The pros and cons of an advertising career

Pro: Usually plenty of free food and tchotchkes.  (Yes, that’s probably the best way to spell it.)

Con: You probably sit at your computer a lot, so that food turns to–um, how to put this delicately–fat.

Pro: You work with interesting, creative people.

Con: They’re not the ones approving/killing your ideas.

Pro: You get to use your creativity.

Con: If you can’t “sell” it, though, it will not get produced.

Pro: You might get to do fun projects like billboards, radio, TV, Web sites and more.

Con, Part One: You might get to do boring projects like brochures about insurance.

Con, Part Two: You also might not get to do radio or TV projects–even if you’re totally capable of doing it–unless you have samples.  (Many people have no vision, nor do they have any understanding that someone who can tell a story, both verbally and visually, in a quickie print ad can certainly tell a story in 30 or 60 seconds.)

Pro: You make a bunch more money than most other kinds of writers, especially journalists.

Con: Because marketing is usually the first budget cut when times are tough, agency budgets are usually destroyed first.  Which means agency jobs are eliminated.  If this logic holds up, then I’m one of the first victims of the Recession.  Lucky me!

Pro: You get to wear casual clothes to work.

Con: They’d better be comfy, because you will probably work late.

Pro: Rarely do people bug you if you’re not in your chair at 8:30.

Con: Rarely do people think twice about giving you stuff to do at 5:30, though.

Pro: Sometimes you get to do really creative, award-winning pro bono stuff that helps people.

Con: Most of the time, you’re helping corporations make more money.


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