By Jinx Jeffery, Dynamic News Alliances
1. Keep on top of all of the latest software! As a creative this is where your ideas are realised right down to the last file in production. CS5 was out in June and still it hasn't been adopted by many studios in London. There are so many online tutorials and forums to answer all those nigglely little questions. Learn its capabilities. This will in turn make you a more creative and efficient creative. Keep up!
2. Creativity doesn't just come from our industry. Look around you....it's everywhere. Don't just talk about visiting an exhibition – go do it! There are so many places that we can get inspiration. Online, architecture, the street, music, magazines, stations, two colour red and gold sweet wrappers...?
3. Make a point of learning about other areas of the agency you work in. Don't just sit in the creative department in your own little bubble talking pantones, rgb splits and fonts. Walk the halls... explore...and explore some more. Know the business you are in and understand how your input fits into the bigger picture.
4. Be commercially minded! More and more creative departments are demanding commercially minded candidates. Get into the habit of doing time sheets at the end of every day a pain I know but helps pay the rent. Word of warning: If you are slow on the mac or meander with a brief, chances are you are on the radar as someone not to give work to and that can only mean one thing in the current market - your days are numbered.
5. Plan your week. Make space to do nothing. We all know how to run around like lunatics all week. We don't make time to empty our brains to replace with more ideas. Wood for the trees. As a rule I've have always engineered my week so Friday afternoons are mine. Even if I have to work late on a Weds/Thurs. Time for me to look online – read a little and maybe have a beer or two with friends in the business. It might not feel constructive but trust me, it works.
6. Client presentations. If you can present your own work, there is nothing more satisfying than delivering your ideas to the client and being directly involved. You have responsibility as much as your account team. I'm not saying that you have to be in every meeting, that's lazy account management. Just get into the key meetings and you will get more of a feel for what the client wants to achieve.
7. Keep your book or showreel up to date. If you finish a nice project – print it out / burn it to DVD / pdf it and save it. There is nothing worse than having to trawl through gb's worth of work to find that valuable piece that makes you look good and show you off in full effect. Chances are it's been archived from the server and George in IT isn't going to have the first clue where it is.