3 BY Bart Casey easy-to-remember
Career Strategies retired from O&M in December, 2013, after 40 years in advertising. This is an excerpt from his speech at O&M NY’s 2013 holiday party.
They say peopledon’t retire from
Advertising today – they drop out to recover from their wounds. because I’m about to retire, I’m going to share 3 easy-to-remember career strategies with you. Don’t worry, I’ll be quick.
Forty years ago, on August
1st, I started on my career ladder as an Assistant Account Exec at a Boston direct marketing agency. 5 years landed me in Advertising at BBDO Atlanta on Delta Air Lines. I thought Advertising would be better. But in those days there were 120,000 account people in the US advertising agency industry compared with only 10,000 in direct marketing. So on my next campaign, I tried to get back in line on the smaller competitive ladder. Ogilvy Direct in New York flew me up for interviews on their TWA airline account. I met with my potential boss, her boss, and his uber-boss. Everything went well – but I didn’t get it. Because I was a direct marketer who also knew advertising, the CEO of the agency aimed me higher. Would we mind staying in Atlanta to join the new Ogilvy Advertising and PR offices there? My job would to open a new O&M Direct office. He thought my dual background would make me a better collaborator. As I went up to the 1982 Christmas Party in New York as an office head that year, I realized I was now in some crazy sense “senior” to all those bosses I had interviewed with trying to get into the TWA group. So here are some career strategies:
1 Don’t compete for linear
promotion after promotion Make a new move to CRM. Or, if you are in CRM now, try to move to PR. Then, Consulting or activation. Or any combination of those moves. Because each new discipline you learn makes you a rarer bird and way ahead of everyone back where you started.
Get out of town with
Ogilvy! I’ve noticed many Americans think the USA is the only game. International opened everything up for me. From Ogilvy Atlanta, I went to O&M Direct London. People in all our European offices became colleagues and friends. Then I came back to New York to work on Global accounts and for the next 20 years went all around the world with American Express and IBM. It was great. 2
Never leave. Don’t throw us
away with some silly career move down the road. You may think other agencies are like us – they’re not. Someone may offer you more money; more money will come to you here as well. Don’t leave because your current boss is an idiot. Leave them behind. Maybe you can come back and fire them later. And, if you play it right, one day you could be running the place –- the world’s most creative and effective agency – David Ogilvy’s agency. And that wouldn’t be a bad way to end up. 3