I Wish I'd Known

For the first couple years after I graduated from ad school and had been working, whenever my classmates and I would get together, the conversation would eventually turn to how disillusioned we were with the advertising industry. "God, if only someone had told us there'd be clients!" "Why did they make us think we'd be able to do anything we put our mind to?" "What? There are budgets?" "You want your logo on this? That's not cool."

It was a pretty common theme--we weren't in ad school anymore. But hey, we were getting paid. We were (some of us) getting sleep. And as we talked, we began to realize it was the same pretty much everywhere. Clients, politics, the FCC. Meetings, real briefs, real budgets.

A couple weeks ago, I sent an email out to my former student email list--a few years' worth of students who have since graduated ad school. I asked them to answer one simple question: "WHAT DO YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD YOU IN AD SCHOOL?"

I plan to do a series of posts with these anonymous bits of wisdom, passed down from those who have learned. And so, to kick it off:

"Think hard about your own definition of Success and make sure it really fits you. Is it winning pencils? Working from your laptop on a Thai beach? Using your skills to empower others? Armani suits? Whatever it is, fine. Just make sure you know what you are working towards."