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Shifting Gears in Your Advertising Career
By: Damion Wasylow
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Advertising is an incredible industry, attracting smart, inspired, and charismatic people. From strategy to creative development to sales, opportunities abound for the talented and ambitious. The options are so diverse and appealing, in fact, that advertising professionals often experience several shifts during their careers.

Through 20 years in advertising, I’ve been a designer, a copywriter, a media planner, an account executive, a creative director, and a digital strategist. My path is admittedly more varied than most, but it goes to show just how many hats one can wear in this field.

So, what do you do when it’s time to tackle a new challenge within the advertising industry?

1. Visualize
What position is most likely to provide your perfect mix of personal and financial satisfaction? Don’t limit your options based on specific experience or education. First, picture your dream job, and then figure out how to make it happen.

2. Assess
With your ideal job in mind, consider some important questions:
  • What makes this job perfect for me?
  • How will making this change enrich my life?
  • What talents do I have to offer?
  • What skills do I need to learn?
  • How can I develop those skills?
  • Who do I know that can I reach out to?
3. Prepare
Any substantial career shift will likely require additional education, especially with the proliferation and evolution of digital technologies in recent years. You might need to learn new software, earn a certification, build a portfolio, or even earn an advanced degree. Prepare your family for the short- and long-term time and financial investments, clear any roadblocks, and develop the required skills.

4. Execute
Talk to coworkers, meet with industry friends, and search online for the right opportunity. Submit a resume, even if a position seems a bit beyond your qualifications. You may be surprised how much weight your industry experience carries. The most important thing is to never give up. You deserve your ideal job, and your passion will certainly translate to exceptional results for an employer.

Take advantage of the advertising industry’s rich landscape to find a career path perfect for you. Your dream job is waiting.

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About the Author
Damion Wasylow is a 20-year ad industry vet who currently guides digital strategy for University of Florida’s master’s degree specialization in Web Design and Online Communication. In his spare time, Damion is an avid sports fan, an ‘80s trivia enthusiast, and a halfway decent poker player.
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