising. 

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You will come across people who treat others like shit, because they think they’re better than you. (LOL)

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You will come across sexism.

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You will come across racism.

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You will come across bad and good bosses.

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You will come across people who think a job is more important than anything in the world—including health and family.

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You will come across people who make no common sense. 

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You will come across people who will take advantage of you and your talent, and will always keep asking for more for not much in return.

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To that, I say hang in there and UNLEARN.

Unlearning is the ability to recognize a bad behavior and then learn to NOT do it in the future. So if you ever feel stuck and helpless, always remember that in advertising, there’s always something to UNLEARN.

So get out there. Say NO when you need to. Challenge the status quo. Be the creative you dream to be and not what they tell you to be.

And whenever you come across something that make stop and think “WTF”, you can always UNLEARN it. If anything, that will only make you a better creative, and when you become a CD, your team will love you for it. Remember that.

Cheers to you and Happy Holidays! Here’s to another year of learning and UNlearning.

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Love,

Brook

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When it comes to Advertising, learn to UNlearn. (Part 3)

We have been taught that learning is essential to growth. In the creative world, one can say that unlearning is essential to growth. In advertising, breaking the rules would be a form of unlearning.

Better yet, call it discovery.

Here’s my opinion as to what we should be unlearning in advertising.

1- The industry should unlearn from placing people in boxes and not allowing them to evolve. One way or angle is not always the right way to solve a problem.

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2- Health vs. Wealth: The idea that you have to overwork and that sometimes means neglecting having a regular workout schedule or regular doctor visits.

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3- Putting on a limit on diversification. Honestly, there shouldn’t be a certain quota set when it comes to diversity in talent. Great talent comes in all colors, shapes, and forms.

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4- Ego… There’s nothing wrong with being confident. Unfortunately, nobody likes to work with someone who is always pretentious and a self-absorbing addict.

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5- Unlearning a habit is healthy and keeps your mind clear. Its almost like pressing the reboot button on your computer.

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As this year ends, prepare yourself to “unlearn” or press the reboot button in your life.

Signing out.

Dear Andre,

Are you ready to UNlearn? (Part 2)

You know how they say backbenchers have the worse academic performance but they perform really well in life? All of us know that the A-graders get left behind. This is a generalization but often, those who decide to forget what they learned, merge out the smartest.

While talking to a colleague about everything that was wrong about our industry, it dawned upon us that advertising was more about unlearning than learning.

It’s what you can forget that makes you a happy creative. So, forget and forget often.

Never mind what the Creative Director said. Never mind what they “have always been doing”. If it has worked for them, great. But there are ought to be other ways to solve problems.

When they say learn from other people’s mistakes it actually boils down to unlearning. When the agency favorite word “disruption” is really simplified it has unlearning at the crux of it.

You will meet great leaders and you’ll meet terrible ones. Unlearn from both. Unlearn the mistakes of the great leaders and definitely unlearn the style of the terrible ones.

Don’t be afraid to turn a blind eye to the rules.

When you hear words like “An all Boys Club,” feel free to hear it and then unlearn it. Immediately.

Are you ready to unlearn with me? Please tell me I’m not alone.

Happy unlearning!

Love,

Nani

Lalita Salgaokar is a Mumbai-bred New Yorker | Copywriter | Bollywood enthusiast | Follow her @nanimeow 

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