When I tell people what I do, they visualize something along the lines of the infamous ‘Mad Men’. Where characters such as Don Draper stagger around the office, being yelled at by someone resembling Roger Sterling for not getting his coffee order right, somewhere adultery is commonplace, client meetings where everyone is half cut and a ruthless environment where everyone will do anything to get ahead. In reality, the rest of us in ad land know that it’s nothing like the dramatic script of ‘Mad Men’!
At the end of the day, ‘Mad Men’ embodies just about every stereotype from the 1960’s. In the present, we work full, (sometimes) exhausting and stressful days but they’re joyous ones. Where you have to ensure that current clients are happy, new businesses are pitched to, original ideas are created, storyboards are designed, ideas are sold, concepts are photographed and directing commercials are part of the norm.
After getting my first agency based job earlier this year within PR and Marketing, I decided it was time for a new challenge and to pursue a career within a creative agency. After passing Vivid a few times, I went onto their website to have a look. To my surprise there was a job that I was looking for – a Junior Account Executive. However, the post was a couple of weeks old and I was afraid that I had missed the opportunity.
Regardless, I sent my CV in as it looked like a brilliant opportunity and waited in hope. I had already made my mind up about Vivid during the initial interview and hoped that they felt the same. Not long after my second interview, I got the news I was hoping for, that I had got the job! I was slightly nervous and worried about the change in company and culture, but from the get go, everyone was incredibly friendly and welcoming.
The week has consisted of me getting to grips with the clients, learning about the accounts, learning about the different software and learning about the people that are at the core of Vivid. I’ve also been given my first ‘baby’, it’s going to be a challenging one but everyone is more than willing to help out and show me what’s what. So, I’ve been kept relatively busy during my first week and I’m looking forward to having a more hands on approach and liaising with clients.
What tips would I give for anyone considering a career in advertising or working within an agency?
- Watch how others work: Agency is hyper social and schmoozy, so social awareness and being able to read people is a vital skill to have. Most people have been with an agency for a number of years, they know what they’re doing and most important, they know what the client wants and how to get it done. Observing your fellow colleagues will help you to understand how to do the job and also gives you an idea of what will be expected of you.
- Go above and beyond: volunteer for jobs and exceed expectations. Professional Services isn’t for everybody, you have to provide a service to your clients where you either have to please a client or push the client. Regardless, you need to be motivated and remember that your clients needs come before your own. Approach every task with passion and tenacity.
- Don’t expect to work normal hours: Despite being given your ‘working’ hours when you initially sign your contract, these are by no means your set times. There have been many occasions where I have looked up from behind the computer to find it later than expected. There’s a lot of work, however it’s interesting and fun which means you hardly notice the time ticking away. Everyone loves their job, especially here at Vivid, you’ll find staff members happily staying behind until the work is done.
- Get to know everyone: Some agencies have separate floors for each department others share floors. Just because digital or admin are on a different floor, doesn’t mean that you can’t get to know them too. At the end of the day, each department must work cohesively to bring the client the best possible product. Similarly to your colleagues, clients also have their own quirks, it is important to build a relationship with both. There are two benefits from getting to know your colleagues, the first being that it will make it much easier to get work done and it will make work fun.
- Have fun: True, you’ll have to work incredibly hard, show commitment and passion for the role but ensure that you’re having fun whilst doing it. This is one of the most important tips, share a laugh or something personal, grab a drink or go out for lunch with your team. Be someone that other people want to be around. At the end of the day, these are the people that you are going to be spending the majority of your time with. They will become both your friends and your colleagues.
Even though I’ve not been here for that long, I’ve already learnt a fair amount and I can’t wait to learn more about the agencies systems whilst adding my own flair. I’ve also learnt about all things Vivid and the training in place to ensure that everyone’s knowledge progresses, so I can’t wait!
It’s a fun, dynamic and creative environment where everyone works together as a team and are always willing to help regardless of the workload they have. Working in an agency brings diversity, excitement and of course it’s a lot of hard work. The Vivid team has really made my first week a great experience and I hope that I have what it takes to be a long-term VividER.