Early this year, I discovered a group on Linkedin called World Female Creative Directors. I started joining their chats and found interesting articles. They have a website connecting their community with famous Creative Directors around the globe http://www.adwomen.org. The look is completely feminine, the design is delicate and flawless and the content is quite varied, it’s worth looking at.
I wanted to write an article for them, but all the time I was delaying the task. Because I was busy with assignments, because I was looking for jobs, because I went out, because every time there was an excuse. And I can tell you, there are thousands stopping us from doing what we want.
Suddenly on my way to Barcelona for a week’s holiday, I remembered that I had to send the email to AdWomen, “Oh yes… I just remembered when I didn’t have any computer or Internet to work on”. Somehow that idea never left my head during the holiday, and as soon as I came back to London I sat at the table until I had written a decent article for them. When I finished it, I read it thoroughly and changed my mind. It looked like an article written by a WFCD and I wasn’t one of them yet. So instead, I decided to tell a different story writing about failure, telling one of those experiences that people prefer not to mention in a job interview, not even to colleagues. You may have a couple, I know everyone does.
The good news is that they liked it! And instead of just writing an article, I ended up joining the team. So if you have something outstanding, make sure by tomorrow it is ticked.
May 2022. The website is not working anymore, so here is the article.
Mum, I got a job in an agency
I was about to finish my article for WFCD when I realized that I was talking about the same advice that Creative Directors usually give to people but using different words. Wait a second…I’m not yet a WFCD! So I should probably tell people what is happening in the journey to become one. Therefore, I will start my first article by telling you some of my true-life stories as a Creative.
This one has a good beginning.
- “Mom, I got a job in an agency in London”
- Martha Lucía reaaaally? Congratulations!!!! Glory to God!
- “Mom, in the coffee shop”
That was a phone conversation couple of years ago with my mom. Unfortunately, her joy faded, although, for me, it was great news. Let me go back in time so you can understand.
I had been working at BBDO and JWT in Colombia as a Copywriter, had done some interesting campaigns and even had the chance to film a commercial in New York. Nice! Then after 4 years, I wanted to change my life for a little while and most importantly wanted to learn newer things. Therefore, I decided to come to London and learn English.
I was doing different kinds of roles during my first year: waitress, bartender, barista, cashier, etc. Modesty apart, I became extremely professional at opening wine bottles and taking wrong orders. But there was nothing like advertising to give me a sense of satisfaction with my job. Mechanical routines are not my kind of thing.
I wanted to join the ad scene in London while making some money to sustain myself. So on any given day, the catering agency that I was working for sent me to Lowe to make some coffees. WOW! I was thinking. I am going to get to know Lowe in London. I was about to start an episode of my professional life! I’m going to meet a contact. 7 a.m. on Monday there I was wearing black trousers, a black shirt and black trainers, behind the cashier, making perfectly tasty coffees with no bubbles, as the manager insisted.
It was easy to identify the characters in the agency, Creatives with the colourful t-shirts and trainers, Executives with their eloquence and special requirements: “Skinny decaf, no foam cappuccino, no chocolate on top” or “half skim, half-full milk with an extra shot, not that hot not that warm mocha” and the Creative Director, seemed to be the busiest guy ever.
I usually enjoy everything that I do in life otherwise I wouldn’t do it. So I created a contest among my friends at the coffee shop just for fun, I was in a very good mood, nevertheless every day I was thinking: “I should be on the other side”.
My plan started, I became friends with the influential people: the Personal Assistants. I got to know them and chat a bit now and then. Also, I talked to some Creatives, and sent my Portfolio to Human Resources, but nothing happened. I talked to a girl organizing creative meetings and events, participated in D&AD, talked to a Planner, and so on. I did a lot of things there but the only thing I reckon I was missing, it was the most evident and also my first thought: talking to the Creative Director. I don’t know if that would have helped but you feel OK knowing that you have done everything. Not even 99% is enough, you have to go further than that. Moral: never leave a “What if…” alive.
I had my return ticket to Colombia so I left, back to my real world. You must be thinking it’s a sad story, but it’s not. It is one of those things that happen in life. You don’t get a job in all the places you want, but you keep trying and that’s the important thing.