Junior Copywriter — you’ve been at it for a while. You love what you do but you can’t help but ask, “How do I advance my career from a Junior Copywriter?”
Your experience as a Junior Copywriter thus far has definitely help better your craft and deepened your understanding of the Advertising Industry. As fruitful as it’s been, you can’t help but to think, “Where do I go from here?”
Life, as a Junior Copywriter, as we know it
You recall the early days at the job as an Entry-level Copywriter. You’re assigned to work under a more experienced copywriter and relishing the opportunity to learn as much and quickly as you can. Terms such as Header, Sub-head, Body Copy, Call-To-Action, ATL and BTL become an everyday lingo.
You picked up a thing or two about teamwork as well. Being paired with an Art Director, you realised that as much as you think your copy is (personally) exceptional and engaging, it wouldn’t sell if it doesn’t complement the project’s visual concept. You begin to understand the meaning of diplomacy and when to compromise to get a job done.
Perhaps the most important thing that you’ve learnt is discipline — the discipline to stick to the objective of a project and to stay within the boundaries of its accompanying brief while yet at the same time, being constantly encouraged to think “outside of the box”. You quickly realise that this is what defines a true creative and what separates mortals from industry legends.
Life as a Junior Copywriter is exciting, challenging and rewarding especially when you see your ad in print and it generates a buzz. But it’s only the beginning.
As your portfolio increases and when an opportunity arises, chances are you’ll be promoted. But still, there are instances where one seemed destined to be permanently attached to the designated title on their first (and only) name card – Junior Copywriter.
So What’s Next?
Digital Media advertising is HUGE. Almost everyone has a smartphone and arguably, the reason for its popularity has to be the easy access it provides to the information highway. For advertisers this means an opportunity to reach out to a big pool of potential consumers. For you, it’s an opportunity to expand your capabilities and carve a better career path.
Copywriting for digital content requires a different skillset. Because the internet offers a wider choice at the ease of a click (or swipe), a consumer tends to be more “impatient”, so your copy needs to be concise yet precise.
At the same time it has to engage and encourage both the intended reaction and action you want from the reader. Though it may sound like a different ballgame but your experience as a Junior Copywriter in the traditional media can actually give you an advantage and a foot in into a Digital Agency.
To be a Freelance Copywriter, or not to be?
If you feel your current position as a Junior Copywriter is at a dead end, be it in terms of career or personal growth but you still love copywriting then being a freelancer is an attractive option. Being a freelance copywriter enables you to pick and choose the projects you want to work on and with this, you’re able to better manage your time and schedule. However, you do need a significant amount of experience in the bag before venturing out on your own.
It takes a lot more self-discipline as well. You may think that you have the luxury of time but when you spend too much time thinking and not much working, you’ll soon realise that you don’t have enough. As a freelancer there will be projects that may even require you to do some client servicing and this is an art by itself.
To be a successful freelance copywriter, a compelling portfolio helps but at times even that may not be enough. You have to believe in yourself and be honest about your capabilities because clients can see through the thickest of smokescreens.
Taking the BIG Step and Grow
Whatever options you’re considering when it comes to taking your career to the next level, it’s important that you love what you do. But at the same time, it’s equally essential that you be given the opportunity to grow. It’s advisable to soak up and learn as much as you can but when an opportunity arises for progress — don’t miss out. Be brave.