In this guest post, Ogilvy Goliath graduate & strategy coordinator Annie Lim is busting myths left, right and centre about the world of advertising.
In what I assume is the universal experience for those trying to break into the behemoth world of advertising, telling people that you want to work in this industry is met with its fair share of Mad Men ooh’s and ahh’s.
And then there’s the well-ish meaning friends and family who’ll warn you that you’ll become a slave to an evil corporation. Or, the less well-meaning acquaintances who feel obliged to let you know that their best mate’s second cousin never got a job in advertising, so have you considered doing marketing for a tech startup?
After four years at university, I had the sinking feeling that I would never get my foot in advertising’s door and that I was signing up to something that would require me to sell my soul to the devil. Naturally, as a naïve 21-year-old I brushed all of my doubts under the rug, vehemently ignored the looming uncertainty of my soul’s ownership, and decided to pursue advertising anyway.
Surprisingly, a month after I graduated I experienced a miracle and was offered a full-time, paid(!) position at Ogilvy (Ogilvy !) as a Goliath Graduate. And, it was even more of a surprise that this industry turned out to be absolutely nothing that I expected it to be. So, here are four myths that I’ve busted after five months in advertising.
- You’ll be a slave to your job: It was 5:42pm when a colleague asked me why I was still in the office and told me to go home if I had nothing left to do. I’m not a slave – yay! Yes, there are late nights when deadlines get moved and pitches roll around. But, one thing I’ve learned is that you’ll need to have a life outside of work or you’ll never be able to bring a new perspective to the table. Myth busted.
- You’ll never use your degree: The sheer amount of times I heard the Decision-Making Funnel referenced in my first week not only busted this myth, but it achieved the impossible. It made me thankful I spent four years listening to lecturers explain marketing concepts to me via computer on 3x speed. Adam and Jamie could never bust a myth this quickly.
- It’s just one big party: I love my job, but advertising is still a hard grind. Although the industry is rooted in creativity, it takes time and effort to write a strategy or execute a creative idea. However, the free KFC every Friday does help. As does the bar and the company parties… and the fact that making TikToks and trawling the internet counts as work. So I guess this myth is busted…sort of.
- It’s a cut-throat world: Teamwork really does make the dream work at Ogilvy. I have a boss that’s genuinely invested in my growth and a group of very lovely, non-evil colleagues that always make time to teach me the things I don’t know (there are many, as I soon discovered). I’m now a professional at busting myths and counting my lucky stars because I genuinely love my workplace.
Breaking into advertising has been the most rewarding and surprising thing to happen. So, to all the advertising dreamers out there, I couldn’t be happier that I swept my doubts under the rug and you’ll be pleased to know that my soul is still firmly within my possession. Take that, advertising sceptics.