Ask Esther // 19

Dear Esther,

I’ve been here two years and I feel I should be getting better briefs.

How do I do that?

Should I leave?

Hidden Talent

Dear Hidden Talent,

There isn’t a lot of information to go on here.

Let us assume that you are brilliant and are constantly being overlooked, or that your talents are buried under day to day and/or fast turnaround briefs.

On the plus side, you have probably had two years of thinking on your feet and responding quickly a variety of briefs. And if the volume is indeed there, the chances are that you already have a few nice things for your book, even if they’re quite small or sparse. At the very least, you should certainly demonstrate good computer skills, production knowledge and speed, which are all handy assets to any good agency.

Firstly, we need to look at your team. Is your partner the right person to continue with? Are they as ambitious/frustrated by the current situation as you are? If your partner is also talented and feels ready, then we can do a couple of things to gain attention within the agency.

Secondly, is this the right agency for you? WHY aren’t you getting better briefs? Is it you or they? Sometimes agencies simply take on a slew of difficult clients. Sometimes you’re actually the victim of politics. Sometimes it’s your attitude. Sometimes two years is long enough.

The most important person to have a good relationship with is in Traffic, or Creative Services. They are good at spotting talent and will use their influence to “reward” or identify good workers with juicy assignments. Make them your friend. Take a few more shitty briefs off their hands. Get in early, leave late. And of course, fill out your time sheets without being nagged.

Don’t whine about work. And smile a lot.

You should notice a rise in your stocks immediately.

As well as becoming the favourite team of the Traffic department, ask around if others need assistance. Get known for being useful and helpful. Get known for doing work that was better than expected from a shitty brief. Your superiors will notice that, believe me. If you can turn out the occasional silk purse from a sow’s ear, your Creative Director will begin to direct better briefs your way.

Most of this advice comes down to an attitude and if you’re too exhausted from the two years of slogging it out already, you might need a fresh start. If that’s the case, write back and we’ll turn that folio of tactical ads into a book that shows campaign thinking.

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@lifeatthebottom.com (wtf null@null lifeatthebottom NULL.com).

Written by Junior
Originally posted on: 30/08/2012
Category: Ask Esther
Tagged: .