It appears not a day goes by than yet another set of survey results are released bemoaning both the work ethic and attitude of Gen Y employees.
“Good for nothing”, “lazy”, “spoilt” and “entitled” are words often prescribed to these fresh-faced newbies. And, may we add, probably unfairly too.
But what do the Gen Ys – the Millennials – think of working in the ad business? To find out, B&T asked them that very question.
With B&T’s annual ’30 Under 30’ – all sponsored by The Newspaper Works – fast approaching we quizzed 2014’s finalists to find out what they loved, loathed and were all the more indifferent about when it came to being employed in this big, crazy monkey cage we prefer to call the media and marketing industry.
Over the past 12 months, Kae Yen Wong has made the ’30 Under 30′ list, moved from a copywriting job in Sydney to a senior creative role at eBay in San Francisco. He says what he loves most about the industry is the oddball people it tends to attract. On the downside he says it can be “unnecessarily ruthless”.
“To succeed in the industry you need to learn how to ask for, deal with and learn from feedback,” he said. “Collaboration is core to everything we do and you need to be prepared to get a lot of feedback – both positive and negative.”
Margarita Peker, comms and insights strategist at Klick Communications, loves that it’s a “serious industry that gets to take nothing seriously”.
And her pet peeve? “This obsession with quantifying success through meaningless numbers,” Peker said. “Twelve million impressions doesn’t tell me we’ve changed a single opinion, triggered any smiles, excited any humans or helped anyone make a good decision; but boy will it be proudly displayed in a report somewhere.”
Common Ventures creative, James Crawley, believes people who find fault in the industry are “pessimists and jaded”. Rather, he calls it a “brilliant” industry to be involved with. “We get paid to think,” he said. “We get to surround ourselves with talented people who view the world in a weird and wonderful way.”
Grant Rose, director at Nexus Brand and Partnership Strategy, is no fan of the long hours expected of young people to the industry. “Actually, the hardest thing is explaining what we do all week to people outside of the industry,” he said.
Tessa Wood, content and partnerships director at MediaCom Beyond Advertising, agrees she’s no fan of the long hours either. “The pressure can be intense and the expectations are high,” Wood said. “The flipside is it can be an incredibly creative, inspiring and rewarding career. Working on projects where you are able to push boundaries, test new innovative technologies or tell stories in exciting ways is what drives and interests me and what ultimately keeps me in the industry.”
Jacqui Stenmark, account manager at MCN, lauds her workplace for its mentoring and development of its younger employees. The downside to the industry, Stenmark said, is its transient nature meaning it’s hard to have meaningful work relationships when there’s such a ‘revolving door’ culture. Of the pluses, she says she loves the “work hard and play hard attitude that our industry has”.
Hannah Furness certainly hasn’t rested on her laurels since featuring in 2014’s esteemed ’30 Under 30’. The entrepreneurial Furness has started her own PR firm – Straight Up PR – specialising in health and wellbeing.
In under a year, Furness reveals the business has gone from working out of a home office to a fully-fledged agency in Sydney’s Surry Hills that employs two full-time staff, contractors and an intern.
“I love the ever changing landscape of the media and PR industry. It’s definitely an industry where you can’t be complacent, and it’s important that you continue to evolve your thinking and the way you do things to keep up with the fast paced and new initiatives,” Furness said.
Are you or someone you work with equally deserving of being called one of B&T’s ’30 Under 30’ for 2015? If so, you need to enter yourself or them here and pronto! Applications close this Friday 17th April and the winners announced at a gala function – all sponsored by our good friends at The Newspaper Works – on the Thursday 28th May.