Ask Esther // 47


Hi Esther,

I stumbled across the Junior site and have been reading through all the advice I can get my hands on – and wanted to ask a question that I haven’t seen addressed anywhere else on the web yet.

I’m a Senior Designer (motion graphics/TV/Film) looking to switch sides into agency land – in a Senior role there too.

I have a lot of experience directing teams of designers, coming up with pitches, directing TVCs and creating motion graphics. I’ve won awards. I’ve also done AWARD School. But it seems that none of my experience counts with agency HR.

Because most of my portfolio focuses on work done FOR an agency, rather than work done IN an agency, HR only seem interested in hiring me as a Junior AD (when they’re interested at all). I feel that with my experience providing award-winning solutions to clients (and not just graphic solutions, but solutions that tell a story), I can easily switch into a Senior Art Director role (with a senior AD salary).

How can a Senior in Design/TV move across to the other side of the fence without having to start from scratch again?


Dear Designer Guy,

You’re not going to get a senior Art Director job in an agency.

The work you have was done FOR an agency, rather than IN an agency, which means another creative team was responsible for the ideas and overall direction.

The senior Art Director has cracked briefs from toothpaste to tomato sauce across every medium.

And they have a portfolio/website of high quality, produced ad campaigns that they conceived.

You have a combination of absolutely relevant skills and could package them up to combine ideas and craft.

Although you won’t get in at a senior level initially, if you do get in as a junior/mid, and adapt and develop those agency skills quickly, then your salary and title will quickly catch up.

Hope this is helpful.

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: 26/09/2013
Category: Ask Esther
Tagged: .