Sally’s Making The Rounds

Sally Hogshead, famous copywriter, author and mom, is now one of Tom’s Cool Friends.

Who’s your target audience for this book?
SH: Great question. First, let me say who it’s not for: bureaucrats, whiners, cynics, or wimps. Anyone who cherishes linear hierarchy or traditional corporate games will hate this book.
Radical Careering is for people who want to make big things happen in their lives, in their own way. They aren’t afraid to break the rules or disregard the status quo. Most of all, they have big ideas and nerves of steel.
My research focused on the 25-to 45-year-olds, because as a group, they tend to have a much more aggressive, entrepreneurial, independent perspective on their careers. They’ve had a few years of experience, and they already know what they want out of their work. You can’t succeed by following the convention these days—Tom Peters teaches us that!—and anyone who just wants to push papers or watch the clock is going to have a really tough time of it.
They’re goners, in short?
SH: Uh-huh.

Click over to Tom’s world for the full interview.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. famous copywriter, author, and mom…
    AHH… so it’s getting important to include mom (and i would hope dad) on the resume.
    Just thinking for you guys who are dads–and nothing against the ones who aren’t either….Tell me how many introduce yourself as as copywriter, author, dad.
    Guys, be sure and include yourself if that is part of what you do.

  2. Yeah, ’cause if you are a dad, or mom, you’re likely to stay in your job longer and be more willing to bend to the whims of the client and/or your boss. Mouths to feed and all that. Some even call it “perspective,” or “seeing the big picture.”

  3. Perspective is a manipulation of curves and lines on a flat screen.
    An honest question:
    Is being a dad an advantage or not in this business? If so, for whom, creative or the boss? For your work, your perspective?

  4. Carl LaFong says:

    Sidestepping the whole “Mom/Dad” controversy, I have to say I am less than impressed with Ms. Hogshead’s book.
    (In the interest of full disclosure, I freely admit that I haven’t read it cover to cover: I checked out the excerpt in ADWEEK and skimmed through the rest at Barnes & Noble. But, as George Bernard Shaw (or was it Oscar Wilde?) is supposed to have once said, “You don’t have to eat an entire omelet to know it’s no good.” But I digress.)
    I found “Radical Careering” to be glib, superficial and obvious, offering very little in the way of earth-shattering insights or “big ideas.” In short, it’s like 99.9% of the business books already out there.
    I’ll give Ms. Hogshead credit for this much: She definitely knows how to generate buzz. Too bad she seems to put more thought and energy into promoting her book than she did in writing it.
    But then, that’s just one bureaucrat’s/whiner’s/cynic’s/wimp’s opinion.

  5. Kinda diminishes that .1% when too many are out there, doesn’t it?

  6. Thanks for the honest assessment, Carl. Sounds like maybe she said it all in the original Creativity article.

  7. Carl LaFong says:

    Thanks for providing a forum for dissenting opinions, David. And yeah, most of the good stuff in Ms. Hogshead’s book seems to have been lifted from her “Creativity” article. The rest is just padding.
    One of the things I find most irksome is her casual dismissal of those who don’t happen to like her book as bureaucrats, whiners, etc. It’s as if she is a latter-day Martin Luther shaking up the establishment with explosive truths and those who fail to see the light are merely myopic malcontents mired in the ways of the past.
    The thing is, I don’t deny that much of what she has to say in her book is true. I just don’t think it’s particularly new or provocative. She substitutes wit for wisdom, aphorisms for insights. Maybe that’s enough for most people.
    Having said that, I did enjoy Ms. Hogshead’s interview with Lance Jensen. Well, except for her annoying Edith Prickley-esque cackle.

  8. Just for the record:
    In a nod to my peeps (and AdPulp sponsors) over at Talent Zoo, before her column was in Creativity, it was on their site.

  9. Carl LaFong says:

    Sorry, Danny G. I stand corrected.

  10. Don’t sweat it, Carl. Not many people actually know that. Sally’s told the TZ folks that her column on there was the catalyst that got the whole thing rolling–her own radical careering, so to speak.

  11. I think one advantage that gets overlooked as a parent is that it suggests you have an added sense of structure.
    I’ve seen my fair share of juniors who goof off and have no idea how to maintain focus. They may be hungry. They may be talented. But they may still have problems divorcing themselves from the freedoms of college life.