Tuesday, 24 February 2015

If You’re a Junior You Should Buckle Down and Shut Up

Let go of the ego.

I mean it seriously. We’re all ambitious. We all want to kick arse and be successful and advance. I wrote a post explicitly saying you should be selfish and work for yourself. That remains true.

But when it comes to the work you do within your agency, you have to be humble. Be a churchmouse. Let your ego go.

Because you cannot advance without showing a capacity for humility. Put simply, you have to be willing to work, regardless of the work.

Fetch coffee. Set up lunch. Collect a stuffed rooster from the other side of town for a photoshoot. You know why you need to be willing to do that?
Because someone has to do it.

And if you don’t, someone else will. And it needs to be you that does it, because if you can’t do that, what good are you?

Obviously you want to do well for yourself. Obviously you don’t want to do menial tasks. But someone will always have to do that. And until you prove yourself, it has to be you. And that is entirely right.

It’s one of the best lessons I learned at my first internships. Let go of the ego. Be humble above all else. Because you don’t know anything. And because even if you do know better than the people giving the orders (and you probably don’t), you still have more to learn. And you might as well learn it.

The top priority when you start out has to be this: How can I make my boss more successful?

If you have a shit boss, move on. But otherwise, that has to be a priority. You can’t be successful by being selfish. That’s just not how advertising works. It really is a team game.

And you need to earn your place on the team.

And you won’t get anywhere without earning it.

Someday, maybe, you can call the shots.

But you have to earn that right first.

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