I wish more agencies would be honest with us recent grads instead of telling us what "they" think we want to hear. Seriously, how hard is it to gage whether clients will give money for new hire?

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I’ve helped a few grads or soon to be grads in the past in an urge to be straight and honest with how this industry plays. Many were under the assumption that an internship leads to a job every time, that good work automatically means you will be hired, and that they will surely offer you pay that is equitable to your worth. Anyone here will tell you almost every time that those are untrue. It’s not being cynical, just realistic.

Agency talent management always wants there to be a handful of top notch individuals scrambling at the doors as to make sure that when the time comes and a spot opens up, they have someone to fill it. Someone great, and someone they can hopefully pay less than they need to. That’s the business.

For you, you have to be direct with what answers you want. If a recruiter or talent management is stringing you along, give them a date and in the meantime look elsewhere. If the pay isn’t up to par, tell them a number that far exceeds what you truly need. No one fights battles for you in this industry except yourself. People: a mentor, a manager, a peer or an old friend may help you along the way, but at the end of the day it is you that has to push for doors to be opened.

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In 2020, it is extremely difficult to tell whether clients will spend the same amount they did in previous years, let alone dish out more. It's not just that though. Many agencies hire freelancers to help fill in gaps on big projects or pitches, and this year, many agencies are cutting back. That means that creatives and leadership at these agencies are spreading themselves pretty thin, and are barely available for mentorship or guidance.
Hiring someone new doesn't only cost an agency their salary and benefits, but also they want to help you grow and make sure you have a positive experience and work with people you can learn from.

I get that it's hard to have empathy for a corporation here, but imagine being a CD who has been working 60-70 hour weeks for the last few months, needing to help a new creative get where they want to be, but unable to allocate time for it

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I gagged on “gage”.

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I spoke to several recruiters lately- agency and external. All of them have no clue when hiring can resume again. But I’ve been seeing more and more jobs opening up so be patient! At the mean time, keep updating and refining your book so when it finally goes back to normal, you’ll be roaring to go. Don’t give up!

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