When I tell people that I work for a digital marketing agency, I’m sure they envision a version of the scenarios below:
Perception of what you do, versus what you actually do are two completely different things. For most of us, our time isn’t spent sipping martinis and developing large-scale ad campaigns for major B2C brands. Realistically, we’re all juggling many tasks and clients, trying to do the best work that we can.
While working for a top tier agency like TopRank Marketing is hard work, it also offers some incredibly rewarding opportunities. As someone that has been fully ingrained in agency life for many years, I’d like to shed a light on five lessons I’ve learned that have helped me not only survive but thrive in an agency environment.
#1 – Love What You Do
I really enjoy the work that I do. It’s exciting, challenging and ever changing. If you’re not passionate about your career, it can be incredibly difficult to get through the tough days. If the following apply to you, chances are you might love what you do and not even know it:
- The work days fly by in an instant.
- Even when you’re in the weeds, you can step back and remind yourself of the end goal.
- You constantly push yourself to be better.
- Recruiting friends and acquaintances to join your team is a no-brainer.
- You take immense pride in your work.
#2 – Welcome Feedback
It doesn’t matter who you are, there is always more to learn. And while accepting critical feedback can sometimes be a challenge, it will make you a better marketer.
I am fortunate to work with a group of incredibly talented individuals, with varying skills. An essential part of growing is to accept feedback in stride, and even seek it out. By being open to different perspectives and approaches, you’ll begin evolving your approach and will find that your creativity and efficiency don’t suffer, you’ll actually become more thoughtful about the work that you do.
#3 – Take an Interest in Your Teammates
We spend the vast majority of our waking hours at work surrounded by the people we work with. You’ll find that there are people you connect with more than others, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, make an effort to get to know something interesting about each person that you work with. By forming a connection you can better empathize with your teammates needs and identify the best way for you to work together either individually or in a group.
Many agencies offer personality assessments for their employees as a way to discover the best way to work as a team. These assessments can be incredibly helpful in understanding the perspective of other teammates.
There will undoubtedly be times where they need your help and you need theirs. There is no shortage of work to do at an agency and when it comes down to it, a strong relationship with your fellow employees can be the deciding factor in their willingness to help you out of a tough spot.
#4 – Know When to Ask for Help
Don’t ever let your pride get in the way of doing your best work. The truth is that we all experience times when we’re overwhelmed and feel that we have too much to do. And if you try to “do it all” important tasks eventually begin to fall through the cracks.
Asking for help doesn’t mean that you’ve failed, it actually is a sign that you’re aware of what’s on your plate and know that there is a distinct possibility that you won’t be able to deliver everything that you’ve been given. By stepping up and communicating to your supervisor or your team that you need help, you can reset expectations and focus on the most important aspects of your job.
#5 – Own Your Failures
We all make mistakes, it’s part of human nature. However, it can be difficult to admit defeat and own it. There is nothing wrong with admitting defeat as long as you can articulate what you learned from the experience.
Your failures can also be an incredible learning experience for the rest of the team. Discussions that might not have otherwise happened can occur and help the team problem solve and grow together.
Learn to Thrive in an Agency Environment
Everyone will have a slightly different mix of ways that they approach agency life. Personally, I have found that the steps above have made me a happier and more successful digital marketer.
Instead of getting overwhelmed by the mountains of work in front of you, consider incorporating the advice above to work your way toward thriving in your agency environment.
Now I wouldn’t be taking my own advice if I didn’t ask you (the readers) for your top tips on thriving in an agency environment. Please feel free to share in the comments below!