The other day, my kid asked me what I did for a living. I reminded him that he was 17 years old and that he damn well better know what I do for a living by now. He clarified that he knew I was a producer at an ad agency, but wanted to know exactly what I did. That set off a rant about all the things that make my job great and/or nightmarish. As his eyes began to glaze over, I made him a deal. If he took out the trash, I’d write him a job description to a) answer his question and b) save him from his mother’s incoherent ramblings. So here you go, Ian.
Job title: Executive Producer, Advertising
Description: Manage budgets, timelines and execution of creative
Requirements: Round-the-clock availability is a must, even if vacationing in Europe (having a good data plan never hurts). 20/20 foresight followed by murky hindsight is key. You need not apply unless you have the boundless energy and the intestinal fortitude to tread water in the Bermuda triangle of constricted budgets, high expectations and short timelines. Must also possess the ability to serve competing interests with grace and diplomacy. Must be able to smile when you don’t want to and keep a serious face when you want to howl. Judicious use of a menacing “death stare” is often helpful. Must demand nothing less than perfection to achieve the desired result of “hella good.” Must be able to treat the pressure cooker like it’s your happy place. Note: if you do all of this successfully, you will be given even more of it to do.
- Getting a nickname like “Bubbles”
- Gaining the flexibility that comes from patting yourself on the back for jobs well done
- Getting within less than 1% of estimated budget
- Saving the team from impending peril
- Forging lifetime friendships
- Collaborating on ground-breaking creative work
- Hanging with the cool kids
- Sometimes even being the cool kid