Ask Esther // 12

I am on the cusp of graduating from my Master in Multimedia. I’m trying to direct myself towards a job in film and video production in the realms of creative advertising. I am armed with a website, folio and freelance experience that show my ability to design, direct, edit and deliver video projects but all the entry level jobs into the industry seem to be based around admin such as ‘Front of House’ or ‘Production Assistant’. That’s fine but for some but for those, like myself, interested in working their way to becoming creatives or directors it seems a little pointless.

Don’t get me wrong I am all too happy to work hard and up from the bottom however I don’t want to waste my time going down an avenue which may never (and based on a number of people I have spoken to, won’t) cross over from the account to the creative side. I want to get my hands dirty with new equipment, editing techniques, post production software, motion design and so on and in my eyes these admin style jobs would only lead me further away from that type of learning.

Esther I was hoping you could offer me some advice on how to approach this situation?

There’s a real estate expression you might have heard about buying “the worst house in the best street”.

You are better off in the shittiest job in a good production company than you are by scoring a more senior position in a below average place. Surround yourself with the type of people you can learn from. You have a lot talent. You won’t stay long as “Front of House” or “Production Assistant”. But someone already has the job you want in there, it’s not laying vacant. And they will promote from within to replace that person, when they move up or out.

If you are shooting for the creative department in an agency, you’ll need a different approach to your website. Less film production and more ad concepts and writing. I can help with that if you choose to go that way.

Finally, the fact you asked this question impressed me. You could have been so over-qualified and (dare-I-say) up yourself that you missed out on genuine opportunities because you felt that they were beneath you, or a waste of your talents. You will get the opportunities to get your hands dirty. But you will also gain an invaluable overview and perspective of the way the business works if you are lucky enough to be part of the general admin. And that will ultimately make you a better director, or creative director. Trust me.

Good luck.


You can ask Esther Clerehan anything about putting your book together, getting a job, what salary to ask for or what to do when someone steals your ideas. Go on, Ask Esther. There is no other creative recruiter with more experience to educate us on the art of the job hunt. You can email her here at junior at (wtf null@null lifeatthebottom

Written by Junior
Originally posted on: 05/07/2012
Category: Ask Esther
Tagged: .