I was interviewing for a freelance job and asked about the creative director (small, new company). The CEO said they haven’t hired one yet and it took everything in my power to ask to be considered for that role. He wants to continue the convo tomorrow. I have 15 years of experience and have done the job of people and project manager and directed large content before. Without the title or salary! How can I prove to him that I can bring value and expertise to this role (besides from my portfolio)

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i’m not sure i can provide anything useful here except i’m so proud of you for shooting your shot!!! you’re a rockstar

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Thank you!

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Hell yes! Everything you said in this post plus your portfolio are the qualifications needed to be a CD. Remember, a man wouldn’t question his own qualifications. You are CD material. Keep talking about your successes and how your experience can positively impact this company. And don’t let them go low with salary. Fight for what you’re worth!

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Thank you! And you’re totally right that if I were a man I wouldn’t even double think pushing ahead.

It may be a good idea to put some thought into how you’d pitch yourself for the *director* part of the role. If your creative work is good, hopefully your portfolio will speak for itself. Think about how you’ve developed or mentored more junior designers in the past (or what your approach or philosophy is in that regard); how you’d approach running a creative department and what makes you qualified to do so; how you ensure quality output and deliver feedback, etc. Give him a reason to believe you’d run a kickass creative team.

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Love this. Thank you!

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Update: the immediate need for a freelancer worked out and I got the gig (campaign-based) and we’re going to keep talking about the full time director-level job. I very clearly laid out my intentions with the interview yesterday and so far, so good. I’m glad I get to do this freelance work to show my brand chops and meet the team. If it doesn’t work out, at least I get a paid gig out of it. Thank you!

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Congrats! This can be a great way for you to show them you can do it! 😊

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I don’t have advice necessarily but so inspired you grabbed for the ring!!

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Something I learned from a mentor years ago was to always tailor your portfolio toward the work you want to make. So in addition to having already kick-ass work, I don’t think it would hurt to ask if there’s anything specific they’re looking for. If there’s something you’ve made that hasn’t been seen (or they’ve overlooked) it never hurts to follow up with those examples. You could also consider creating a list of people that can recommend you for the role and keep that in your back pocket. Lastly, consider discussing a few benefits to hiring someone who has never had the formal title before. You can really work together to create the role that works best for their company instead of a veteran CD who does things a certain way. You might be a bit more flexible on salary, you’d bring in fresh perspectives etc. You got this!

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Thank you! Love the idea of tailoring the opportunity.

Hell yes shoot that shot!!! Echoing everything ppl are saying here - at that level, your work speaks for itself, but what sets you apart are your leadership + management skills. Talk about how you've run programs and play up your "big picture" experience - did you make a campaign work across a ton of different channels? Herd a lot of creative cats? Talk about your passion for the work and desire to lead a team. Also, GET $$$

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Excited for you! Don’t doubt yourself in the conversation or frame it as you trying to justify your worth. Communicate you being the right fit for this role in a matter of fact, “it makes sense for the business” kind of way. “It’s so great to hear this role is available as I would be a great fit with my previous experience and skill set I can bring to the table”. Then proceed to explain what those are. Sometimes, the hesitance in the person themselves can be a reason that they aren’t perceived as ready for the next level. Speak confidently and factually. You got this!!!

This is so true. I definitely wavered when asking. He invited 2 more people to the convo today and I put together some decks to outline my values, career, a large-scale campaign that was a huge success...anything else that you would want to see from a content director (also have brand books and style guides I have created with my team)

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