For Labor Day, Carhartt Wants to Thank All the Rookies Who Are Learning the Ropes

Every career has to start somewhere

Your first day on the job is always memorable, but sometimes not for the best reasons. Carhartt
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Starting a new job is always a challenging experience: a work site of new people, tasks never before performed, and a whole new ecosystem to find your place in. Everyone has experienced that mix of confusion and excitement that comes with being a rookie.

As Labor Day approaches to recognize the hard-working Americans who make the economy run, Carhartt is releasing a new campaign that focuses on the rookies in the workforce.

Every job has its share of mistakes you only make once. Often these become bonding experiences with long-time workers, part of the process of becoming a weathered employee. Those experiences—and the ribbing plus occasional nicknames that come with them—are what Carhartt is choosing to focus on to encapsulate the rookie experience.

The unaccounted-for kinetic motion of an unsecured stack of boxes when a hand truck suddenly stops, the runaway cattle looking for a chase, or the dangers of keeping your footing on the dock are the learning moments that turn into bonding with coworkers.

“At Carhartt, we honor our 130-year history by treating every day like it’s Day 1, and that’s what inspired this campaign,” says Brian Bennett, vp of brand creative and executive producer at Carhartt. “We made it to remind ourselves to never stop thinking like that rookie on his first day on the job. To be hungry and brave in the
face of learning a new livelihood. I hope this campaign tells that nervous new kid or the guy one year away from retiring, don’t worry, Carhartt’s always got your back. And we couldn’t think of anyone better to help us tell it than Peter Berg.”

Berg is the mastermind behind this cinematic story played out over sixty seconds. Best known for his role as director on Friday Night Lights, which brought him two Emmys, many of Berg’s films and shows have focused on the blue-collar demographic that Carhartt caters to.

“Carhartt is a brand that speaks to me and outfits the people I’m obsessed with,” Berg says. “Their iconic patch is badge of honor for the very cultures that I’m so interested in exploring. The brand has done a good job of staying true to itself, understanding and respecting the working class. That’s something I try to do in my career…remember what really inspires me and those are these working class stories. Carhartt’s passion is real, it’s genuine, and it’s not motivated solely by commerce, which makes me a big believer in the brand.”

Carhartt has worked closely with SkillsUSA, Team Rubicon and Future Farmers of America to promote skilled work. With costs of college continuing to climb, these organizations remind young people that there are other pathways to successful careers through skilled work. This Labor Day, all Carhartt offices, retail stores and manufacturing centers will be closed. But there will still be people working, and considering it’s a holiday, it might be a lot of the rookies in the newest Carhartt jackets who are asked to cover.

Mitch Reames is a freelance writer based in southern Oregon. A 2017 graduate of the University of Oregon school of journalism and communications, Reames covers a wide range of industry topics including creativity, agencies, brands, esports and more.