Today marks the day when I decided last month to leave behind a comfortable living for a high-paced,
sometimes always stressful agency job. Jumping from being a recent graduate to managing accounts worth a few good millions is high pressure, my friends. So, here are some of my humble observations.
You have been warned.
Jack of All Trades: Forget what they said about being an expert at one niche. Sure, I was a social media expert (Well, I still am). But when you work in a digital marketing agency, you work as a team player and when your team falls short, you are expected to rise up. So a social media expert one day will be wiping the tears of the account manager the next day. No, really. You have to help your team out. Take that extra Photoshop class to help guide the graphic designer, be prepared to teach the intern how to Hootsuite and also don’t be afraid to tell the sales team how to deliver a kick-ass pitch.
You Can Never be Too Creative: The best part about working in any agency is pushing the boundaries. So let the realms of your imaginations do a backflip and a cartwheel (or you know, whatever). Search engine is a powerful tool for idea generation (ehm, ehm) but reading, living, drinking, having crazy life experiences and being yourself are too. Speak loudly and proudly of the oddest idea in brainstorming sessions. You know why? Because there will be some other weirdo in the room who’s going to stand up and say: You know what, guys? She’s right. Redbull does gives you wings. #Flawless.
The Customer is Always Right or Your Boss is: Account Management has a lot to do with keeping the client happy and keeping the company happy too. Well, that’s a digital marketing agency for you. Whatever role you play, be it a web development role or a digital strategy role, you’ll always have to remember what you serve must please the two dysfunctional parents in your life. If your client isn’t happy but your boss is, you’ll lose the account. If your boss is happy but your client isn’t, you’ll re-do the work. Find the perfect harmony by communicating and integrating what your boss loves, the client loves and what you’re proud of presenting. Good luck, bro.
Grow a Thick Skin, Pronto: You will fail and it will break you. There are a lot of times when you will be criticized or your work will be rejected (even the work you think is your best work till date). But we have two choices in life, and I am guilty of taking the first one, also known as sulking like a pro. But honestly, let them push you (within reasonable means). A beautiful vase is only created after a beating to amateur clay. You can do better, you can be better and you can produce better. A little “I don’t like this tagline” shouldn’t bring you down.
It’s Not What You Think, It’s So Much Better: Ah, if only I could shoot down a glass of whiskey or have sex with someone named Don Draper. Or actually, if I could be Don Draper. Nope. Digital Marketing Agencies are not like Mad Men, we do not have a large team performing sexual intercourse in their cabins (Oh, I wish), we don’t have a tray of alcohol floating around or women in stylish clothing. But we do have
sexy somewhat sexy nerds that produce content that tries to push the boundaries of traditional marketing. We have a deadline to deliver real value to the client and we have great pay. Did I mention great pay? Hello, Prada Bag. I am coming for you.