So you're stuck in a job that's not fulfilling your creative passions. You crave the idea of work with meaning, work that makes waves in the world and gets your heart beating that little bit faster. But you're not sure what direction to take or how to get there.
Well, take a couple of minutes to watch the showreel below, and ask yourself: wouldn't you love to spend your life creating work like this? If the answer's yes, then switching to advertising may be your next best career move.
Working in advertising is the perfect choice for people who enjoy both being creative (generating ideas and bringing them to life) and analytical (using your skills to match campaigns to audiences and measure their success). Is that you? Then here are just five reasons you'll love working in advertising.
1. It lets you throw out the rulebook and be more creative
Advertising is a profession where there are no creative boundaries. So if you're in a job where you feel hemmed in creatively, moving to advertising offers a chance to break your chains. You'll be entering a sector where passion is more valued than blind obedience, and new and fresh thinking, even rule-breaking, is promoted rather than discouraged. Sounds good, right?
2. You can help change the world
Advertising campaigns don't only reflect the world; they play an essential part in creating and changing it. From Dove's 'Campaign for Real Beauty' to Sport England's 'This Girl Can', advertising is playing an important part in societal and cultural change, and you can be a part of that. In years to come, you'll be able to look back at what you created and how it helped move society forward in a positive way. How many people in other professions can say that?
3. It's about people
Many creative jobs often focus on narrow, technical issues, but advertising looks at a much bigger picture. Essentially, it's all about people and understanding how they think. So if you're less interested in debugging code or the details of specific print finishes and more about studying people and their behaviour, you sure to find advertising a fascinating, challenging and always stimulating profession to work in.
4. It unleashes your entrepreneurial spirit
In many professions, you advance by keeping your head down, brown-nosing the right people, and not making waves. Advertising is the exact opposite. Here it's people who take risks and think outside of the box who are rewarded. It's a heady atmosphere that will encourage you to develop your entrepreneurial side and, whether or not you ultimately become an entrepreneur yourself, that's a skill set that will be valuable throughout your career.
5. It opens endless doors
Once you've established yourself as a copywriter or art director, things needn't stop there. You may choose to climb the career ladder within a traditional agency structure, strike out on your own as a freelancer, or found your own agency. Alternatively, you might switch to a new career in a related profession; many famous TV and movie directors, for example, started in the ad industry. In short, the world will be your oyster, and you'll never be without intriguing, compelling new directions in which to grow.
It's a heady atmosphere that will encourage you to develop your entrepreneurial side and, whether or not you ultimately become an entrepreneur yourself, that's a skill set that will be valuable throughout your career.
How to switch career to advertising
If all this sounds good, what practical steps can you take to switch careers to advertising? We're big fans of School of Communication Arts in London, which is the most awarded advertising school in the world, and for good reason.
The School of Communication Arts (SCA) consciously sets out to be different from traditional university education, which is typically heavy on theory but light on actual practice, making it a poor way to develop vocational skills. Instead, the SCA partners with over 100 of the top advertising agencies, who donate money to fund scholarships, send staff along to mentor, and more often than not, do both.
This financial backing from the industry means that the students who study at SCA are truly diverse and represent the broad spread of society. Equally importantly, professional input from top agencies also means that what you'll learn will be directly relevant to your future career.
Plus, by condensing everything into a 12-month intensive course, with six months of paid placement following completion, SCA becomes a practical choice for those who'd be unable to take three years out of their lives for a full degree.
So what, exactly, do you learn on a course at SCA?
What you'll learn at SCA
A course at SCA is so hands-on, it's best to think of it as more like an apprenticeship than a traditional industry course. Rather than sitting in dull lectures, you'll spend most of your time working on both portfolio briefs and live briefs set by real-world agencies.
You'll be in the studio every day from 9am to 5pm, working on projects taught by both experienced faculty members and a network of over 1,000 industry mentors. That means you'll leave with an interview-ready portfolio. Indeed, it's not even unusual for SCA students to sell their work to clients during the course itself. Along the way, you'll also develop the personal skills and can-do attitude that will help you get the best jobs and get ahead.
And you won't have to worry too much about what happens next because over 80 per cent of SCA's alumni secure a job at a top 100 agency within six months of finishing the course.
"They'll get you where you need to be"
In short, SCA offers a great route into the advertising profession for anyone wishing to switch careers. Chris Medford knows this from personal experience.
Having started, but not completed, a course in Graphic Design and Illustration at the University of East London, he later spent five years working in broadcast, but he wasn't happy or fulfilled. So when he heard about SCA's practical, one-year course, it seemed to offer a way out.
"Looking back at the time I spent at SCA, it was literally the most difficult thing I had ever done in my life," says Chris. "But it was a huge push in the right direction, giving me the tools to become a better person as well as creative."
He's now been working in advertising for over a year and couldn't be happier. "To anyone considering this course, if you're passionate about being a creative and want to pursue a career in the creative field, then look no further than the SCA," he says. "They' 'll get you to where you need to be, just as long as you work hard for it." You can read Chris's full story here.
Enroll for September at SCA!
The School of Communication Arts offers a one-year, intensive course with six months of paid placement following completion. You'll work on live briefs from around the world, set by some of the biggest agencies in the UK, and enrolment for the September course is open now.