It took me awhile to find my career path. Remember, it also took me 10 years to graduate from college. So by the time I found out I was interested in advertising, I was already 27. My first advertising job was at a big agency in Los Angeles and I started as a senior print traffic manager. Essentially, I ran stuff around all over the place. Anyway, this position allowed me to interact with virtually everyone and every department at the agency. And I knew within the first couple of months that I wanted to be a copywriter. This was not an easy choice – being a copywriter involves putting a portfolio together and praying that some creative director will like it enough to give you a chance. So I immediately started taking portfolio classes in Los Angeles and asked copywriters at the agency to mentor me. Many of them let me sharpen my teeth on some copywriting assignments, which included a TV spot for the Los Angeles Public Library, where I got to work with Stockard Channing. I did all this in addition to my day job, and eventually, I became a copywriter. At some other agency – but that’s another story.
Word to the wise: When it comes to your career, don’t wait. Do everything you can, as early as you can, and you’ll be on the path to success sooner. Better yet, if you graduated college in four years (see post #13, “Don’t Take 10 Years to Get a Four-Year Degree), you’ll have a huge leg up on someone like me. If you’re still trying to figure things out, visit http://www.careerpath.com. They’ve got some great advice and a test you can take to see what best suits your talents.
Was your career path straight and narrow? Did you get to where you want to be early in life? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Should Know.”