A Missing JV

8 01 2008

busyness graph

As you may or may not have noticed, I have not been posting much in the last few weeks. Unfortunately, this is a combination of many factors. The falling of snow has increased my time spent skiing or dreaming of skiing. The holiday season brought a craziness to our office that I’m still recovering from.

The toll of writing this blog by myself, while working on several other projects, has left me a little burnt out. So I’m taking a bit of a break. I’m working on rebranding this space, making a bit more ‘me’ and a little less stuffy. So hopefully you will have that to look forward to in the near future.

Until then,



A Day in the Life

19 09 2007


Just a few months ago, I was unemployed, penniless, and had NO idea how to move into the advertising industry. I had tried cold-calling, emailing, networking. I was down and out, until a friend recommended I start writing a blog.

I was feeling a bit sly that day, so I named my blog “How to Not Get a Job in Advertising.” After that, I just kinda threw it together and let the cards fall where they may. I wrote a few posts, critiqued a few ads, and felt better.


The first few days, my mom and my girlfriend were my only readers. But I had so many ideas built up, I just wrote and wrote and wrote. And luckily, it became a habit. I’m still writing, despite the fact that I’m now employed, (relatively) well off, and have a pretty good boot in the door of the advertising industry. But now that I’ve climbed a bit of the ladder, I want to look back and help everyone and anyone that I can. So far, that has been by providing my input and perspective on our exciting industry.

The way I look at it, if someone is thinking about going into the advertising industry, hopefully my thoughts will give them a bit of an idea of what it’s like starting out. And I’m very excited for how this will evolve as I become more and more involved in the advertising world.

I want to start talking a bit more about what my work life is like, since I could never find a blog that spoke to me like that. I read tons of ad blogs, only a few of which are on my blogroll. I would be happy to suggest blogs to anyone who would like some extra reading.

I’m also working on a project to bring my friends’ work lives to you through this blog. I want to give everyone a chance to see what life is like all over the advertising industry. And I can’t take all the credit for this, since I was truly inspired by a discussion over on ihaveanidea. I definitely recommend checking out the discussion and adding input, as I have.

So let me be the first to start sharing “A Day in the Life”


I wake up at seven. I don’t have to be at work until around 9:30, but I like to drink my coffee out on our balcony. So after some Eggo Waffles, coffee, and a shower, I head off for the Path.

So what do I do at work? Each morning I always start with email and organizing when I come into the office. Many times people from the team will email me first thing in the morning, telling me what kind of work they will need help with during the day. I like to get a to-do list going first thing. Sometimes the clients will email us after I leave the office and you definitely want to catch up on that!

After a morning team meeting, we have client status call. We run over what we need from the client, they let us know what they need from us. And then, before you know it, I’m walking the streets of New York for lunch.

Sometimes there is a lot of work to be done after lunch, sometimes I get to kick back and surf the web for a while. I check out Digg (which I also check first thing in the morning), Lifehacker, and Scary Ideas, although there are sooo many more. If I’m really inspired, I post here on HTNGAJA. Many of my links go over on Scary Basement.

I do many other things, approving pdfs, routing job bags through the agency, and working on other projects with members of my team. As a really young member, I try to learn new things and support the team. Today I arranged to have cars pick up visiting clients from the airport and set up a breakfast and lunch meeting with them. To me, you never know exactly what you will be working on when you arrive in the office. And that can be so exciting.

And yeah, sometimes working as a young ad exec is about making copies, or shredding old work. But it hasn’t been, in my experience, running to get coffee or picking up dry cleaning. The other members of the team make me feel valued and important. If you are somewhere they don’t – you should leave!pcup.jpg

Around six I clean off my desk, pop my headphones on, and head out of the office. I’m always exhausted, but I am really excited to see what tomorrow is going to be like.

So that was a day in the life for me. It wasn’t incredibly detailed I know, but hopefully next week I will be able to get into some more details.

I hope you guys found this valuable. If you did, let me know. If you didn’t, let me know. Also, feel free to email me a description of your day, or post it as a comment here. I would really like to keep this discussion going. And on another side note, thanks so much everyone for reading. Today I broke 1,000 unique visits from my short stay here at WordPress. So thanks everybody, I’ll see you at 2,000!

Workin Hard

3 09 2007




Man my head!  happy labor day everybody! I was up to the wee hours sharing this great time with my friends at the beach, talking about life and work.  I can see the work I’m doing is preparing me to share my skills, run my own business, help my friends market themselves and their great products to the world.My job is a great opportunity to be a ‘sponge’, soaking up knowledge, learning on my toes, sometimes flying by the seat of my pants. It’s great to say I learn many many things every day.

