Joyce King Thomas, the chief creative officer at McCann Erickson Worldwide’s flagship agency in New York had humble beginnings in this business–an encouraging fact for those who didn’t go from Portfolio Center straight to Wieden + Kennedy.
According to Career Journal:
First Post-College Job: I was offered two. One was working for Caterpillar as a brochure writer. I did not want to move to Peoria. The other was for a recruitment advertising agency in St. Louis called Worldwide Advertising, writing help-wanted ads. The job was fairly menial in some ways. I’d have to take dictation of a help-wanted ad on the phone and then rewrite it. I also wrote the brochures and whatever other materials human resources used for recruitment. I did that for nine months.
Career Path: When I arrived (at Wells in New York in 1982), I was at the bottom of the barrel. They’d been forced to hire me by someone really senior in Dallas who had moved to New York and was running the office. But he wasn’t running the creative department, and I had to be accepted by the creative department. Someone did try to get rid of me, but I managed to not let that happen.