And thank you to all those who have sent me messages and emails- I haven't been able to respond to all of them, but I read and keep all of them. Here's to new and big opportunities!
I should've shared this sooner, I was recently interviewed on CompKarma, an awesome blog all about helping newbies break into advertising. I hope you all find the interview informative yet funny. Brian Cheung, founder of CompKarma, was absolutely great chatting with. I drew him a portrait as thanks, which you can find on the interview's page. I recommend checking out the rest of their site, there's a ton of useful information on there written by those working in the ad industry. Their posts are all simple, easy to read, and filled with humor. There's even an article that compares portfolio sites to ninja turtles.
Why does this happen? Why is it that both guys and gals go to portfolio schools in equal numbers, but only 3% of those women make it to the top? Why is advertising such a boy's club?
- Women don’t tend to ask for more. For example, men are more likely to ask for a raise, because men are more confident in demanding what they want. Hate to say it, but women are afraid to be demanding because it comes off as being “bitchy”.
- It typically takes about 8-10 years to climb the ranks to become a creative director. Assuming you finished up school in your early twenties, by the time you come to the point of advancing to leadership in your career, you’re already thinking about marriage and kids. It’s expected at that point in our lives for women to focus on child-rearing. Therefore not being able to take the next step in their careers.
Kat Gordon, founder of the 3% Conference, stands for changing these expectations of women by encouraging women to push harder and lean in further, especially at the beginning of their careers.
Overall, the event was great. A quick shout out to the great guest speakers: Kat Gordon, Stefani Zellmer, Scott McAfee, Shanteka Sigers, and Carlotta Stankiewicz. All of them were amazingly nice and personable. The number of guys there in support of female creatives was great too. In a way, it’s almost upsetting to say that after over a year studying and networking with creatives, I hadn’t met a single female creative director before this event.
Conference booklet photo courtesy of 620Studio.
I recently went to a great Q&A panel for tips on finding work, hosted by AIGA Austin. It was a nice environment to meet others who were either getting ready to start their careers, or wanting to switch jobs.
Some nuggets worth sharing:
- Less is more. The same rule of simple design also applies to simplifying job-hunting. Fewer, greater pieces in your portfolio is better than 20 not-so-good pieces. Same goes for your resume and cover letter- the less superfluous information a recruiter has to read, the better.
- A good cultural fit with an agency/shop is vital. Plan to visit all of the agencies you're interested in.
- You'll advance in your career faster if you don't restrict yourself to staying at one agency for a long period of time. Hop around, learn from different agencies, and grow from the experience. Find out which place fits best with you for the long-term.
- If you're dying to work at a specific agency, don't bombard them with applications/emails. Wait to reapply after 90 days.
- College experience is not necessary. Initiative and motivation is what matters.
- You can teach skills. You can't teach personality.
- Speculative work never grows old in your book, but after 3 years into your career, you should have more client work than spec.
- People value personal development.
- There's nothing wrong with cold-calling. It should be done more often, actually.
The panelist lineup included Greg Carley (Creative Director at Chaotic Moon Studios), Matt Mowat (Creative Director at Hammer & Tongs), Stefani Zellmer (Creative Director at Zeehive Creative), Scott McAfee (Managing Partner at SandersWingo), and Jennette Lemley (Talent Agent at Vitamin T). There was time after the panel to meet them; they were all very nice and honest with their answers.
I hope you found these notes helpful. I'll be writing a post in the near future with my own tips on finding work.
It was a ton of fun, I can't wait for next year's Quest Night. I went this past Saturday to the event, and had a blast with my friends battling hordes of monsters, exploring dungeons, solving riddles, and getting lost in a maze.
I got my hands on some printed material featuring the logo, including a sweet coin and a metallic ink printed shirt.
You can view pictures from the event here.
I'll be doing some minor updates to my older work, and hopefully add new work in the coming weeks!