Little Fish, Big Pond

8 Aug

Working at a big corporation can be intimidating for anyone. Fortunately in our business the size of the company is not always an indication of the prestige. There are tiny agencies, production houses, designer showrooms etc that are more respected than there megahouse counterparts. But how do you manuever and make a name for yourself at enormous multi department corporations like LVMH, Conde Nast or Estee Lauder when you’re just starting out. Companies like this usually have so many employees than even the assistants have junior assistants and the junior assistants have interns.  The trick to getting noticed is to painstakingly build a niche for yourself. No matter how insignificant that niche may seem it is your job to figure out the one area you can excel better than anyone else. Convince at least one person in a senior position that you have a skill or an area of knowledge they cannot afford to do without. This doesn’t have to be your identity for the rest of your career. You don’t have to spend the next 10 years going by Amy “awesome photoshopper” Wilson. Just be sure that for now you are indispensable in at least one area. When you’re in any junior role it is always good to be a jack of all trades…but if you are just mediocre at 50 tasks – a huge corporation has the resources to hire 50 individual people who are awesome at each of those 50 tasks.

Also, keep in mind, its all too easy to get lost in the shuffle. And the reality is that people that work in creative industries often have short attention spans. Something is interesting, popular and hot one day and the next day not so much. This applies to people as well. It’s your job to keep their attention. Its not enough to blast in the door and knock everyone’s socks off with your talent and wit. You must keep it up. Don’t set the bar so high your first week that you’re incapable of maintaining that level of work every single day. You must be a rock star at every moment.

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