Things You’ll Learn Your First Year in Advertising

As told by Sara Lohse, copywriter.

When I got my job offer from Devaney & Associates, I was hours away from walking across the stage at Towson University to receive my diploma. I had spent four years studying, interning, and learning all that I could, and I had no idea how much I did not know. Here are a few things I learned in my first year working in advertising.

Time Management

One of the reasons I wanted to work in an advertising agency was the list of clients I could work with every day. No two days are the same and I’d constantly be working on something new and learning something I didn’t know. That was true. But it also came with overlapping deadlines. The first thing I learned when I started at Devaney & Associates was how to manage my time and organize deadlines. Get an idea of how long different types of jobs and projects will take you so that you can plan ahead and sort projects by priority based on deadlines and time frames.

 There is No “I”

Your company is your team. Your department and every department within your agency is a team. Lean on them. Help them. Do your job well so that they don’t have to pick up your slack. Ask questions when you have them and offer your input when needed. Everyone is judged as a whole based on the final outcome, so treat everything as a group effort.

The Client is Always Right

It’s their brand and their company and they have the final word. You may not agree with their feedback, but it’s not your decision to make. Unless you have a very strong case that will benefit or protect the client, you deliver what they ask for and make it as awesome as possible. 

Say Yes to Everything

This industry is full of events, happy hours, award galas, and more. If you get an invitation, GO! Not only will you hear from experienced leaders, network with other professionals, and maybe get some free food, but you’ll also be able to spend some quality time with your coworkers outside of the office. If your first company is anything like mine, you’ll be surrounded by some remarkable individuals. Get to know them.

Keep an Open Mind

You finished college. You got your degree. You’re smart. But… you don’t know everything. Just because a textbook taught you one way to do something, does not mean it’s the only way. Listen to what other people say, take note of their methods, and learn from them. The end of school is not the end of your education. Never stop learning. Experience is the greatest teacher.