When I started my career, I was fortunate to be partnered with an art director who had a couple years’ experience. My first assignment was tv spot, and about a month into my first job, I was on a shoot. I would have been completely lost had it not been for the help of my partner.
The learning curve is pretty steep when you start at your first agency, but it will be steeper if you work with more experienced people. If you have an opportunity to partner with a seasoned vet, take it. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to look foolish.
Agencies often pair juniors with juniors. This, I think, is a mistake. Juniors will grow much faster if they have someone to show them the ropes.
2 thoughts on “More Experienced Partners”
Excellent post. I spent my first year and a half in advertising with a junior partner. It was a pretty easy, laid-back 18 months as we didn't do much. But at the end of it, I hadn't learned much either.
However, I've now spent the past 6 months as a rogue art director luck enough to be paired with different, much more experienced creatives for every project. It's been intense and terrifying and challenging – but my god – it's like I'm an art director now. I just finished a photo and video shoot as the lead creative and I've been presenting work to my client's bosses on a regular basis.
Yes, that learning curve can be steep. But, I agree. The steeper, the better.
I went from being a junior copywriter to having a partner who was a CD and Senior VP in the agency with 15 years more experience. In fact, the very first CA Advertising Annual I ever received as a student had one of his ads on the first page.
Not coincidentally, I count him as the best partner I've had in my career.