Q: I’ve been interviewing for a junior art director position for a month or two, and recently met with a CD and Global CD at a less creative shop, who I think are very interested in hiring me. I hesitate to take it. It would be on a major cosmetics account – and I know it isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but it seems like it would be a great opportunity for a person at my level to learn the necessities (photo shoots, shooting commercials, etc.). I would be doing a lot of comping and executing for the more senior art directors, so there wouldn’t be much concepting. Is it safe to assume that at any agency I’ll be doing the same thing? Is passing up this opportunity foolish, or should I hold out for something to pop up after the New Year?
There are a few considerations.
Usually, if someone has a very good book I tell them to hold out as long as they can for the good job because it really does matter. However, I understand (and have faced the reality myself) that financially, at some point, you simply need to take a job – any job. You will have to answer for yourself: 1. Do you have a REALLY good book? 2. Can you hold out financially for a while until you have exhausted the good places? And, once you have exhausted them, then yes, perhaps it's time to take a job.
I also feel, from reading your question, that you are actually pretty excited and kind of intrigued by this opportunity. You seem quite optimistic about it - that would also be a reason to take it. Maybe your gut is telling you what you want.
Word of warning: Just because you are a woman - don't make the mistake of getting pigeonholed on 'female' accounts. Unless you want to get stuck working on 'girl accounts' for the rest of your career. The client probably is demanding a woman - we can't help client creative sexism, but don't let your agency foster that. Demand other genderless or more 'male' accounts as well so you can exercise your creative range.
Words of Advice: David Lubars once told me when I was very new in the business to reassess my career in six month increments. If you take a job and you are not getting book-worthy work, (work that really can replace your spec) in six months (preferably less) then it is time to look for another job. That remains true for your entire career! Don't waste time! Don't let money justify lack of work! And don't mistake produced work for good work!
If you’re producing, but it's crap, then it is not helping your career.
Good luck with your decision.
- Kara Goodrich