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What’s Next?

What’s Next?

Michael Carnevale

Michael Carnevale

January 14, 2019

Finding the career that’s right for you.

"Flexibility is essential, as well as the opportunity to grow as an individual."

Dan Gregory, Creative Director at Havas People, tells us how a new campaign for British retailer Next is helping millennials and Gen Z find their career paths.

 

When should a young person start thinking about his or her career?

It’s difficult to put an age on this, as it depends on the individual—and there’s also the tension between encouraging and putting pressure on a young person.

That question: What do you want to be when you grow up? An impossible, narrowing, pigeonholing, and committal question. Surely, no one knows exactly what they want to be. Yes, when we’re younger we want to be astronauts, film stars, and ice cream sellers (OK, maybe that’s just me).

But what about all the other options that we don’t know about—the jobs that don’t even exist yet, and the jobs that you just fall into, like many people do, if you ask them? What do you want to do? That makes more sense. It opens it up and is easier to think about at a younger age: something creative, innovative, altruistic, status-driven, wealth-related, or fame-oriented. It could be anything. You’ll find your inspiration and your interests, whether from a person, event, place, or even a song. It could come from anywhere, so keep an open mind and be a sponge to everything around you.

I asked my two boys Charlie, who is seven, and Jamie, who is five, what they want to do when they are older. Their answer: “Don’t know, can we get a Match Attax Tin?” Guess they are too young.

You’ll know when it’s right to start thinking about it. It may be when you are choosing subjects to study, choosing a degree, the final year of education or, like me, when you are skiving off in the art room.

What makes a job opportunity attractive to a teenager or someone in his or her early 20s?

More than any generation—even more than millennials—Gen Z is excited by progressive, considerate companies. Flexibility is essential, as well as the opportunity to grow as an individual.

What was the goal of this campaign for the British retailer Next?

It’s a very noisy market, so it had to work hard. The goal was to promote the trainee scheme so graduates would want to join NEXT, showcasing all the brilliant things that happen there. To promote their culture and employment opportunities, we created a playful and interactive campaign that allowed users to explore the content when and where they wanted.”

Tell us about some of the insights that your team unveiled about the target audience?

Our digitally native, fashion-conscious audience have grown up in the world of ASOS, Lyst, Boohoo, and Farfetch. They might not think of NEXT, but rather see it as a safe, high-street chain. People have a eureka moment when they discover how cutting edge and innovative Next is.

"It’s not always an obvious role, company, or choice that might be perfect for you, just try things."

Breakdown how this campaign was designed and executed.

Walk This Way is a hugely ambitious and collaborative project, born from the desire to give graduates a compelling way to discover work, life, and play in a way that’s worth sharing and, dare I say, kinda cool. It comes from the employer brand position, “What’s Next?,” which we developed with Next. This campaign aims to give some answer to it.

We wanted to film all of this rather than using retouch or CGI, so we scratched our heads a lot and questioned our sanity. It wouldn’t have happened without the brilliantly talented people at Next.

It was created using over 1,000 Next products, each painstakingly positioned to create 204 separate images, which subsequently became 204 posts on Instagram. The shooting set collectively stretched longer than two articulated lorries. Then we planned, crafted, and curated every single image over the period of five days (and nights) in the studio at Next HQ. There were thousands of props, hundreds of adjustments, and dozens of people involved, including the poor soul who had to put the shoes back in the boxes when we’d finished.

To make the experience even more personalized, we color-coded different business areas as well. So if you were interested in IT roles, all you had to do was scroll through the brochure and search for the posts with blue discs.

And we weren’t done there, either. We then created content to go behind every post, giving

students the opportunity to digest bite-size videos, images, stories, facts, and cultural insights when they wanted. To add a little bit of gamification, we included a few hidden treasures, too. We all had square Instagram eyes by the end of it. Happy, square Instagram eyes.

Why the execution of this campaign on Instagram?

It was a no-brainer. It’s the most popular channel for our audience; we can measure it and update it. It allows us the right level of creative impact, authenticity, and inspiration—a platform that allows the user to dip in and out of content, digest the posts that strike a chord, and scroll past those that don’t interest them. Also, really important to me and Next, there is no landfill.

The results?

100K impressions. 50K IG Story tap forwards. 66K IG Story impressions. 1,529 followers since launch in September.

Why is Havas People uniquely qualified to craft this campaign?

We specialize in this. We help brands “show up” to attract and retain brilliant, young, and experienced talent. We’ve won loads of awards for it, too.

What advice would you give to the young professional who doesn’t know which direction to take in his or her career?

Don’t sweat it; you will find your way, eventually. Don’t settle for something that makes you miserable, but equally don’t think anything is beneath you. I’ll proudly say, I’ve done some pretty terrible jobs, and that is all part of developing. Be open-minded, research, go to careers fairs, be curious, and find work experience. It’s not always an obvious role, company, or choice that might be perfect for you, just try things. If that doesn’t work, try something else.

Progressive employers are becoming more open to transferable skills and employ on values rather than specific qualifications, which means that you can change your mind beyond your qualification. If you are determined and persistent, you’ll do well. It’s as simple as that.

