(Disclaimer: This is based solely and loosely on our experience in advertising, but we’re pretty sure it can apply to any area and skill level.)
Elin Lindeberg (copywriter) and Jude Le Bayon (art director) both moved across the pond to the US in 2017 to study at the Academy of Art University and prove their creative skills – Elin from Sweden and Jude from France.
Fast-forward to about five years later, and they’re now testing their creative abilities together as a creative team at MullenLowe LA. This is after they met at school and realized they make a great team when they compete in student promotional competitions like One Show and D&AD.
The duo’s submissions resulted in multiple wins and, more importantly, a testament to their creative partnership.
For any other European looking to explore the US and the advertising world it has to offer, the duo have kindly compiled a list of tips they’ve learned during their five years in the land of the free.
In Europe, it’s amazing to talk when you’re not being spoken to. And the thought of asking questions in a room where no one else is… amazing once again. So forget everything you’ve ever learned, pick up the mic and speak in a way that everyone (including those in the background) can hear you.
2. Show yourself.
This is an important one. Humility is the be-all and end-all in Europe. In Sweden there is even a law that applies to pretty much everything. It’s called “Jantelagen” (translated “Law of Jante”), which clearly and simply means that you are no better than everyone else. A code of conduct encourages Swedes everywhere not to brag or brag about their success.
3. It’s okay to get wasted during the happy hours of work.
In Europe, after work, we avoid anything work-related. Here it is strongly recommended instead.
4. Casual wear is expected.
Heels at work, what’s that? A suit? Unless you are the CEO. (Warning: This may only apply to the creative and advertising industries and not Harvard Law.)
5. It is normal to ask the non-normal questions.
Questions like “How much do you make?”, “How much do you pay in rent?” or even “Who did you vote for in the last election?” are very common things that are asked within 10 minutes of knowing someone. It might seem weird to get an intimate tour of someone’s latest bank statements, but, hey, see it as a way to bond!
6. And finally – GET credit.
Be silent now or forever. A credit rating is valued here like a passport. Well, not really, as there are probably more people with credit scores than passports. Let’s say it’s as valuable as Super Bowl Sunday. (Oh, you’d better catch up on that while you’re at it.)
So there you have it folks. We hope you learned something useful from this, and more importantly, “We hope we saved you some pretty awkward or embarrassing moments that we’ve unfortunately had to endure,” as Elin and Jude shared.
To hear more from the creative team and follow their continued journey in advertising, check out their portfolios. elinlindeberg.work and sendjudes.com. And don’t forget to reach out to her on LinkedIn for more tips!
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