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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Breaking in vs. paying the bills

Breaking in vs. paying the bills

I went back to school after getting a business administration degree after realizing I really wanted to be a copywriter. I graduated with an advertising degree a year ago and I did not get a related job yet. I still live with my dad rent free. To pay my bills, I am working at an after school program running homework help and fitness activities.
The problem I’m running into is my father is wanting me to go back to school to get a teaching credential. He believes advertising is a dead end because of the low availability of jobs. He also believes teaching would be a more stable option for earning an income because you don’t run out of kids. I love the kids but I don’t want to go into teaching.
I love advertising and I really want to have a career in copywriting. Should I hold out for my break in an agency? Or should I get the stable job so I can be more self-sufficient and move out on my own?

intro Breaking in vs. paying the billsThe people who make it in our very competitive field have a huge passion for the industry. They tend to be resilient, tenacious and of course talented. (Talent without the other qualities only gets you so far.) We just brought in an intern who was a bellboy at the Royal York hotel to make ends meet. He had bills to pay and got on with making money, but he also kept interviewing and building his portfolio. His passion for writing really showed, and his experience in an unrelated field added to his life experience. All these detours come with an up side.

If your heart is in it, take our intern’s lead and keep looking. We can’t advise going into teaching or any other “stable” job if you really have no interest. That’s not much of a life. We mention this quote often: “Choose the right career and you’ll never work a day of your life.” If advertising is your true love, stick with the journey and one day you’ll be in the right place at the right time.

Meanwhile, reach out to people you admire in the business for mentoring. You may be surprised how many want to help people in your shoes. That may mean one meeting over coffee or a structured arrangement with regular meetings to help evolve your book and coaching on presentation, interviewing skills and more.

Good luck and we hope you don’t choose a life that will make a parent feel better but not you.

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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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