TMRW SG | Blog | Things I Learnt From My First “Big Girl” Job

(Photo by Patty Brito)


Things I Learnt From My First “Big Girl” JobIn my advertising class, the professor would assign campaign briefs, and my classmates and I would have to come up and present our ideas. You can say we were mad men (and women, emphasis on the mad). But what came out of this was the epiphany that advertising is all about taking an idea and twisting it a million different ways. It’s a world where your wild ideas are celebrated, not judged.

Coming out of university, at 21, I landed my first “big girl” job as a junior copywriter at TMRW. Here are five lessons I’ve picked up:

  1. It gets real

    University definitely prepped me for the creative side of advertising — theory, brainstorming, the whole shebang. But one thing they couldn't fully replicate was the real-world pressure of the business side. In class, an extension meant a few points off, maybe a talk with the professor. Here, it’s a domino effect. Pushing things back could impact the entire team, budgets, and client relationships. The stakes are high and the responsibility is intensely real.

  2. Soak it all up like a sponge!

    That’s the name of the game, especially when you’re new. Whether it’s remembering your co-workers’ names or listening to how your CD pitches a campaign, pay attention. These first few weeks will feel like boot camp for you to get the hang of things, from expectations to how everything and everyone works together to create pretty awesome campaigns.

  3. Saying that, write everything down

    With all the new information coming your way, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why you should write them down in a notebook or a notes app. This will save you the trouble of forgetting key details, especially when it comes to project feedback. And yes, do this even when you think your memory’s top tier.

  4. There is no such thing as a stupid question

    Ask the questions you want to ask because that’s the best way to make sure everyone’s on the same page. Plus, you don’t want to spend time doing a task the wrong way. Asking questions also shows initiative, so there is no shame in not knowing something or confirming something you’re not sure about.

  5. Don’t be afraid to fail

    Okay, let’s be honest. There were times I felt like I was being swallowed by quicksand. Frustrated, but trying to stay on top of the situation, and every time I hear “this copy doesn’t work”, even after revisions, it felt like I got pushed two feet deeper.

    I mean, how hard can combining 26 letters in the English alphabet be, right? Wrong. The real challenge was making those words sing to make up a story that sticks. And lasts. The ones that have you thinking about it from time to time. I know I haven’t lost touch with writing, and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Nobody nails it on the first try — or the first few — in a new experience, and that’s okay. Failing is part of learning.

    Like how the proverb goes — Nana korobi, ya oki.

Looking ahead, I’m still learning the ropes, but also exposed to a lot. I’m starting to understand the agency dynamic, pick up on the do’s and don'ts, and learn from as many people as I can, whenever I can.

It’s very rewarding to see all the brainstorming, tweaking, and revising translate to real work. And the best part? My wild ideas are still encouraged, even if they don’t always make the final cut. With a supportive team to work with and an environment that constantly pushes me to grow, I’m excited to see what’s to come in the future.

Amanda Colleen Wijaya