I decided on two rules when I started this (slightly forced) job search.
The first was the rule I’ve always had when seeking employment: To find a happy place.
I believe the people you work with are way more important than the building you work in. You’re spending a minimum of 40 hours a week with your coworkers. For most people, that’s more time than you spend with your friends, your family, and your significant other. And advertising is not a 40 hour a week job. Not even close. Which means you better find an environment and people you like working with, because you’re going to be spending way more time with them than you are with your bed.
So. Rule 1- find a happy place.
Rule 2- no “digital agencies”.
My first job was at a digital agency, and I loved it. But I found myself getting typecast as a “digital copywriter”. So when I left my first gig, I made it a priority to work at a full-service shop, where they did traditional and digital advertising. Having achieved that, I didn’t want to go back to digital again.
I told all my recruiters I wouldn’t work full-time at a digital shop. Flat out refused. Hard stop. No. Nyet. Nuh-uh. When one of them sent me to an interview with a primarily digital agency, I only went because I thought I might get a freelance gig out of it.
And now I should probably mention Rule 3.
I didn’t know there was a Rule 3 when I started this process, but it turns out there is.
Rule 3 is very simple: Rule 1 trumps Rule 2.
Yes, I could have gone to a traditional agency. Yes, I could have taken offers at agencies that guaranteed I would never be described as a “digital copywriter” again. I had an offer like that.
But I also walked into a little-known, digitally-focused shop that felt like home, damn it. They were easy to talk to. They were playing music throughout the whole office. They had nerf guns on the couch.
Which is why I completely ignored Rule 2. And why I’m gonna be the new Senior Copywriter at LBi.