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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Making the switch from accounts to copywriting

Making the switch from accounts to copywriting

I want to switch directions in my career. I graduated from university a couple of years ago with a bachelor’s in Marketing and Communications. I have about a year and a half of agency experience – part of that was as an admin assistant, and the other part is as an account exec. I thought that account management was what I would be good at, but I find myself getting very disillusioned.
I am far more passionate about creative output, and as an account person, I find that my creativity does not get used at all. I’m not a very good artist, but I have an eye for aesthetics, a perceptive mind, and I am very comfortable working with words (although I tend to be a bit verbose sometimes).
I want to become a copywriter. The problem is, I have virtually no experience as a copywriter. Do you have any advice on how I can go about effecting this change?

intro Making the switch from accounts to copywritingThis is a common dilemma, and our answer hasn’t changed…there are no shortcuts. It’s great that you’ve discovered your real passion and there’s no good reason to continue on a course that doesn’t make you happy. Now for the hard part—starting over. That probably looks like going back to school. It’s very hard to learn on the job (though not impossible, depending on who you may have as a mentor). You need to create a portfolio to get a job, and putting that pile of great ideas together is a journey. Check out ad programs online, do your homework. Look for signs a school is a good one by looking at student work, the quality of the teaching staff, reputation and ultimately where are alumni now. Awards from student competitions at places like Cannes and the One Show are a good sign too. Most schools won’t be great on all those measures. As you research schools and talk to creative people you work with now about how they found their way, your path will emerge.


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  • Thomas Smith

    Or you could just do what most account people in this situation do and change the all copydecks before they go to the client.

  • Flavio Alvarez

    In the meantime, please stop trying to change your current Copy’s headlines.


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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