Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My age.

Someone just suggested that I shorten my resume and to pretend that I am younger than I am, all to combat our industry’s scourge of ageism.

Take off your first ten years in the business, they said.

Pretend you’re 46. Not 56.

Here’s why I won’t listen.

While at my first job, I was trained by Harold Karp, one of the best copywriters in the business. He had come off a streak of winning One Show pencils and a Gold Lion at Cannes, before lions started multiplying like rabbits. He thought I showed promise and would go over my copy with me word-by-word, line-by-line. I learned day-by-day.

At my second job, I worked near the Strand bookstore and bought about 20-years’ worth of One Show and Art Directors’ annuals, which I studied and studied. I also had to present to the youngest-ever inductee in the Copywriter's Hall-of-Fame, Ron Rosenfeld and his partner and advertising Hall-of-Famer, Len Sirowitz. They didn’t have too much to say but I did read their hundreds of award-winning ads. And I learned.

At my third job I got tutored like in my first job, by an exquisite and precise boss, Ed Butler. Ed was a surgeon with my copy until he was satisfied I knew what I was doing. Then he said, “I trust you. You don’t have to show me your copy anymore.” I also wrote 100 ads a year for five years, having to get some of them past Hall-of-Famers Mike Tesch or Amil Gargano.

All of this happened during my first ten years in the business.

The ones I’m supposed to excise from my resume.

I'm proud of what I accomplished and learned during those years.

I rose, quickly, in those ten years from a copywriter to an SVP, Creative Group Head.

I think if a place doesn’t want to accept me and all the places and people that made me me, I suppose I don’t want to work there.

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