Sarah Vella-Labrador was an intern at Goodby Silverstein and Partners for six months before she was recently hired as a Copywriter, working mostly on BMW, Doritos, Cheetos, Pepsi, and Xfinity. She's also a long-time We Are Next reader who wanted to pay it forward now that she's a full-time creative (it's the cirrrrrcle of lifeeee). This week, she shares five things she learned during her 6-month internship to help you integrate into an agency while building the right skills and protecting your creative mojo.
1) New partner who dis?
If you’re brand new to a partnership, take some time to get to know your new partner (aka find your groove). This totally doesn’t have to take place at work—it could be during a fun boba date or mid-day walk around the local park. Loosen up and get to know each other outside of work, because the more comfortable you are with each other, the better you ideas will be.
2) Meet people by finding ways to get involved in the office community.
When you first join a company it can be a bit intimidating. The best way to meet new people is to get involved. All agency emails whiz by every day, and most of them have invites for screenings, book clubs, run clubs, etc. If you’re free and one interests you, go for it! It can be a bit awkward at first, but meeting more people will make work more enjoyable—and you never know when you'll be working with the people you meet in the future.
3) Find ways to build hybrid skillsets.
Deborah Morrison says it time and time again: having a hybrid skillset is some next level ish! It helps you approach briefs from a different perspective, opens your mind, and gives you new ways to express your creativity. A hybrid skillset also helps you and your partner tackle more projects without sacrificing quality. When my Art Director has tons of comps, I try and do the base layer of a few, then pass the files off to her for the final edits. Likewise, if I’m struggling with copy, she helps me brainstorm copy. #GoTeam
4) Nourish the creative soul.
Sometimes it feels like the creative soul gets tired before the physical body does. It feels like your brain is running in circles and you have no new ideas to bring to the table. I find this block occurs when I have been staring at a brief for hours. To avoid this, take a look at your workload and ask yourself, “Do I have time to be inspired, peruse the internet for trends, or simply consume content and see what other brands are producing?” I find that when I take time to nourish my creative soul by doing something active, reading, playing with dogs, switching activities, etc., I can come back with fresh inspiration and new ideas. It’s like hitting reset on your brain, so avoid this slump by penciling in time in to feed your soul, no matter how busy things get.
5) Find your peak workflow performance.
While neck deep in your workflow, take a moment to zoom out a bit. Think about how many projects you feel comfortable balancing and how many projects you can tackle without sacrificing quality. After working on multiple projects, think about the most successful ones and find ways to re-create that environment to set yourself up for success again. Maybe it’s the mindset you had when you approached your third round of edits, or where you did your brainstorming. Think about what type of environments help you come up with the best brain blasts and get to it.