Friday, September 4, 2009

How to Succeed at an Agency

Dear Students,

At the end of “Back to School” week I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on my career thus far, and provide my two cents of what it takes to succeed in an Agency, and specifically how to succeed in your first year.

1.Be engaged. This doesn’t mean listening, taking notes, or going through the motions. You should be deeply engaged in what you are doing – understand the urgency of a project, and be ready and willing to share thoughts, ideas and provide solutions to roadblocks along the way or at the very least offer an opinion. People want to work with other people who get their problems, and want to solve them. Show them you are invested in the success of the project.

2.Build a network. And invest in it. Everyone will tell you that building strong client relationships is the cornerstone of a successful career in Account management. But in your first year, building your internal network is as important if not greater. Identify the people you will need to rely on to get your job done, and invest time in actually building relationships with these people. When people like you they are willing to go that extra mile to help make you look good. And when your network does pull through and save you from missing a deadline by working all night or putting in the extra mile, be diligent about recognizing their effort, and sharing your appreciation with their boss.

3.Be an expert. Be relevant to your team and firm by being a subject matter expert – whether it is on the newest trends in social media, or your clients category, or competitive. Own something that your team will find valuable and share this knowledge. You will become indispensible.

4.Be eager. Don’t just be a sponge in your first 6 months – be eager to immerse yourself in the agency, and your clients business. Volunteer to help with new business – it will show you are committed to the success of the agency and give you profile with leaders within the organization.

Finally – enjoy your time. This is a unique point in your career – the beginning. You have the opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to everything you do, and you will also learn a lot about yourself.

Good luck and have fun.


Guest writer KB

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