What to expect as a junior copywriter

Prepare to double your coffee intake, because the life of a junior copywriter can be busy. Being a junior writer is a great opportunity to make a ton of mistakes, hone your craft and learn the ins and outs of the advertising business. It may all sound and feel intimidating, but junior talent is brought in to be cultivated. You’re an unpolished stone that through hard work and mentorship can get refined into a total gem. If you’re nervous about your first day, know that the agency most likely thinks you have potential. That’s why they hired you! So what should you expect? Read on and I’ll give you an idea and some tips on how to make the biggest impact.

Expect to Write a Lot

Your key responsibility will be to write a lot of little things. You might even get to do some conceptual work, but don’t expect to be thrown onto too many pitches or get the prime projects. Unfortunately, most juniors get some of the least exciting tasks. It could be writing social posts, banner ads or crafting headlines for in-store posters. These might not sound exciting, but these writing tasks are some of the most challenging you’ll ever face. Think of them as great practice for honing your skills, so make sure you give them all of your effort. Part of your job is impressing the people above you, which is why it’s important to see every task as an opportunity.

Be a Good Fly on the Wall

Part of your job is to write, another part is to be a sponge. Your opinion might not carry that much weight in a room of senior leadership, but every opportunity is an opportunity to absorb knowledge. Learn how people work. Learn what different creative directors think are good ideas and use that to your advantage. The more you understand everything that’s happening within the agency, the more you can use that knowledge to write better lines and develop smarter concepts more quickly. The better you understand everyone and everything around you, the less junior you’ll appear and the sooner you’ll be given more experienced tasks.

Anticipate Your Ideas Being Changed or Cut

If you do get to concept, it’s important to speak up and share your ideas. Silence is never a good way to get noticed in a brainstorm. You want to impress in every opportunity, but don’t be surprised if your ideas don’t make it to the next round. You might be more in touch with what’s popular and relevant in that coveted ‘youth’ market, but good creative work requires a keen sense of a brand and their strategic goals, which takes time to develop. Whatever you do, don’t act like you know better than the people above you. Trust is earned, which is why it’s important to work hard and be nice. If your bosses dislike your attitude, they’re more primed to dislike your ideas.

The More You Put In, The Faster You’ll Grow

You’re no longer a student or an intern, so don’t expect people to hold your hand. Successful juniors are hungry and take initiative. Ask to see if you can help out other projects in your free time. Actively seek feedback from senior writers and creative directors on your account and on other accounts. Always put all of your effort into your work. The best thing about being a junior is that there’s always going to be someone who’s willing to help you out as long as you ask for it. So don’t be shy and don’t go in with an ego. Be ready to make mistakes, show an eagerness to learn and take initiative. After all, hard writing pays off.


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Mike Liptoncopywriting, copyComment