There is a Seth Godin post today that is really inspiring. He talks about the difference between working “hard” versus taking the easy way out. I think you guys would really enjoy it (and you can find it here).

I like to think that when I am awake, I am working. Because even though I work for a huge agency, I also still work for myself. Developing my skills, learning new things, communicating with people, (writing this blog!) – I consider these to be part of my daily “work”. And yeah, I would love to get paid for that specifically, but I’m still happy to do it regardless.

So enjoy your labor day, everybody, because tomorrow it’s back to the ‘grind’. But if you love what you do, it’s so worth it. And for those of you without a job, best of luck in that search! Oh and go Yanks!

How Danilo Does It

24 08 2007

So everyone knows the name of this blog is a bit tongue in cheek, right? I named the blog “how to not get a job in advertising” because I was writing from my perspective, and I wasn’t doing a very good job of…getting a job. I have written about everything I’ve done so far, from cover letters, to resumes, to applications and interviews. I’ve tried to help everyone out there see what others are doing as far as getting a job. I’ll have much more to write about the industry once I’m there for a bit.

Well one young copywriter took his love for my site a bit too far. He thought he should make a video all about what he does to get a job, and hopefully get it posted on my site! Well, I hope this is just a rough sketch, because it sure doesn’t live up to the ‘invasions’ that Alek pulled.

I don’t mean to pick on the video creator, though, because it does take balls to send out a video like this. I guess what caught my eye was the way Agency Spy covered it, titling their post “How Not to Get a Job in Advertising”. Well, I guess all press is good press, right?

update: Agency Spy wrote an awesome little blurb addition on their post. Just a nice example of bloggers watching each others backs. Very cool.

Creating Buzz

22 08 2007

So I was looking over at I Have An Idea today for some great ideas. I have always been driven to become more creative, to create ideas, to surround myself not just with creative propaganda but also creative people. I Have An Idea is a great place to do that, even if they are based in Canada.


So I started reading a bit about Alek von Felkerzam. Alek is a young creative like myself who (as far as I can tell) does not have a job. Sounds like we should hang out huh? Alek is trying to break in after spending time at a portfolio school, although I don’t know which one or anything. He has a pretty good portfolio and is looking to become an Art Director. I’ve taken a slightly different approach, getting into the agency at the bottom and in the Account Services department. To me, I will learn so much about how the agency is run, and how project management works, which will give me great experience for the future. But anyway…

Alek has done this great thing with his project called “The Alek Journals”. Alek performs what is aptly termed “invasions” of many large agencies. Basically, this guy has the balls to walk right into an agency before opening, and drop off his super-creative “application”. Basically he gives the creative director something to catch their eye, and a “call to action” to get them to contact him and hopefully hire him! Like I said, this guy has balls!

So why am I writing about this? A few reasons. First, I want to give this guy some buzz. Getting his name out there on the blogosphere (love that word) will definitely help. He went to all this trouble, and he deserves some credit for it. I’m actually pretty sure he probably has a job by now, but if not, here’s my two cents.

Second, I like this guy. He seems very sure of himself, sometimes even to a fault (he delivers flowers to female CDs as part of his invasions). But taking that type of risk is what it takes. I would really like to have this guy on my team if I had the chance. He has the passion, the drive, the desire to advertise and sell. Right now, he has no clients, so he sells himself. And that is how great creatives in this industry work: they never stop advertising.

Finally, maybe I’m writing about it because I want what Alek has. I have that drive and passion, but his creative ideas seem never ending, and his desire for excellence is very inspiring. I was reading an interview with David Lubars recently on I Have An Idea and one thing he said really came to mind while I was reading about Alek. Lubars said on his success, “I surrounded myself with A-plus creatives and used what I knew to help them achieve greatness.”

So even if I can’t hire Alek, or even get him some great contacts, I will do exactly what I can to help him achieve his goal. And today, that is writing an entire post dedicated to his project.

Best of luck with your book Alek, and perhaps see you out there.

HTNGAJA is on WordPress!

21 08 2007

Hey Everybody! I am pumped!

After so much frustration, and like half my day, I have finally ported this blog over to WordPress!

In the end, I had to install Firefox, which I will only be using for updating my blog, but until Safari fixes the issue, I guess it’s what I have to do.

So I’m obviously still tweaking the appearance, but what do you think? Let me know!

First real post coming really soon.

Welcome to WordPress

21 08 2007

Hey everybody! So, I’m (slowly) building my blog here on wordpress. Livejournal was simply too constricting and everyone is telling me wordpress is the next and greatest.

Well, then I got here and discovered it has problems with my Safari! I will be working to fix that and other issues, but until then, you can keep reading me on livejournal at How to Not Get a Job in Advertising. And feel free to keep checking back here as I try to iron out the bugs and build a professional blog to be proud of!