Find the perfect role

So you're keen on a career in advertising, but don't know where to start? We'll help you work out which role is right for you.

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If you're considering a career in advertising it's good to ask yourself some tough questions. Are you happiest when making plans? Perhaps you prefer being creative? Maybe you are someone who enjoys getting things done. Your answers will help you choose the right role which will hopefully lead to a long and successful career in Adland.

Where should you start your career in Adland?

Begin by considering whether you like to PLAN, DO or CREATE.

PLAN: Linear Brain

Do you think logically and plan things to get from A to B? Consider working as a developer making websites, analysing data or planning campaigns. Below are just some of the roles you may be interested in:

  • Strategic Planning – Representing the consumer, Strategic Planners are responsible for developing the key strategic insight that lies behind the advertising idea.
  • Media Planning and Buying – Media Planners connect the consumer to the creative idea; Media Buyers negotiate with media owners to get the best position, timing and pricing for their client’s media space.
  • Real Time Media Planner and Buyer – Planning, implementation and maintenance of online media advertising campaigns. Strong interest in digital media technologies, data analysis and the ability to use API tools, are key to this role.
  • Developer (Web & App) – A Developer takes ownership of the entire build phase of creating websites and apps. Working with creatives and UX, they are responsible for writing custom scripts to accommodate a client’s needs. They are either professionally trained in, or have ample personal experience working with various scripting languages, like HTML.
  • Digital/Social Media Strategist – With a keen interest in consumer behaviour, the strategist gathers and analyses information and data. From this, they plan and develop digital advertising campaign strategies via Search, Social and/or paid for advertising.
  • Data Analyst – This role involves analysing data to identify insights and provide performance reports. A good working knowledge of spreadsheets, API tools and statistical software packages are needed.
  • Econometrician– A highly specialised role that analyses and forecasts market and consumer behaviour using a variety of econometric and statistical software packages.
  • User Experience (UX) Planner – Understanding brand concepts and the relationships that customers have with technology are needed to help UX Planners design great online experiences. Knowledge of wireframes, sitemaps and user journeys are key to this role.

DO – Diagonal Brain

Can you move from logical, linear thinking to leaps of faith and intuition? Do you mind a bit of conflict but can also pay attention to how people feel? You could be an account executive, producer, or a project manager.

  • Account Executive – The Account Executive and account management team are the bridge between the client and the agency. They ensure the smooth running of client accounts in the agency and develop effective working relationships with client contacts. Problem solving and organisation are key skills needed in this role.
  • Creative Services & Production – They ensure the internal process is smooth and the ads are made to the highest quality, on time and to budget. The people in this process need a variety of skills including the ability to control the internal process within an agency, to source the outside talent for production and to oversee the production itself. Typical roles include – Creative Services Manager, Art Buyer, TV Production, Studio Project Management, Traffic Management and Print Production.

CREATE – Lateral Brain

Are you creative, imaginative and enjoy playing with ideas. Would you like to invent compelling advertising that addresses a brand’s business problem and see your work in the real world? The roles most suited to those with linear brains are:

  • Art Director – responsible for the creation and development of advertising ideas, with a focus on their visual appearance, in order to solve business problems for their agency’s clients.     
  • Copywriter – create advertising ideas, but with a focus on the written words or copy. This can be anything from headlines and body copy for print advertising to TV commercial and websites.
  • Web Designer – Web Designers bring creative ideas to life across a variety of digital formats. Working with the creative teams, users experience designers and web developers they ensure a strong visual end-product.

This is just a taster of the exciting job roles open to you in advertising. Don't forget there are roles in other departments like Finance, PR, Marketing and Legal too.

You can find out more about your suitability for a career in advertising with our free online test Diagonal Thinking. It tests the hypothesis that the most successful individuals working in the business are both Linear and Lateral Thinkers – they think ‘diagonally’.

Please allow about two hours to complete



Last updated 02 June 2020