Tuesday, November 09

An accidental career


"Jon Steel", said Sir Martin Sorrell, at Forum Media, "is the best account planner on the planet". I'm not sure how many people in the audience knew the name. Some may have read one of his books. But I was probably the only other person in the room who could count Jon Steel as a work colleague. He was at BMP when I arrived there in 1987. Unfortunately for me, I didn't work on the same clients as him, and he left soon afterwards, and his new job raised many eyebrows; he was moving to San Francisco to be the planning director of a new creative hotshop, Goodby Berlin & Silverstein. It's fair to say no one predicted just how successful he would become, because at BMP he was just one of so many equally brilliant planners. As it turns out, he probably agrees with that. On the WPP site, he has written a modest and charming account of his unplanned career. It shows us that, especially when you are younger, it may not be necessary to plan your career too rigidly; that your career is not dictated at all by your academic qualifications; and that sometimes life will just throw opportunities at you, which you should grab, and be grateful for.

Enjoy his story here.

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