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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  When is a junior no longer a junior?

When is a junior no longer a junior?

Dear Jancy: I’m a junior art director doing doing what my creative directors tell me is good work, and I’ve also been fortunate enough to win some awards. I’ve been with my current agency a little over a year, and was just wondering if there’s any general guideline in terms of how long you stay a junior – is it one year, two years, three? I’m sure it varies by agency, but I’m just trying to get a general idea. Thanks!

intro When is a junior no longer a junior?The funny thing about “junior” status—it can range, subjectively, from one year to 5 or more. Every creative director would evaluate you differently on that front. Typically you break the ‘junior’ barrier with big achievement. Someone with under a year experience that wins a gold Lion may suddenly find there’s no need to continue thinking of themselves as junior anymore. However, it’s not wise to try to skip steps—it takes time and experience to learn the ropes and leapfrogging ahead with some awards can land you in a tough spot if you’re hired at a new place as a more senior person but don’t have the skills yet to execute to the expectation.

Most typically, you’re “junior” for the first couple of years. If you’re doing well, no need to self-identify as junior past that mark. In fact, you need not identify yourself that way out loud, ever. It should say “art director” on your card, and “junior” is a word you shouldn’t find yourself hearing (or saying) often. It sounds like it makes sense to be proactive and talk to your CD, to see if his or her perceptions of progress align with your own.

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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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