Sheng Riechers, director of operations, recently spoke to a group of students about tips for surviving the advertising field. She has condensed her advice into the following four tips:
1. Learn to Learn
Technology is ever-evolving. Whether that’s digital marketing trends or marketing tactics, something new is always occurring. In this day and age, there’s always a new app update or screen quality upgrade, which encourages people to always search for the next best thing. For instance, interactive advertising and video content are some examples of trends that are currently popular. It’s important to keep up with these latest trends, whether that’s by reading articles online, watching how-to videos or attending seminars. In short, never stop learning!
2. Learn to Love It
Similar to people saying their photos have “no filter,” this also applies to the advertising industry with humor. In a creative field, you need to try new ways of thinking and embrace all ideas, no matter how outlandish they seem. There will be all different kinds of humor that brings you out of your comfort zone, and if you want to enjoy the industry, you have to learn to love the crass humor.
3. Learn to Laugh
The industry is filled with stressors and high pressure situations. The best way to deal with these challenges is to learn to laugh. You need to learn this skill because stress doesn’t stop in the advertising industry. In fact, it is the fifth most stressful career, next to being a police officer. Don’t let that scare you though. If you can learn to laugh at the madness of the industry instead of letting it negatively affect you, you can handle it!
4. Learn to Lean In
Sexism. We wish it didn’t exist. We can pretend it doesn’t; however, that would be unrealistic. So here’s the reality of it: it’s still a “Mad Men” industry. Many women do not hold leadership roles and men still dominate them. This may not be the case everywhere, but the majority of owners, presidents and CEOs are men. Good advice for dealing with this? Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In philosophy. Sandberg wrote about challenges she has faced, gender differences and equality.
Do you have any tips on surviving the advertising agency world? We’d love to hear it!