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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  My first job isn’t great. Can I have spec in my book?

My first job isn’t great. Can I have spec in my book?


I finished ad school about a year ago and was fortunate enough to pick up a copywriting job within a few months. I’ve been at this shop for the better part of a year now, but I’m finding that the opportunities to do good work just aren’t there. Anything that’s even decent is cut by the client before it sees the light of day. And because of the way things work in this market, I suspect that that’s the way it’s going to go from now on.
That being said, I’m thinking about taking my act to a better market – Toronto. My problem is that all of my good work is spec. As a writer who’s been in the business for a little under a year, is it acceptable to use my spec work in my portfolio?

intro My first job isnt great. Can I have spec in my book?It’s totally fine to show spec in your book—especially a junior book. Creative directors can best see what you’re capable of this way. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s so much easier to get work through in Toronto. It’s tough all over; clients are filled with fear and trusting their guts less and less. By all means, try a new agency. Hopefully you’ll land in a place that is getting more good work produced. And hopefully this is a bad phase in Ad Land that will pass sooner rather than later.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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