Salaries

I jumped from intern to copywriter with a $65k+ salary (small shop). If my book’s strong enough in a year, could that plus student awards land me a 80k+ gig in LA? Or do years of experience matter?

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Start thinking of yourself as a senior copywriter. Aspire to that level. Create your best work possible every day. Live and breathe advertising. Find your fantasy shop in LA - like 72 and Sunny - and picture yourself working there. Look up people who work there who are at your experience level and look up their portfolios. Does yours stack up? Look at the ACD and CD too. Raise the bar even higher for yourself. Keep track of the good work you do that the clients don’t choose, too. It’s ok to put spec work in your book at this stage of your career. Visualize it, write it down and make it come true. Keep on dreaming. ❤️

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Thank you for these tips 🙏🏼 I’m all for envisioning/law of attraction techniques!

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"Student awards" stop to matter the minute you get a real job, if they mattered in the first place I'd be surprised. 65 to 80 in a year is possible, ask for what you believe you're worth.

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Regarding student awards—duly noted. And glad to hear it’s possible!

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If you want to be more senior, there’s a point it’s not just about the work. Unfortunately. Start looking at how senior creatives carry themselves, present and relate to other parts of the agency. Those skills start to matter too. You can be a great creative and not become a creative director if you don’t focus on the other stuff too. That’s not to say you want to become one. Or that you’re at that stage. But the sad truth is you have to start moving up in that sense too if you want to make a lot more money.

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Very valuable insights! Thank you. I’m okay with taking my time for more senior titles and responsibilities. Right now I’m just hoping for decent pay bump in a year’s time, since I’m a later starter (in my early 30s), went to ad school, and want to pay off debt more quickly. In any case, I will make sure to absorb and take note of the things you mentioned like presentation and interpersonal skills.

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Side note: being promoted too fast is a thing. It can hurt certain areas of development, like mentorship and leadership skills. Take your time. Read books. Grow and meet lots of people. Titles are bullshit mostly and one agency may mark you “senior” while another won’t look at you since you graduated 14 minutes ago. It’s case by case. Put the proof in the pudding

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Thanks, CD1! And I will definitely keep the work and mentorship in mind when making career moves.

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