In the quest for your dream job in marketing and advertising, people will talk endlessly about which type of organisation is right for you; its reputation, its size, the number of clients or the number of offices there are from Adelaide to Zanzibar.
None of this really matters when you consider the average person spends a third of their life at work. This industry, more than most, is about people and relationships, not bricks and mortar or the number of giant yellow pencils in reception. Loving what you do and who you work with is far more important than the name above the door.
So when you’re interviewing somewhere, don’t be afraid to ask to have a walk around the office. Get a feel for the place; remember you’re interviewing them as much as they are you. Think about what you'll learn from them and what they can learn from you. Is this a place where you can grow and prosper?
To put it simply, don’t work somewhere to “get it on your CV”, work there because the people are fantastic and the work talks for itself.
As for me? Did I practice what I preached? I hope so. Fresh out of university with experience working at some big (and a lot of small) agencies in the UK and the US, I started at BrandPie, an independent brand consultancy. Nobody had really heard of it. It was a start-up founded by some great industry leaders. People I quickly realised I could learn a lot from – in fact on my first day I met my boss at Heathrow and headed off for a week of workshops with a huge telco client. The work and the clients aside, fundamentally it was the team at BrandPie that made it for me.
Two years later and I’ve moved on to Wolff Olins – which whilst bigger than BrandPie and part of the Omnicom group – it’s still got it's own unique and independent culture that I thrive on. We say people come to Wolff Olins to do “the best work of their lives”, and if that's the mantra we're all living by, that suits me just fine.
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