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The Ad Industry Job Search
By: Tom Roarty
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Since I started writing for Talent Zoo seven months ago, I have been looking for my next position in the advertising industry. In fact, it was during my search that I came across this great resource, and knew I wanted to become a part of it. It was probably because of my job search that many of my posts here were related to the employment side of finding a position in the creative field. However, I suspect that will change since I have found new employment in a creatively conducive environment. So for those people on Talent Zoo who are here for the same reasons I was, I thought it’d be beneficial to share my story in hopes that it may help someone else in the same situation.
Over the past 23 years of being a professional designer, my last position was my least favorite for many reasons. No job is perfect, but when the bad largely out weighs the good, being a part of layoffs is, at first, a very welcomed situation. No one thinks that after losing their job that they’ll not find new employment, but given enough time your mind will start to betray you, and you will start to wonder if you will ever get back to where you once were. Creatives can only be creative once establishing themselves, no matter how many alternative options we try to make ourselves believe we are suited for.
In my search, I have tried a variety of methods to find employment. In recent years, I have been through a numerous amount of recruiters to aid me in my search, and I can honestly say I’ve never received a job through one of them. For all of the jobs listed online, it seems as it the majority of them are posted by recruiters. So is it worth contacting them? I would say yes, but approach with caution. If you are applying for an Art Director position and are contacted by a recruiter, ask specific questions about that position. All too often when approached by recruiters they do not always reach out to you about your original inquiry. In many ways, it is like a creative bait and switch, which becomes crushing over time. Again, I am sure there are people with better results than I've had over the years, I just have not had a very positive experience, with the exception of meeting some decent people.
So how does one find a job these days? There are a few ways I found to work. Find sites that have employers directly posting ads for their companies, such as here on Talent Zoo. Make friends outside of the cyber world. In a field where the talent pool is plentiful, personality goes a long way. Most off all, don’t give up. It is not easy, and any creative who is out of work knows each day of unemployment is dismal, but opportunities do come along. Maybe not right away or when you expect them to, but eventually. Never give up in your search and know that if we weren’t passionate about our profession we wouldn’t be artistic.


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