19. Nurture your career early on.

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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 hwas 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.”

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About Eva Finn

Eva Finn is an award-winning marketing copywriter, advertising instructor and life expert. She started the blog, Wise Before 25 so young women can avoid making the same mistakes she did. This blog will become a book of the same title, which will include contributions from readers. She was also published in a book about the subject of hair– the good, bad and the ugly – called, fittingly enough, Hair Pieces, by the Cary Tennis Workshop. As a copywriter for more than 20 years, she has written ads, brochures, direct mail, radio and television for clients that included In-N-Out Burger, Bank of America, Toyota and Ingram Micro. Eva has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in education. She has taught advertising classes at The Art Institute of California-Orange County and California State University, Fullerton. And she has had plenty of hard knocks from the school of life.

2 responses »

  1. I like the part where you get to do what you LOVE! Perhaps not everyone will be so fortunate. But you should certainly give it your best shot (see above for how). And of course, you can still love LIFE, even if you don’t LOVE what you do for a living.

    • Yes, that’s so important. I think a lot of us define ourselves by what we do – when really, we should be defining ourselves for who we are. So, yes it really doesn’t matter what you do – as my dad says, attitude is everything!!! Thanks for your insightful comment 🙂

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