"Flexibility is essential, as well as the opportunity to grow as an individual."

Dan Gregory, Creative Director at Havas People, tells us how a new campaign for British retailer Next is helping millennials and Gen Z find their career paths.

 

When should a young person start thinking about his or her career?

It’s difficult to put an age on this, as it depends on the individual—and there’s also the tension between encouraging and putting pressure on a young person.

That question: What do you want to be when you grow up? An impossible, narrowing, pigeonholing, and committal question. Surely, no one knows exactly what they want to be. Yes, when we’re younger we want to be astronauts, film stars, and ice cream sellers (OK, maybe that’s just me).

But what about all the other options that we don’t know about—the jobs that don’t even exist yet, and the jobs that you just fall into, like many people do, if you ask them? What do you want to do? That makes more sense. It opens it up and is easier to think about at a younger age: something creative, innovative, altruistic, status-driven, wealth-related, or fame-oriented. It could be anything. You’ll find your inspiration and your interests, whether from a person, event, place, or even a song. It could come from anywhere, so keep an open mind and be a sponge to everything around you.

I asked my two boys Charlie, who is seven, and Jamie, who is five, what they want to do when they are older. Their answer: “Don’t know, can we get a Match Attax Tin?” Guess they are too young.

You’ll know when it’s right to start thinking about it. It may be when you are choosing subjects to study, choosing a degree, the final year of education or, like me, when you are skiving off in the art room.

What makes a job opportunity attractive to a teenager or someone in his or her early 20s?

More than any generation—even more than millennials—Gen Z is excited by progressive, considerate companies. Flexibility is essential, as well as the opportunity to grow as an individual.

What was the goal of this campaign for the British retailer Next?

It’s a very noisy market, so it had to work hard. The goal was to promote the trainee scheme so graduates would want to join NEXT, showcasing all the brilliant things that happen there. To promote their culture and employment opportunities, we created a playful and interactive campaign that allowed users to explore the content when and where they wanted.”

Tell us about some of the insights that your team unveiled about the target audience?

Our digitally native, fashion-conscious audience have grown up in the world of ASOS, Lyst, Boohoo, and Farfetch. They might not think of NEXT, but rather see it as a safe, high-street chain. People have a eureka moment when they discover how cutting edge and innovative Next is.

"It’s not always an obvious role, company, or choice that might be perfect for you, just try things."

Breakdown how this campaign was designed and executed.

Walk This Way is a hugely ambitious and collaborative project, born from the desire to give graduates a compelling way to discover work, life, and play in a way that’s worth sharing and, dare I say, kinda cool. It comes from the employer brand position, “What’s Next?,” which we developed with Next. This campaign aims to give some answer to it.

We wanted to film all of this rather than using retouch or CGI, so we scratched our heads a lot and questioned our sanity. It wouldn’t have happened without the brilliantly talented people at Next.

It was created using over 1,000 Next products, each painstakingly positioned to create 204 separate images, which subsequently became 204 posts on Instagram. The shooting set collectively stretched longer than two articulated lorries. Then we planned, crafted, and curated every single image over the period of five days (and nights) in the studio at Next HQ. There were thousands of props, hundreds of adjustments, and dozens of people involved, including the poor soul who had to put the shoes back in the boxes when we’d finished.

To make the experience even more personalized, we color-coded different business areas as well. So if you were interested in IT roles, all you had to do was scroll through the brochure and search for the posts with blue discs.

And we weren’t done there, either. We then created content to go behind every post, giving

students the opportunity to digest bite-size videos, images, stories, facts, and cultural insights when they wanted. To add a little bit of gamification, we included a few hidden treasures, too. We all had square Instagram eyes by the end of it. Happy, square Instagram eyes.

Why the execution of this campaign on Instagram?

It was a no-brainer. It’s the most popular channel for our audience; we can measure it and update it. It allows us the right level of creative impact, authenticity, and inspiration—a platform that allows the user to dip in and out of content, digest the posts that strike a chord, and scroll past those that don’t interest them. Also, really important to me and Next, there is no landfill.

The results?

100K impressions. 50K IG Story tap forwards. 66K IG Story impressions. 1,529 followers since launch in September.

Why is Havas People uniquely qualified to craft this campaign?

We specialize in this. We help brands “show up” to attract and retain brilliant, young, and experienced talent. We’ve won loads of awards for it, too.

What advice would you give to the young professional who doesn’t know which direction to take in his or her career?

Don’t sweat it; you will find your way, eventually. Don’t settle for something that makes you miserable, but equally don’t think anything is beneath you. I’ll proudly say, I’ve done some pretty terrible jobs, and that is all part of developing. Be open-minded, research, go to careers fairs, be curious, and find work experience. It’s not always an obvious role, company, or choice that might be perfect for you, just try things. If that doesn’t work, try something else.

Progressive employers are becoming more open to transferable skills and employ on values rather than specific qualifications, which means that you can change your mind beyond your qualification. If you are determined and persistent, you’ll do well. It’s as simple as that.

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