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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Making the switch from client side creative

Making the switch from client side creative

First off, just wanted to say thanks for writing an awesome book.
Last year I fell into a copywriting position on the client side and discovered, to my great surprise, that I loved it! Now I’m considering a jump to an agency to keep my career moving forward.
The problem is I’m concerned I’ve done everything backwards. I have no background in advertising other than my current job and no formal education other than a BA in English. Yet I’ve written several large TV campaigns, including one with a well-known celebrity. I even won a local ad award last year. That said, most of the work I’ve done in my current job will not wow an agency CD with my creative brilliance.
I do have some work that I am very proud of, plus I’ve been putting together some spec work to round out my book. I guess I’m wondering how to go about getting my foot in the door with an agency and whether my background will be a liability.
I should also mention that I know literally no one on the agency side so I have no one to turn to for advice. I also can’t afford ad school.

intro Making the switch from client side creativeWe suggest you try to talk with creative directors at top ad agencies in your market for their advice. Tell them you are wondering if you have the talent to switch gears in your career, and do mention you’ve won an award. As a “client”, they may be quicker to say yes to a meeting than is typical. We’ve seen people change paths to become terrific art directors and writers from staring points as diverse as medicine, law, accounting and academia. It can be done. Whether or not you can skip the school part remains to be seen, but make your starting point a reality check from people who should be able to spot your potential. Good luck. Sounds like change is in the air.

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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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