Ask Esther // 58


Hi Esther,
I’ve been a marketing assistant for 1.5 years while completing the second half of my Advertising Undergrad. Although I have a nice enough paying job, I’m eager to make the switch to strategy within an agency environment. Why? Correct me if I’m wrong but I feel I will learn more in a fast-paced agency environment than I would on client side in a marketing team of 3. Especially when it comes to strategy.

My problem is that I don’t want to relinquish my ‘fine enough’ or job to be out on my arse, broke, and back in hospitality taking dessert orders at 11:00PM on a Saturday nights.

I’d love some advice on what agencies look for (and stay clear of) when it comes to selecting juniors.

Appreciate the time,

Strategy Game Planner

Dear Strategy Game Planner,

The problem with describing your job as “fine enough” or “nice enough” is that you might be settling for something comfortable but unchallenging purely for financial reasons.

Being young and starting out is when you can take financial risks. The longer you’re comfortable, the harder it will be to change lanes.

Yes, you will almost certainly learn more from being part of a larger team. But it’s the quality that counts, not the size. Getting into an agency as a junior in strategy is pretty hard. There aren’t a lot of roles. Many are promoted from graduate training programmes.

If you feel that you have gone past that option, or are worth more money than your competition, you will simply have to demonstrate to agencies why your experience and potential is a better investment.

Agencies look for people who have new ways of looking at problems. They like solid qualifications, outside interests, people who present well, can write and have good manners.

Try to get into an agency whose work you admire, an agency with a track record of hiring, training and promoting graduates. Talk to your friends, do research online also via Linked In and read a lot of books.

Find a place where you feel as though you will be pushed hard and learn.

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: 06/11/2014
Category: Ask Esther
Tagged: .