My Future in Copywriting

For the past five years I thought I wanted to be an English teacher.

I liked the idea of being in charge, staying connected with youth, exerting some sort of creativity through teaching, and making a (hopefully) positive difference in kids’ lives. I knew I wanted to be an English teacher until I started studying English.

Now I am not saying that I dislike my major. The thing I like about English Literature is that you’re not learning just about some book or some poem, but you learn a lot about history, philosophy, religion, and sociology through studying significant texts. The thing I don’t like about English, however, is how “by the book” it is (sorry I just had to use this pun). There’s little room for creativity in studying Literature – writing it, yes; reading it, no. Sure, it can be inspiring to read a really important book, but truth be told, something about paying $400 to do it and having a deadline of 2 days to read it in, just doesn’t make it much fun.

That is why I feel guilty becoming an English teacher. I always knew I wanted to do something that I believed in. How can I teach English to distracted young students, if I don’t believe in and love every single thing I would teach? I surely can’t stand at the room talking passionately about Of Mice and Men if I am not passionate about Of Mice and Men. Our school district needs teachers who can’t stop smiling when they talk about what they teach. I thought I could do that, but I can’t.

So since I hit 3rd year and my studies got a little more intense, I realized that I should start looking at possible other career paths. I don’t know when I thought of it, or how, but my current career path is copywriting.

Copywriters are those sleazy people who write persuasive ads to try to get you to buy products you don’t need. Well, that’s what society thinks of them, anyway. In all seriousness, copywriters do write ads, but for them it is a type of art. Coming up with the concept, the strategy, the emotional connection, that is what copywriters do. The best copywriters are clever, so clever that their ads don’t even look like ads. The first ads that comes to mind are the Old Spice commercials that went viral last year. They were some of the few ads that people stopped fast-fowarding to watch and even sought out on YouTube.

The best copywriters write the ads that you discuss after watching. Who didn’t turn to their friend/family/lover after seeing Nike’s “Run to You” 2 minute spot and go “awwww”?

For a creative person, coming up with an awesome concept is like solving a Rubix Cube. You work on it and work on it until all the colours line up, and then you’re done.

I don’t necessarily have a “Why” yet as to why I want to be a copywriter, except for that it is one of the few careers that checks off all my boxes and makes me excited. I know if I’m doing something I can talk about passionately, then I will be happy.

First thing’s first: get some experience. I have been interviewing for the past few weeks around the city for a job or internship in copywriting/marketing/social media. I’ve had a few job offers but want to make sure I weigh all my options before I commit to something. I have an internship interview on Wednesday I am very excited about. Let’s hope it goes well!

And no, I don’t watch Mad Men… yet.

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2 responses to “My Future in Copywriting

  1. Hi Jill,

    What a great concept for a site/blog. We totally love this idea!

    We noticed you used our meme for your post (aww shucks!) and wanted to check in and see how your copywriting career is going?

    Sending you rays of sunshine from the land down under
    xx Cat & Bee

    • Thank you! Some sunshine sure would be lovely here in Vancouver!

      I ended up interning at Grey in Vancouver all summer, and am now back at school full time.

      I love those memes, they’re always too true!

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