Is working at a healthcare agency early in your career a bad move if you really want to do the traditional ad route? I ask because I was approached to apply for one (highly awarded). I’m at a small shop on a 6 month contract, and since it’s lockdown still, I’m keeping my ears open. I’ve heard it’s a hard niche to get out of.

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Getting off the path to do anything else for “a year or two” is tempting but dangerous. Before too long, thats the kind of work you have to update your book. And then lo and behold, thats the kind of place thats offering you your next job, and theyre offering you a title and money bump—so youd be dumb not to take it right? Now youve worked in pharma for TWO jobs, and three years. Even if you get offered a traditional agency job now, youd have to take a pay cut and lower title. Same thing goes for digital, social, and other below the line stuff. It‘s too bad (and its why a lot of people end up perfectly successful elsewhere, and theres no shame it at all really) but for a LOT of people its how things go. You probably shouldnt compromise that much this early though. Thats “kids and a mortgage” level decision making.

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Yes, healthcare will hurt your book as a junior. It’s like putting a healthy, fresh seed in pot of sand-soil. Go to where the soil nourishing, dense, alive - go where you will grow strong. Don’t turn into just another weed.

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Depends on what you want to do. I’m in health. Many youngsters who join my teams do so because they feel that the work in health has greater meaning than good old advertising. Conversely, I’ve welcomed more established good thinkers from non health agencies for the same reason, and then have had to train them to be more specific and accountable to the work.

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