In The Trenches: Advice For New Hires

As a recent college grad, I will honestly admit that no one quite prepared me for the big kid world of advertising. I am still learning all that advertising entails, but thought I would share the top tips I have for recent graduates/brand new hires that I have picked up on so far in my career:

Be a friend. Get some friends:
Get involved on the agency’s kickball team, go to happy hours, take people to coffee, know what’s going on their lives…I think you get it. It is given that there will be stressful times—when they come around, it is much easier to ride that wave with a team of friends, versus strangers. If you’re an account person—get to know the creative teams (and vice versa). You have to work with these people every day, why not enjoy them?

Identify your mentor:
Try and look for a mentor who is experienced in his/her role. They don’t necessarily need to be from the same department or function; however, their experience will help you gain some tips on how things work at your agency.

Learn how to manage up:
You were an officer of five different clubs in college. You’ve been told you’re a great leader. Now is time for the next challenge, managing up. You will be managing your boss’ and clients’ expectations. Set expectations, so they know when projects to be completed. Make sure that you are getting all the information you need to do your job—and in a timely manner. Doing anything and everything you can to make your boss and clients’ job easier will help you become irreplaceable at your agency.
Bin of Despair: Sometimes you just need some chocolate or [insert your favorite comfort food here.]
Keep a stash readily available. You can thank me later.
Get a hobby: Outside of this industry.
You heard me right. Whether it’s joining a book club or volunteering, do something outside of advertising. Don’t get me wrong, I love advertising as much as the next AdFed junkie, but having other passions in life will benefit your well-being. And make you a more interesting person, too.
Keep in touch:  You got the job, but don’t forget your mentors that helped you land it. Truth is, someday you will want a new job. These people will still be there to help you out—if you maintain solid relationships with them. Talk about what you’re working on, what you like and what you wish were different at your workplace—you have these people in your support system for a reason. As a new hire, I know I’ve felt “Is this normal? Is this the process at every ad agency?” These people can help answer that question. You have a job now, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need them more than ever. On a similar note, networking is not synonymous with college. You will never be too old to meet people in the industry —you have a lot to learn from them and you never know where they can take you.
Bottom line is this. You’re still continuing to grow. Yes, you are out of college, but your real education has just begun. It’s a great and fast-paced industry. A roller coaster, if you will. There are times where you will want to crawl under your desk and hide. There are times where you’ll feel at the top of the world. Enjoy it.
Written by: Andrea Styczinski 
Contact her @

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