Inform. Inspire. Innovate

Friday, 21 August 2015

Career Guest Post; Working in Creative - Advertising

Name: Laura


Industry: Advertising

Job Title: Junior Creative 

Brief description of job role and industry

I am a junior creative, which means I'm given a brief for an advert or campaign and it's my job to come up with the creative concept/ideas behind it. Something quite unique about the industry is that it's common for advertising agencies to hire teams. I work with my creative partner who I met at uni, I do more of the art direction and 
he handles more of the copy work, however we're more fluid in the roles than is traditional and both do a little of each.

An average day consists of... 

If I'm not being briefed on a new project, I'm usually scrawling ideas in a sketch book or having a team brain storm with my creative partner. We usually spend a few hours mind mapping separately before coming together to discuss, develop and throw away ideas. There's always a few "WHAT where you thinking?!" moments, but learning to be honest with each other and to be able to take harsh criticism is crucial in the studio. We spend a lot of time presenting ideas to the creative director and other senior figures, then developing the projects from there. We also spend a lot of time looking at inspirational work, whether it be films, TV, pieces of art or even browsing pinterest... it's important to keep our knowledge varied and current in order to produce clever ideas.

Career progression

Although not required, most people study a relevant degree before entering the industry. Entry level is junior creative, but usually you'll need industry experience of 6 months to a year before becoming a junior. After that you would progress to midweight creative, then senior creative, before becoming a creative director.

The levels vary depending on the agency (or even in house advertising), and often you need to change jobs in order to move up the levels. There is no set age or length of time required for moving up the levels, it all depends on your level of experience and your portfolio.

Qualifications/experience required

There are no official qualifications required, as agencies will offer internships/hire based on your portfolio and experience. I found studying Advertising really helped me to be a better creative, to know what constitutes a good/bad idea, and to learn to handle criticism on my work. As creativity is such a subjective thing, you'll often find that what one person loves, another will hate, so just because one person or agency doesn't "get" your work, doesn't mean you won't succeed.
Another thing to mention, I've never once been asked to submit a CV for a role I've applied for. Everything is based on the strength of your portfolio. I've also never been asked for my university grade, so studying a creative degree really is more about learning practical skills to get you industry ready as oppose to achieving a certain grade.

Best tip to crack the industry

Be realistic. The one thing university didn't prepare me for was the reality of the industry. It's a hard industry to break into and unfortunately one that is rife with unpaid placements, internships, etc. The reality is you're probably going to do a lot of work for nothing (or barely anything) before you're hired. If people are positive towards your work and you're passionate about the industry, it's something worth pursuing... once you break into the role it's amazing. 

Best thing about my job

Every day is unique. Due to the variety of clients, I can go from brainstorming ideas about Ann Summers' latest vibrators, to deciding what the cartoon man from The Car People adverts is going to get up to next. New briefs come in all the time, so it's fast paced but it means I'm never doing the same thing two days in a row. I get to have fun with my work and I work with one of my close friends. The best best thing though? Seeing an advert you've created go live!

Worst thing about my job
Due to its nature, and the way creativity works, some days I'll sit and rack my brains for hours and get nothing. Then other days, I'll get an idea in the first half hour. There's nothing more frustrating than pouring over a brief and getting no ideas (or ideas that belong at the bottom of the bin), but there's also nothing better than finally cracking something with an idea you're proud of.



  1. Advertising has only ever been a niggling idea in the back of my head so thank you so much for bringing it to the front! I'm definitely going to look into it more and love the sound of all of this. Looks like next summer will be spent interning! (touch wood haha)
    This is a really really great series, Lauren! Thank you so much for putting it together so that people like me can figure out our lives (:
    Imii xx |

    1. Ahh so glad the career series has helped lovely. It's a great industry to be in so massive good luck! Keep me updated on how it goes! xx

  2. i could never work solely relying on my creativity...mostly because I have none! :p

    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

    1. haha neither do I for design work, I massively envy people that have design creativity!! Thanks for reading Pam, it's massively appreciated! xx


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