BE A FAN: OUR JUNIOR WASTERS’ TIPS TO ENTERING AGENCY WORLD
Not that it ever was easy, but the last 12+ months seem to have been especially difficult for young people trying to get into the advertising industry. We thought we’d catch up with our own Junior Wasters to see what their best tips of how to break into the industry are, in the hopes that it might help others trying to do the same thing.
During the pandemic, interns and juniors have been some of the most affected groups in the industry. In 2020, the Resolution Foundation estimated that 19% of 18- to 24-year-olds across the UK lost their jobs after being put on furlough. In this environment, landing a new job/internship can be even tougher than usual. But the most clever job hunting techniques that worked before coronatimes still work now, if only adapted slightly…
Here are the top tips from some of the awesome Juniors on our team. We’ve got:
Kirit Rayatt, Junior Strategist;
Jacob, Junior Animator - check out his work on Instagram @jreidyart;
Rhys, Junior Digital Designer - check out his stuff on Instagram @rhysway_;
Steph Marsh, Junior Creative.
Let’s goooo! 👇
What advice and tips would you give to aspiring entry-level candidates to get into the industry?
Jacob, Junior Animator: Before landing the role of Junior Animator, I received an internship with Waste, which there actually wasn’t even a job opening for. One of my best pieces of advice is to not sit around waiting for job openings - go out and create the opportunity for yourself. Build a strong portfolio & just start firing off emails to people at companies you love. If nothing’s coming back, don’t panic. Keep working on your own projects, keep building that portfolio and keep reaching out to people. At some point, the right opportunity will come along.
Rhys, Junior Digital Designer: Practice on your own. Work on self-initiated briefs and build your professional confidence and skills by doing personal projects. Get more involved, learn more about whatever it is you want to do. Start by emailing places you’re passionate about and offering your time to do work for free. If you still can’t find anything, start freelancing for now. In time, you’ll have enough experience and clients to have a good shot at getting a full time role.
How’s your internship experience been? How has it helped to prepare you for your current role?
Kirit, Junior Strategist: I actually have a very varied background. I did internships in lots of different roles and industries, which did me a world of good. I ended up with varied transferable skills that are helping me even now in my day-to-day role, and it also got me great exposure to all the different jobs I could be doing and helped me find the path I enjoyed the most. My advice: broaden out.
Steph, Junior Creative: My internships gave me a much better understanding of the size of the company I wanted to go for. Working in a small company is very different from a large organisation, even for similar roles. Having internships in different size companies let me know which full time roles I would really enjoy and which I’d rather not even apply for.
What was your biggest challenge getting into the industry? How did you overcome it?
Kirit, Junior Strategist: 99% of the time, internships are not going to be what you initially thought. Because of the fact that the intern/junior can be sometimes seen as the workhorse that does the tedious tasks no one else wants to do, I’d highly encourage you to set healthy boundaries and double down on time management & planning. Otherwise, people will keep coming to you with tasks and it can get overwhelming!
Jacob, Junior Animator: Don’t be afraid to push back & give your opinion. Be confident in your work and get it out there. In fact, you need to be out there, networking, communicating with people in the industry. Don’t wait for opportunities- create conversations, even if it’s not going to materialise in a job straight away.
Steph, Junior Creative: When I first went on the job market, I did not know about just how different and varied the jobs I could do were. There’s a lot of value in making sure you fully understand the workplace, the different roles within it, and how different size companies differ from one another. Once you get an internship, doing some general admin work might be helpful in helping you understand how everything works. Have a look into other roles - tangential to what you’re doing or not. Grab a coffee with people and understand what they do; it’ll give you the confidence of knowing that you fully understand how the organisation works and how you fit into it.
What resources did you find valuable in helping you to stay inspired?
Kirit, Junior Strategist: There are loads of books and podcasts that I can recommend, but I got most value by expanding my horizons and not limiting myself to reading content directly linked to my role. By being exploratory, you’ll gain so many bits of information that will help you along your career. That being said, my more strategy-focused recommendations are:
Book recommendations: ‘Eat Your Greens’, ‘How Not to Plan’, ‘Perfect Pitch’.
Podcast recommendations: Sweathead, Freakonomics, On Strategy Showcase.
Course recommendations: APG, Sweathead.
Jacob, Junior Animator: I find myself always looking at other artists’ work. Even in my workspace, I have artwork, sculptures, and all sorts of things to inspire me. I’d say that the main platforms I go to for inspiration are Instagram and Pinterest. I archive & save stuff on there and create different groups of ideas that I can refer to for inspiration later.
Rhys, Junior Creative: Be a fan! I got a lot of insights from researching designers whose work I liked and finding interviews where they went in depth about their way of working. I also use Instagram for networking, following the best designers, reaching out to people and making connections.
There’s a YouTube channel called The Futur - it’s got loads of great tips for creatives, live portfolio reviews, mock interviews, hints as to what creative directors look for in portfolios.
Steph, Junior Creative: I used If You Could Jobs a lot. It’s linked with It’s Nice That, a well-known publication in the creative advertising sphere. Inspiration-wise, I found LinkedIn useful. Connecting with lots of people who do lots of good work fills your feed with awesome inspiration. Instagram, of course, is also great for job/intern accounts and portfolio advice. Also check out the Young Creative Council for opportunities.
Breaking into the industry isn't easy - but we hope that these techniques will give you some ideas of how you can make a start.
If you'd be interested in working with us, why not check out our careers page or follow us on instagram? We share the news when we've got openings coming up, and that way you'll be the first to know.
Good luck! ✌️