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The Influencers

You’re Not Indecisive. It’s All Part of the Journey

Blur, 1 year, 11 months ago

INFLUENCER: Blur’s Kate Jenner on why swapping countries and job roles is a smart move in advertising

You’re Not Indecisive. It’s All Part of the Journey

Somewhere between the ages of three months and 11 years old I realised I wanted to speak Spanish well, because sometime between three months and 11 years I realised I quite liked Spain. I studied at school and at university, I lived there for a few short periods between 18 and 22, I holidayed in Spain and I even had a Spanish-speaking boyfriend for a time. But..; somewhere between 11 years old and 21 years old I also realised I loved advertising. So, when offered the chance I went to work in an advertising agency, in London. And not just any advertising agency. AMV BBDO. I worked on a Spanish advertising account, I translated Spanish ads, I had a couple of Spanish clients but for nearly 10 years I worked in London on British advertising. 

Just before I hit my 10 year agency anniversary I thought I’d take a short sabbatical. A sabbatical in Spain, of course. Within a month the sabbatical was over and I had a job in Barcelona thanks to the thriving service production industry here. When I was in advertising in London I wanted to be in Spain and when in Spain I realised I wanted to be back in advertising. The creative bit. And that is when I met Inés and Mario, EPs at Blur, one of Spain's top production companies. The perfect combination. Spain and real advertising. I now work in Spanish, have Spanish directors, Spanish clients, make Spanish ads, AND I even have a Spanish boyfriend but I bring everything I learned in advertising in London with me.

In London I worked as a client at BT and Sainsbury's. I worked as an account manager, an account director, a producer, sometimes a creative too if they let me. In Spain I’ve worked in service production and now I’m a producer in a creative production company. Someone once told me they thought I should stop being indecisive, but I like to think it was all part of the journey. Having knowledge of every part of the advertising process is incredibly valuable and something not everyone can boast of. Clever production companies know that having people who have worked agency side is good for them and good for clients. Clever Spanish production companies know that having someone that worked agency side in London is good for business. I conclude that clever people have many strings to their bow.

Some reports say that in today’s world people are unlikely to have the same career for a lifetime and the average person will have up to six different careers. I know a CEO of a top UK agency who spent a couple of years as a manager in the NHS, I know a couple of advertising agency MDs who started out in the post room, the owners of many successful businesses like Not on the High Street started out in advertising but made a big change along the way, and there are many more examples of people like this. So it turns out maybe I’m not indecisive at all. Maybe I’m just multi talented and there are many jobs one can do with with a good training in the advertising industry. And not that long ago in her TED talk, writer and artist Emily Warwick even coined a term for us; multipotentialites!

Kate Jenner is Producer at Blur Productions