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Sorry, you're too creative.

Published

by John Fountain.


A few months back I was helping a friend review some CVs for a copywriting position. There was the usual mix of applicants and all of them from different writing backgrounds including b2b, pharmaceutical, PR, blogging, journalism, content writing and traditional advertising. That's how broad the term "copywriting" has become - or perhaps more to the point, where the regular money is.

Looking amongst the CVs, I noticed that there were a few traditional copywriters of enviable creative reputations. Famous work. Pages of awards. Top agencies. Glowing recommendations. To be honest, it came as a bit of a surprise that folk of this calibre had applied.

And as much as we wanted to get them in for a chat, we knew that the job wouldn't suit them because it wouldn't be creatively stimulating or meet their expectations. We doubted they'd have the patience required for the role. We imagined that they'd kick up a fuss about the client feedback, the budget limitations, the speed of turnaround. And after a hissy fit or three, they'd be out the door after a few weeks.

So we didn't bother interviewing them. As my friend said, "We don't want a Rolls-Royce doing the job of a tractor."

Which I imagine is a real dilemma for truly talented creative people. Because if you do have a big reputation, do you only work for big reputation agencies, on big reputation accounts, with large budgets and long timelines?

If you do - great, but what happens when you inevitably find yourself applying for lesser roles at less ambitious agencies? Is all that talent now a disadvantage?

What do you think?

John Fountain is a write and blogger.
Twitter: @fountainjohn

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