Is a Career in Advertising Right for Me?
Advertising careers may seem glamorous and lucrative, but are they really where you belong? If you're willing to pay your dues and log long hours, it might just pay off for you in the end.
Before applying for a job, or even beginning your education or training for that job, it is important to fully understand what will be expected of you. Going through years of education and training only to find out that it's just "not your thing" can be frustrating and a big waste of time and money. A career in advertising involves a lot of stress and pressure to meet deadlines and obtain approval of clients. Candidates must fully understand all that will be expected of them in the advertising world, which will help in deciding if a career in advertising is right for them.
Many advertising firms or departments are small, consisting of approximately 10 to 20 people. In these firms, one advertising manager oversees several other members of the advertising staff. The advertising manager is the direct contact between the advertising firm and its clients. In larger firms, advertising managers work directly with the advertising staff and account managers deal with all communication with the clients. Larger firms often have a creative staff, with a copy chief, art director and separate staff, led by a creative director.
For candidates interested in working in advertising, many firms require a bachelor's degree in advertising or journalism. Advertising majors should have a well-rounded education in business (including marketing), arts and technology. Competitive job markets often require potential advertising candidates to have master's degrees or some experience in other related fields. Having a strong art background can also be of assistance when applying for a job.
Employers in the advertising world should be comfortable with many different computer programs, including word-processing and photo/video editing. Advertisers should have the ability to multitask and work hard to meet deadlines. They should be mature and have the ability to handle stress well. Candidates who are creative and are able to communicate in a clear and concise matter (both written and orally) tend to do well in the advertising world.
Many times, advertising employees work in office settings. While some advertising employees work in an advertising firm, larger corporations often have their own advertising departments that work among other departments of the business. Most advertisers work with other people in a team setting; even in situations where work is completed individually, teams almost always meet back up together to discuss and review their individual work. Some travel is required, especially when advertising consultants have to meet with clients or media representatives. When travel is not required, advertisers must be able to host meetings for clients who come in from out of the area.
Many advertising firms and larger corporations offer advertisers the opportunity to complete seminars, conferences and in-house courses to strengthen their ability in the field of advertising. Many times, candidates who complete these training sessions and really show a desire to grow are the first promoted. However, unlike other careers, advancement in the advertising world isn't just based on who has the highest level of education or who has the most years of experience. Candidates who show success in the advertising world are often promoted faster. Advertising firms want people who are going to make the clients happy and, in return, make the company money. Therefore, the success rates of advertisers and their advertising campaigns are often the leading cause of promotions within the advertising world.