A little help?

I received an email from an aspiring planner in Brazil and I’m not sure what to tell her. I went to Sao Paulo for the first time this past November and have met many lovely planejadores in person or on skype, but generally in the context of their desire to move to the US or Europe. Here’s her question:

I live in Sao Paulo and I have recently completed my undergraduate degree in Social Communication and Advertisement.

I’m writing you because I have recently decided to shift my work area. Although I’ve always wanted to work in Account Planning, I worked as an intern in the branding area of a large company in the food industry, and in the last two years I’ve been working with marketing for advertisers, in a editorial company.

I’ve been having a lot of difficulty to make this shift, and I think it is because the brazillian Account planning market is too closed. Everybody knows each other, and it becomes hard for newcomers to be introduced to this market. Also, agencies ask for a lot of background, even for junior positions. I would like to ask you how do you think I can get some space in this market. I considered applying for a program in Miami Ad School here in Brazil, or even searching for a planning program in the U.S. I’m afraid of being unemployed or out of the market, even if I take one of these programs. What would you advise me to do?

Personally, I think it’s difficult to get that first planning position anywhere in the world. You have to make it happen. Without being pushy, you can ask for informal chats with planners to learn how they got their jobs. And I think schools are a good opportunity to meet other planners. Planning isn’t a profession you learn from memorizing jargon and case studies. You have to learn by doing. So internships really help. But in my opinion, there is something innate that makes a good planner. If you’ve got it, you’ll find a way to get a job.

What do you think, planejadores?

Why take the survey?

You may have taken the survey, but if you haven’t would you please do so? And help spread the word? I’m hoping for a big turn out this year. Here’s the link: http://sgiz.mobi/s3/The-Planner-Survey-2011

According to a post by Farrah Bostic this week, here’s why you should participate:

Greater transparency into salaries by position, experience, region, size of agency, etc. help us better negotiate for our salaries. It helps us figure out what the high and low ends are and therefore gives us leverage: we know what the agencies are willing to pay, and we can start the salary discussion from a better educated, and therefore more advantageous position. TRUE TESTIMONIAL: I used the survey to negotiate my last salary – it worked, and it worked to my advantage. I wouldn’t have had the guts to ask for that salary otherwise.

It also helps us see where the discrepancies are – do men and women make the same amount? Are more senior planners at smaller agencies under-valued compared to their colleagues at big agencies, or vice versa? What do we gain or give up in making the choice to take certain roles, in certain cities, at certain agencies?

Sunshine, as they say, is the best disinfectant. The more we know about how much and how hard we work, how we’re paid, what our benefits are like, where the opportunities for career growth are, and so on, the brighter the light shines on agency practices, and hopefully encourages them to behave better.

I appreciate you taking the time to fill in the survey. And if you ever need anything from me, twitter is the best way to reach me.

Did somebody say survey?

Hello Planners,

It’s that time of year again. Time to take The Planner Survey!

New this year:

  • There’s a progress bar.
  • Students and Interns are welcome to take part in the survey.
  • There are four open-ended questions (for most of you) all on one page. This part will take the longest, but your thoughtful answers are appreciated.

As always, the survey is anonymous. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to participate. I get emails all year long from all over the world asking for more details on countries with low participation. I can only share when enough people take the survey to be able to protect your secrets with the power of averaging.

Thank you for playing!

Here’s the link to the survey: http://sgiz.mobi/s3/The-Planner-Survey-2011

And the link to sign-up for the results: http://bit.ly/kEYC67