Thanksgiving Reflection: 5 reasons I'm thankful for the agency setting

Monday, November 16, 2015

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As we approach Thanksgiving and count our blessings, it’s a great time to not only reflect on our personal lives, but also on our professions. As I reflect on my own career, I realize the agency setting is so different than the atmosphere at my previous job with a corporation and I’m so thankful for the perks that accompany it.

I think most employees will agree the reasons they enjoy agency life the most are:

THE VARIETY OF WORK

In one day, you can wear many different hats, becoming knowledgeable in a variety of industries, some of which you never imagined. For example, I’ve gone from healthcare to construction to consumer product goods to restaurant marketing all within the course of a business day.

THE DIVERSITY OF TEAMS

Because client asks can widely differ, you never know what type of challenge will be presented. Sometimes the work requires a two-person team…sometimes a ten-person team. Since the team dynamic changes with each new job, you’re exposed to numerous work styles and personalities. Learning to adapt and efficiently work with various combinations of professionals will definitely serve you well in a business setting.

AN EXPANDED SKILL SET

Due to the variety of client requests, you end up acquiring skill sets that were never on your radar. While continuing to strengthen my core talents, I’ve also been pushed out of my comfort zone and have added capabilities in areas that are a far cry from my initial interests. For example, take HTML coding. I never set out to be a coding expert, but through a several-year client project, I became the point person for managing a website that required daily coding.

THE CREATIVE CULTURE

We are in the business of creativity, but also in the one of effective communications. The agency culture typically provides a nice balance between creative off-the-wall thinking and buttoned-up professionalism. We work hard, but also like to play hard. Within our agency, strong work and successful client outcomes lead to company-wide celebrations and inspiring out-of-the-office trips in pursuit of the next great idea.

FAST-FORWARD SPEED

My colleague has always said that working at an agency is like dog years. Essentially, your professional experiences add up so quickly due to the varied nature of the work. Working at an agency, you typically touch a greater collection of projects and subject matters than you would working in a traditional business setting at a corporation. Also, on this same token, your workload rarely stays the same for a prolonged period of time. It’s constantly changing a rapid speed.

These factors create a workplace atmosphere that is challenging, rewarding and motivating all at the same time. Of course, not every day at an agency is sunshine and roses, but this setting is more flexible than most, which brings me many reasons to be thankful.

Why do you gravitate toward agency life? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter via @IntrinzicSays.