This is Ask a Millennial, where we ask our focus group of under-30 agency and brand employees one question, and trade anonymity for candor.
Every agency leader is worried about one big thing these days: Whether their talent going to leave, and where it’s going. With competition coming from tech companies, media and startups, knowing that your biggest asset could bolt any day isn’t the most comforting thought.
With millennials poised to account for almost half of the world’s workforce in four years, managers have to worry even more about this particular cohort sticking around, prone as they are to job-hopping.
This week, we asked our focus group whether they saw themselves in advertising in five years.
Male, 27, account
I want to stay in advertising, because I spent $75,000 getting a Master’s in it — don’t do what I did — but not doing anything boring. If I somehow get sucked back into pharma, I’ll definitely get out. I used to work at a music agency and let me tell you, the perks were fantastic. Free shows, backstage passes, festivals, you name it. And I love music, so the amount of work I had to do was never a deterrent. So if I’m working on something like that? Definitely. Otherwise, I’m getting an MBA, going client side, and letting y’all handle this shit. And yes, I realize the irony in working to create manufactured experiences and still wanting an authentic one for myself from the same beast.
Male, 25, strategy
Yes. I 100 percent see myself working in advertising in five years. It’s crazy how much the digital landscape has changed since I graduated college. I’m a bit of an ad geek, so I’m eager and anxious to see how the next five years play out and how brands and agencies adapt and react accordingly. It’s kind of part of the challenge that makes the industry so exciting in my opinion.
Male, 27, creative
I absolutely, without a doubt, see myself working in advertising in five years. I’m confident in saying I’ll still be working in advertising because it took me a long time to get where I am. I had to work on shitty creative, work at shitty agencies, and work for shitty creative directors, but now I’m here. I’m at an agency; I love doing work I’m proud of. We forget how good we have it sometimes. Bad briefs and bad clients and bad managers can leave us jaded, but there’s way more good than bad. We get to work in flexible, fun offices. We get to travel. We get to meet interesting people. We get to make things. We get to be creative. And we get paid for it.
Female, 28, copywriter
Nope. My job is basically going to be taken over by people even younger than me whose main responsibility is writing tweets for our clients. I sure as hell did not go to school to do that. As soon as I pay back my college loans, I’m out. I don’t know what I’ll do next. Maybe I’ll go client-side. There’s less kow-towing there.
Female, 26, account
It depends on the culture of the agency and if there is room to grow. If I’m at a startup where I’m passionate about the product and want to see it blossom, I can definitely see myself there for awhile. I also see the benefits of going to the client side as you have more control, autonomy and decision-making powers. There also tends to be better work-life balance, and if it’s a large-sized company, better benefits.
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