06 jun, 2017

"Dear Laurie Geddes..."

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At this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, JWT Sydney’s Creative Group Head Laurie Geddes will be a juror for the Film category.  Laurie’s work has been recognized at festivals like Adfest, Cannes Lions, Clio Health, D&AD and more.

But, before becoming the notable creative she is today, Laurie – like anyone at the very start of their career – was just trying to find her way in adland. 

We asked Laurie, decorated creative and Cannes Lions juror, to take a walk down memory lane and pen a letter of advice to her younger self.

Hey Laurie,

Congratulations! You’ve landed your first job as a Copywriter. For the first time in your life, you’re getting paid to be creative, and that is a rare and precious thing.

Try not to lose sight of that because it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day frustrations and forget what an incredible job you’ve got. Yes, you will experience setbacks, but the satisfaction of creating something new – something you’re proud of – will always make it worthwhile. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to meet extraordinary people, travel to amazing places, and make lifelong friends.

Right now, you’ll look around and you won’t see anyone in the agency over the age of 40. You’ll  assume your advertising career isn’t going to be a long one, but you’ll end up sticking around longer than you thought possible.  And you will be lucky to work for Creative Directors who value your experience.

You’ll also look around and see very few women in the creative department, and fewer women who are mothers. This will make you wonder whether motherhood and advertising are mutually exclusive life choices. The good news? They’re not. You might become the first copywriting mom you know, but you won’t be the last.

Whatever you do, don’t expect anything to stay the same. Over the next few decades, the industry will change in ways you can’t even imagine right now. Don’t worry, that is the cool part; it’s what will keep you interested and keep you learning every day. In 20 years time, you’ll be creating ads for media that hasn’t even been invented yet.  Media that will run on devices you couldn’t even dream of. Stay tuned. It’s going to be fun.

Oh, and a heads up…I know these words mean nothing to you now, but if you happen to have any ideas around internet auction sites, ride-sharing, or online social networks, get on them!

Cheers,

Laurie

Laurie is one of the many female creative leaders at JWT. To learn more about our HLR Scholarship program designed to give young female creative students an opportunity to learn from our creatives, like Laurie, please visit jwt.com/hlrscholarship.

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