Waking up during book crit season is perhaps the hardest thing you’ll do all day. There is no real schedule, no real deadlines and sometimes you are inevitably faced with the post slumber bout of insecurity, not really knowing where things will end.
This career is for the clinically masochistic and the sadistic rolled into one person. Being an advertising creative is one part sexy and three parts the perfect psychosis.
"Being an advertising creative is one part sexy and three parts the perfect psychosis."
You need to put in the hours, the heart pains, be good at waking up when you feel less than fabulous, and come to terms that your peers are going to be unashamedly boasting their creative conquests on social media. Your savings might run dry and it might make a grown man cry. The only thing in your control is hope.
Here is what my partner and I discovered over the past two months.
They should be the person who will be bold enough to tear you down and build you up, this person should be someone who’ll help you be a better you. Don’t be friends first, be business partners and then become friends. For singles out there Single Creatives is a great place to start.
Know that your AD school is only a conversation starter but does little in securing your placement or job in the long run. Do your homework and know what’s hot and not. You’ll need that knowledge to ensure your book communicates the right ideas for the current time.
Head down to NABS on Oxford street and pick up the annual agency directory for £2 and start getting to know the people from the agencies you’re targeting. Remember, AD agencies are made up of human beings - get to know them.
Be on time. Listen. Respectfully back your ideas. Ask questions and remember these people do not owe you a living. Emailing agencies for book crits and not hearing back from them is normal, it means that they have paying clients who need their attention, getting worked up would get you nowhere. There is solace in the knowledge that the world does not revolve around you. Lastly, always thank them for their time.
It’s important to note that Michael and I, until recently, went about it the wrong way. Start strong and end strong, put your best campaign forward and end your book with another strong one. Let your book read like a novel. Draw them in, and leave them satisfied.￼
Before I get off this bed and go out for another day of crits, my one piece of advice is to not forget at the end of the day you are working hard for a job you hope to love, but it is only that, a job, and should not define who are as a person. So go out and live a little.
For more information about the advertising world, check out our free advertising industry guide.