Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sheera's Story

It's been said that the hardest thing you'll do in your advertising career is get your first job. For some, it's fast and quick, like ripping off a bandage. For others, its a long and lingering process, like ripping off a bandage, with help from Grandma. Either way, it can be pretty painful. For me, it was the latter scenario. In total it took almost two years to land my first job. Thankfully, it was worth it in the end. 

Here's a similar story from, Sheera Kendal, a 2010 CABA grad. Looking for a job once school is out can be a pretty lonely place. Sheera shows us that with persistence, passion and a willingness to ask for help anything is possible.
After graduating this past August, I felt it was important for me travel before I settled down to a demanding job. When I returned in October I spent the month cleaning up my book and working freelance. Sitting in my room alone, it became quickly evident that the creative juices had stopped flowing. I created a folder called "job hunt" and began the process.

In early October I had an interview and 2 call backs with MacLaren. During the third meeting, the CD told me that although they were interested, the office would be making some changes and it would be some time before they hired anyone on. I made it a goal of mine to stay on the MacLaren radar. Obviously asking permission first, I became Jon Freir's personal harasser. Every work day for 3 months I sent Jon a one liner as to why he should hire me; Each gave insight but more importantly, reminded him I was persistent for that position. Sometimes he would respond, a chuckle or a comment, but other times weeks would go by without a response on his end. I was beginning to doubt myself.

Obviously putting all my eggs in one basket would not have been wise, so I did pursue other positions as well. It was a long and tough process, not to mention a complete and constant beating to my pride and confidence. I took an internship in November at a place I didn't believe in. I knew I had reached my lowest low. I hated working there and knew I wasn't gaining anything from the experience. I messaged Brendan as a last cry for help. I felt that although I was extremely passionate about the industry, maybe the ad world wasn't interested in loving me back. It was a very depressing email and I was embarrassed with my state of mind. Brendan and I met, we chatted and decided that I still needed to do some more work on my book. Since then I’ve teamed up with Laura, a graduate from Humber's copywriting program. It’s been a great experience, not only have we gained new material for our portfolios, but my confidence through the partnership has really helped me become inspired once again.

While feeling good and working on my portfolio, MacLaren contacted me for freelance work on a few different occasions. And then I got the big call. I began working at MacLaren on Monday. It was more rewarding than I could ever imagine -- I looked like an idiot on the subway riding all the way home with a grin plastered to my face.

Brendan asked me to share my experience with the blog. Although I feel silly about it, I understand some people are going through the same thing. While going through this, I hated discussing my situation with anyone because I was embarrassed, but when I knew someone was going through something similar, it felt good to relate and know I wasn't alone. If you love this field, don't give up.

~ Sheera Kendal

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