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Is 43 too old?


What chance does a 43 year old copywriter have of securing a job in an advertising agency like yours, versus one ten or fifteen years younger?

intro Is 43 too old?That depends on what the agency needs, and the abilities of the 43- year-old. Some of our best writers are in their 40′s, and they cost a lot of money. Obviously they work at a very senior level (although we know some excellent creatives who didn’t get into the business until their late 30′s and they’re more like intermediates now in their early 40′s). If the job opening calls for experience and allows for a fairly big salary, the 43 year old should win over the much younger talent. A 43 year old with the same experience as a 30 year old is in a tougher contest. If they ask for the same money, we’d say the one who’s the better ‘fit’ (relevant account experience, personality, etc.) should carry the day. If the two are theoretically equal in every respect, it may be hard for the older candidate to prevail, if the creative director takes the long view and wonders how long the older person will have the same passion and drive for advertising as the younger one. And yes, ageism is a thing in this business. Bias exists. Big bummer. On top of that, if you’re an older woman, even more of a potential bias. Ultimately, if you’re really talented and have real love for the job, you’ll be more employable than the younger person who isn’t. At least in our world.

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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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