This post originally appeared at Thought Catalogue. The author gave us permission to repost it here.
Whether it is an Ad, Media, Creative, whatever Agency, there is a shared struggle. Here are tips to survive this once eager career choice:
1. Create witty relationships with vendors/sale reps — they will be the only people that can provide you with real meals — trendy lunches and hot spot dinners. This will be one of the only ways to experience the “nicer things” your city has to offer.
2. Wear an oversized Michael Kors watch. Gold.
3. Eat the bread basket. Carbs are your friend and help give you strength to work 13 hour days.
4. Post pictures on Facebook/Instagram and tweet about all the fabulous events you attend and extravagant food you eat — “Segway tour with GQ Magazine. Perfect day to be outside!”. All your friends from high school that are too busy having babies will think you’re living a dream when the people that know your reality are relieved that you got to leave your cube and are getting exposure to sunlight.
5. Always say yes to mani/pedi meetings.
6. If you’re a man, always say yes to mani/pedi meetings.
7. Always schedule mani/pedi meetings over lunch because you are just so swamped with flowcharts, Nielsen data, building groovy masterpiece PPT decks (seriously the Van Gogh of PowerPoint in this biatch, custom templates what what!) — Soo Darn guess the vendor will have to provide lunch as well. A salad on your lap while your feet soak is a beautiful thing.
8. When at a vendor lunch/dinner order the most expensive thing on the menu (Because you can) and always take leftovers home since you know your fridge only consists of stale mixers and a bottle of Ciroc Vodka with about one shots worth left, Chinese take-out leftovers you keep avoiding to throw away and something moulding in one of the crisper drawers that you will discover in a month.
9. While being surrounded by beautifully dressed, salon styled people and constantly confused on how they can afford Marc Jacobs bags, Burberry scarves, Tory Burch flats and Seven Jeans (since they are making the same 29k you are), don’t kill yourself to keep up! Buy some bold accessories at Forever 21 or from the sales bin at Banana… but when you see that soft leather bomber jacket at Nordstrom Rack that you cannot afford- Buy it. Then instantly schedule vendor lunches and RSVP to every evening event that consist of “Drinks and Apps” for the next two weeks. Hey, you have an awesome jacket to wear to all these gatherings now AND you won’t starve. Win Win.
10. Never date anyone in the office. But you will.
11. Have a roommate or 5.
12. Use 5 of those 32 vacation days and take a trip… Not sure how you will make that work but you will absolutely find a way.
13. Drink often. Preferably at $US1 shots happy hour establishments OR on the vendor’s dime where the magnum bottle of Goose is flowing and you try that chilli cucumber mint margarita/acai plum passion fruit martini (Again- because you can)…
14. When you’re finally home by 11pm, make some tea with the tea that you took from the office, then light candles to relax and sooth the stresses of your Microsoft Office work life. Plus let’s face it; you still owe last month’s electric. Hey- in a way you’re going green too. Bonus.
15. Invited to a sporting event but couldn’t care less??? GO. Or else you will just end up working late as hell as usual — this is very important: Always use work related events to get out of work whenever you can.
16. Always have Ramen Noodles in your cupboard!
17. Save packets of sauces and condiments you get from takeout- who needs to buy spices- I have soy sauce and ketchup for this rice- BAM! Instant Spanish Asian fusion right at home.
18. One night you will be eating at the best restaurant in town that you have been menu stalking for a month and the next have a box of mac and cheese that you made without milk… it happens. But use these moments to build character. You will forever be grateful from here on out… Not like you give a shit now.
19. Ice and coffee make great snacks.
20. Milk the Christmas party. Hell — pour that bottle of Moet all over your body with a mouthful of mediocre shrimp cocktail.
21. Walk by the break room often — if there is leftover food from a catered lunch — pull out your stashed food container, fill that bad boy up, store it and voila! Tomorrow’s lunch… then grab a paper coffee cup, put more food in the cup and eat. Eat whenever possible.
22. Be overly prepared for every Client facing meeting (every appendix in your PPT presentation should consist of 105 slides. Minimum.)
23. Don’t be sad when Clients don’t like or understand anything you present. They will stare into your soul with complete disappointment. They pay the agency zillions of dollars; they don’t give a shit about you or your upbeat and visually tantalising PowerPoint or genius creative concept. “Hmmm. I don’t get it…”… There will be times where they will be difficult because they are clueless arseholes… and because they can.
24. Make friends with the hip gay guy. He will be your guide to what’s hot and happening in the city and the best mixers to attend. He is your own personal Yelp that will listen to your dating life and encourage you to be a heartbreaker and strong man killer- mostly for his own entertainment. He will also be great for online shopping advice. Copy and pasting links into emails of a jacket at zara.com will be a daily form of communication.
25. Own rain boots. Preferably Hunter boots, or else you won’t look like everyone else on a rainy day.
26. Have a really close girlfriend at work that doesn’t seem to exist outside of the marble building. She will hear about every pointless detail of your weekends and all your “totally random” weekday adventures. Sometimes you feel like she is your best friend, but she isn’t. She will be your sidekick for lunchtime shopping trips and you will also know all about her and her live in boyfriend and what she cooks every night for dinner.
27. Accept the fact that you will never be friends with or ever like your boss. There will always be a sense of bitterness within an agency employee that has been there for 4+ years only to earn a 15% raise. They will never really like anyone except their spouse, He/She is pretty great.
28. Don’t talk politics. Majority of the people you work with are moderately liberal but there is always that closet conservative that creates “awkward moment” comments during a team breakfast.
29. Lastly, enjoy being young and hot with a cool sounding job! Everyone you work with is in the same boat and your next job will probably be a team of pregnant women. So go party on a Tuesday and only get 2 hours of sleep, your body won’t be able to handle it in 2 years and you will find yourself saying, “Even though I was completely broke, that was the best time of my life.”
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