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April 10, 2002
The Lure of Everywhere Else
 

In the ad world, there’s Boston. Minneapolis. San Francisco. And then there’s Everywhere Else. The first three (and you might argue that Richmond, New York and others deserve to be on that list) seem to be charmed, producing more than the lion’s share of great work. The latter is, well, just there. And, wanting to produce great work themselves, ad people worth their salt naturally gravitate to where great work is being produced.

And yet, there are lots of reasons for considering a job Everywhere Else. Most of those reasons have to do with lifestyle and may not be terribly compelling to someone who’s obsessed with doing great work. I mean, easier commutes are hardly an issue when you don’t come home until midnight. And cost-of-living ratios assume you’ll be doing any actual living outside of the office. Quality of schools, crime rates, environmental issues – by just about any measure, Everywhere Else has some distinct advantages to offer.

But there are also a few things that can make a job offer Everywhere Else really worth a close look. The first three that come to mind are: Boston, Minneapolis, and San Francisco.

See, believe it or not, they weren’t always Nirvana. In fact, at one time or another, all of them have been Everywhere Else, advertising-wise. They’ve all been fortunate enough to give rise in recent history to some really focused, really strong agencies. But prior to that, what earthly reason could you offer for spending a winter, let alone a career, in Minneapolis?

But, the observant among you will say, people don’t look for jobs in the city, they look for jobs in the agency. And if the agency doing great work happened to be in Biloxi, that’s where they’d look.

That’s exactly the point. There are agencies doing great work all over the country, hidden away in small cities here and there, not yet on the national radar screen, that can afford great opportunities to the person with an open mind. With a little careful interviewing, you can identify these agencies pretty easily, because they tend to look like miniature versions of the Great Ones. They have a clear standard. They stick to it. They have a point of view about advertising. They have a great book. And any one of these agencies could be one win away from making it big. Or one person away.

Which raises the real question -- how confident you are in your own talents. Do you believe that working in today’s hot shop is what it will take to make you the next great writer or art director? Or do you believe that you are the writer or art director whose great work will make any agency the hot shop of tomorrow?

Even in Everywhere Else.

If you believe the former, good luck to you and I’ll look for you in the One Show. If you believe the latter, our address is 425 W. Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44113.


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From the shores of beautiful Lake Erie, Greg Thomas is Creative Director at Brokaw in Cleveland, Ohio (aka everywhere else). Under Greg’s direction, Brokaw’s work has been recognized in the One Show, CA, and the National Addys. Last year Creativity magazine named Brokaw one of the 20 hottest rising shops. 
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