Too often, I see young designers fresh out of college being tasked with low-level production work instead of being tapped for new creative ideas. It seems the industry is shooting themselves in the foot by not taking advantage of these unseasoned perspectives.
There’s a certain thrill in interviewing junior-level people, especially ones right out of college. They exude a charming cluelessness about the daily grind, and come lalloping out of college with thoughts of cushioned deadlines and creative laxity dancing in their heads. Their portfolios are trimmed tighter than a military haircut, their eyes betray their naivety and nervousness, and their resumes trumpet their new degree in an attempt to disguise the uncomfortable empty space under “previous work experience.”
Most of these designers don’t want to work for an in-house design department. It’s not sexy. My company is usually their contingency plan. The agency life has far more allure — high-profile consumer accounts, coffee-fueled nights of the pitch crafting, and working hand-in-hand with experienced art directors. Not to mention the awards.
But agencies — at least the ones I’ve seen in this town — devour junior talent like giant combines. Unfortunately, I keep witnessing (and hearing about) junior people being used as production-level workers, not creative thinkers, and I find this disturbing.
From my experience, someone fresh out of school has a bucket of ideas to contribute to the creative process. Someone whose edge hasn’t been ground to a dull poke by the millstone of the working life should be tapped constantly for a fresh perspective on campaigns, designs and copy. Their naivety often leads to insight.
Instead, juniors are too often viewed with a fraternity-like dismissal by senior creatives and given shit assignments like menial production for low-profile clients projects. While, yes, everyone has to pitch in on the less desirable work, a young person forced into unthinking tedium 24/7 will quickly lose the appetite for a career in advertising and design.
Am I alone in this observation? Does anyone who work with junior staff experience the same treatment? Are there any junior creatives out there who are being treated as equals, and not production work pack mules?