Friday, April 4, 2008

that's why it's manAGING

Thanks to HighJive for pointing me to Steffan Postaer's column which is a must-read for anybody over twelve in this business. Because no matter how much you bench press, age will happen to you.
Aspire to management. In ad agencies the most advantageous place for an oldster is at the top. Take that elevator. Don’t stop at just being a good writer or art director. That’s merely the price of entry. You need to be exceptional at your craft. Always. But remember there are LOTS of guys with 5 or 6 years under their belt, making LOTS less money than you, who are damn near as good. Naturally, they want your job. You should want the job above yours. That would be MGMT.

So how does one grow successful as well as old in advertising? My advice in three not-so-easy steps:

1. Don’t shun meetings because, “they suck.” One day there will be a meeting and you’ll be the topic. ‘Nuff said.
2. Sell work. First your work. Then someone else’s. In that order. If you can do both you will be twice as valuable to your firm. MGMT does both.
3. Stay relevant. Nothing is sadder than the graying copywriter who waxes nostalgic about cutting film with a knife. Dead man walking. 3a) As with meetings, do not ignore popular culture because, “it sucks.” If you don’t keep up with people… you won’t.

another unassailable truth indexed by Jessica Hagy


Anonymous said...

Great advice. A fifty-year-old copywriter is an old man/woman. A fifty-year-old agency president is a young man/woman.

Ad Broad, oldest working writer in advertising said...

Excellent point, Contrarian. Though readers should keep in mind that particular destination is hard to reach from the mommy track.