Advice: From Leslie Buker

Answering the question “If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your job-seeking student self?” is Leslie Buker, an art director at Publicis in the West and is the author of Bukes.

Love it, because there will always be a reason to hate it.

That’s what I’d tell myself of yesteryear. Back in ad school, the industry looked like a far-off golden land. Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. All I had to do was get there. But once arriving, I quickly realized the gold did not shine so brightly. Some days, clients are impossible. Other days, CDs are impossible. And most days, producing good work is impossible. This can leave the new arrival feeling slightly disillusioned.

But even in a slightly tarnished golden land, everything is still golden. Sometimes, you just have to look for the shiny parts. At an agency, you’re surrounded by decades of knowledge and people waiting to share it with you. Chances are, you also have a few new tricks up your sleeves to share in return. And even in doomed projects, there are small triumphs to be collected on the way – maybe they don’t like your headline, but the subhead sticks. Or they hate your layout, but couldn’t be more delighted with your choice of colors. These moments are the gems that make it worth it. Remember to focus on these each day as you make your move into the industry, and it will start to look like the golden land you thought it’d be.


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