Thursday, March 26, 2009

Would you file job jackets?

I heard about a junior opening the other day: creative assistant/copywriter. It made me wonder which unemployed junior writers out there would take a split responsibility job like this. Yes, you'd have the opportunity to write a few things but you'd also be doing a bunch of administrative duties. Filing job jackets, booking travel, doing expense reports, that kind of stuff.

Wouldn't every hand go up for a job like this? Foot in the door. Great agency. Chance to develop as a writer. Sounds fantastic. Yet what happens when the admin starts to outweigh the writing? Or when you have a conflict between a writing deadline and a meeting fiasco you're expected to solve immediately? That's really tough. Which takes precedence? Would an aspiring creative be able to handle this conflict of priorities?

Just something to think about. As our economic climate keeps changing, I'd imagine jobs will continue to morph just like this into dual-role positions. Agencies will have to accomplish more with less people. Especially at the junior level. Everyone will be expected to contribute in multiple ways. Even creatives.

Know this environment will serve you well. Getting experience in multiple roles is a very good thing. You'll learn more. You'll learn it faster. And, you'll have a stronger foundation to build the rest of your career on.

Monday, March 23, 2009

In my humble opinion

Are creatives allowed to have humble opinions about their own work? As in, "In my humble opinion, my book is one of the better books you will come across." Really?

That made me chuckle. Isn't that an oxymoron? Saying you're humble when in fact you are being braggatory (I'm making that word up). It's the same lesson I am trying to teach my 7-year-old daughter right now. To celebrate her talents without broadcasting it to the world. Currently, she is THE BEST artist in 1st grade. And, THE fastest runner. And, THE top math student in her whole class. She very well might be. But I'm trying to teach her that being the best and saying you're the best are two totally different things.

Believe in yourself by all means. Have an equal dose of confidence. Those qualities I truly appreciate. I'd also appreciate being the one who actually says "your book is one of the better books I have come across."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I feel for you

I am starting to realize that what I consider standard manners, might not be what everyone else does. I say this with regard to responding to candidates who contact me about potential jobs. Now granted it may take me weeks upon weeks, but I always do my very best to respond. At the bare minimum, the standard "thanks for sending, no open jobs" response. But most often, I take the time to look at their work and give genuine feedback.

Who wants to contact an agency and never ever hear back? This small courtesy is the same small courtesy I'd want if it was me. God forbid I ever have to look for a job. As if it isn't depressing enough to be unemployed in this economy, let alone hearing nothing from the companies you contact.

This morning I got a note back from a junior designer I had emailed last week. My note said thanks for your book, the work is nice, no jobs on the horizon. Based on his response, I could tell he was floored to hear from me. He wrote, "Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I will say that at times one does feel like they are placing their hopes of any future into a black hole known as the internet."

He goes on to say that while he gets bummed not hearing back from people, he understands the "futility recruiters see of informing me of what their non-response so clearly communicates." Basically, it's the belief that a candidate should assume that no reply means no interest.

Well, MY belief is that no reply means I don't really care that you contacted me in the first place. Yea, all recruiters are incredibly busy. Yea, they get about a billion joe schmoes knocking on their door. And yea, a big chunk of that billion suck. Despite all that, don't you think every candidate should be treated with respect?

The experience a person has with me (over the phone, via email, in person) translates to the experience they have with Y&R. I represent the company. And if I never respond, it's a reflection on them. It's the whole Faberge Organics mindset. That one candidate will tell two friends how (nice/bad) they were treated and then they'll tell two friends and so on and so on.

If all these people are talking, and my name is involved, pretty sure I'd want it to be nice.