Have you ever been in a room full of executives and you’re the most junior person there? Ever felt that your opinion doesn’t count? I have this situation at least once a day. The problem with the advertising industry is that it’s full of smart people. Oxford here and Cambridge there. This isn’t me. I faceplanted into advertising, but I’ll save that for another story.
Anyway, I’ve managed to survive 5 years, learning something new every day. I learnt something recently which feels like a light has just been turned on in my head. I’ve learnt how to differentiate myself from these execs in my meetings, I’ve learnt my place.
To really get ahead in this industry, you need to read. Read the brief (obvs!), read the research (yes all of it all, all 250 pages of a Mintel report – err maybe not that!), read every last letter of the strategic story, read all the competitor reviews, read all relevant articles and when you’re finished with all that… read it again. If you work in new business or an account admin role you need to be a know-it-all and if you’re not one of them (me!) you need to fake it. I know when I enter a meeting I am the “go-to-girl” – I’m the girl with the key dates ingrained in my head, I’m the girl that remembers what the “thingymajig” slide is, I’m the girl who remembers your pitch lines, I’m also the girl who feeds you 9pm the night before the pitch and the one who gets you a cab home at 2am. Whilst this is great for the time being, we don’t want to be here forever – reading as much information as you possibly can on the project you’re working on will get you ahead!
I love no longer being the mute in the room and I’ve learnt a thing or two along the way! Get your voice heard and start reading!