Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Millennial Work Ethic Conundrum.

I am actually a millennial myself. So, hold your horses before you call me a geyser. Besides, this isn't another 'The olden days were the golden days' type post. I want to talk about some of the problems I've observed in my millenial co-workers. 

The first bit - money. Us millenials had it easy. It's not really our fault. Every generation gets a better life than the one they precede. So, yes, the internet's first generation had a lot of things handed to them for free. And, they grew up with a sense of entitlement. So when they step into an office, they expect big bucks even before proving their mettle.

The entry-level salaries in advertising and media are beyond pathetic. So, if by any means a 20-something manages to overlook this major inconvenience, they have to start putting in major hours. That's exactly what a life in advertising demands. Any writer worth his salt will tell you that quality comes from quantity.

 I am the defacto guy for training juniors, interns and trainees. I share with them the same advice Luke Sullivan gave to Sally Hogshead. Which is, for every headline you need, write a 100 options. Sounds a lot? It isn’t. 

My first boss, an old hand made me do it. I scoffed at him. Gave him some 10 odd options and patted myself on the back. Then, I came across Sally Hogshead online. And guess what, she did listen to her boss Luke Sullivan and did write a 100 headlines. Here’s some of the ‘ground-work’ she put in for BMW before writing some award-winning ads. Eventually I followed suit and 2 awards later, I'm better for it. The grind will do you good, my 20-something friends.

The problem I feel with millennials is that they don’t want to put in that much work. They feel that their salaries should merit the amount of hard work expected of them. What they don’t realize is writers are paid for their writing skills. And these skills improve, the more often you write. Most newbies in advertising only write a couple of options. They think it's beyond them to churn out a 100. And this pisses off a lot of seniors. I've myself been a little put off by the amount of effort it takes to get some juniors to put in some real effort.

So, if you are just starting off, remember this golden rule of writing.

Now, if you will excuse me I have to make my juniors see the merit of writing more every time they need to write.

PS: I usually prefer Dorothy Parker’s version – ‘Writing = ass in the chair.’

Post a Comment