12 Tips To Survive In Agency Life - Ad Culture

12 Tips to Survive and Thrive in Agency Life

6 min read | Jun 8, 2022
 Stephen Pedder- Ad Culture By Stephen Pedder


It’s the one word that best describes what it’s like working at an advertising or marketing agency. 

You have to deal with many diverse clients, juggle your time to serve their needs, figure out the best way to keep things organized, and manage relationships with colleagues—all while trying to stay confident as you deal with wins and errors.

Agency life can be tough, but it’s also one of the most fun and creatively fulfilling industries to be in. So if you’re a stressed creative wondering how to navigate further down this journey, just hang in there! We’ll show you not just how to survive, but how to thrive in the marketing agency world with these 12 actionable tips:

1. Have a Positive Attitude

There’s always something new to learn every day. And that goes for everyone, new and seasoned employees alike. Whatever the task is, approach it with a good, positive attitude

If you make mistakes, learn from them. Don’t overstress or undersell yourself if you make them from time to time—they’re part of growing into the job! What’s important is that you keep learning and continue to hone your craft. This kind of attitude is one of the best assets you can bring to the table, so don’t underestimate it!

2. Build Relationships with Colleagues You Can Trust

Life is easier if you have friends—and agency life is no different. Build relationships with coworkers you can learn from and who can help bring out the best in you. Communicate often with people whose opinions you trust and value to elevate your agency experience. They will be your guiding light to become a better marketer and employee.

3. Figure Out When You’re Most Productive

Have you ever experienced staying up all night just to finish a project? It’s a painful, time-consuming process, especially if you work better during the day.

It’s important to figure out what time of day you are most productive, and it all starts with experimenting. You’ll find that working at those hours produces better results—after all, a few high-quality outputs are better than a ton of inferior ones. Just remember to stick to a healthy schedule! 

4. Don’t Always Let The Perfectionist Inside You Take Over

Being a perfectionist is both a gift and a curse. While this trait will come in handy throughout your agency experience, being too much of a perfectionist isn’t practical either. 

A great campaign that’s running and producing results is better than a perfect campaign that never gets released because the revisions to make it flawless are never-ending. 

5. Don’t Send Over Half-Baked Work

When the going gets tough, it’s tempting to quickly send out work just so you can tick a checkbox and clear your plate. But sending over half-baked work will only create more (unnecessary) work for other people and weighs on your reputation. If you aren’t proud to have your name on it, don’t put it out there just yet.

Don’t Send Over Half-baked Work - Ad Culture

6. Determine When You’ve Bitten Off More Than You Can Chew

It’s tempting to say “yes!” to everything when you’re in a new role or just starting out in your career. But if your plate is already filled with tasks, additional responsibilities will just overwhelm you and cause you to produce mediocre results. 

It’s better to say “no” instead of accepting tasks you can’t handle. Most, if not all managers, prefer you tell them in advance if you can’t do something or when your plate is full than have things get out of hand later. Be realistic about what’s achievable for you.

7. Don’t Forget to Add a Buffer

Some work can be done quickly, and some simply can’t. Or sometimes, we underestimate or overestimate a task. Easy or not, it’s a good idea to always give yourself a buffer or extra time at the outset of every project. After all, not everything is within your control, and it’s normal for things to go wrong sometimes. Organizing your schedule with some extra time to make necessary adjustments in between will make a huge difference. 

8. Slow Down

You can’t always be the best all the time or think of the brightest idea whenever you’re asked. And that’s alright—it’s all part of the agency experience. 

Working diligently is important, but being busy day and night isn’t a badge of honour—it’s a sign that you need to manage your time and thoughts better. Fixing your organizational skills and focusing on discipline in a way that doesn’t compromise your health will help prevent burnout from agency life in the future. 

9. Take Advantage of Lulls

The agency life may be hectic, but there are times when the race slows down, and the volume of work goes down a little. Recognize when these times come and take advantage of them so you can recharge and come back even better. Learning how to shift gears is important in navigating the agency life.

10. Always Be Curious

One of the best things about working at a marketing agency is that there is never a shortage of things to learn about—data analysis, problem-solving, project management, and website management are just a few of the elements you can dive into that will help you grow into a more competitive marketer. 

Try out new things, even if it’s nerve-wracking. You won’t know what you’re truly capable of if you only stick to the things you already know how to do!

11. Keep in Mind That Marketing Is Both Individual and Team Effort

You may have written that piece, but it shone more brightly because your editor polished it. Your campaign was successful because a group of talented individuals—your team— collaborated to make it happen. Your marketing agency’s good name is only as good as your collective work. 

12. Know Your Priorities

It’s hard to maintain—if not downright impossible—to maintain consistent levels of motivation all the time. When the lows come, it’s important to know your priorities. What really needs to get done first, and which tasks can be pushed back? 

Don’t forget to ask for help when you think you need it! Studies show employees who ask for help are able to accomplish their tasks more efficiently than those who don’t.  

Know Your Priorities - Ad Culture

Find Where You Belong with Ad Culture

Now that you’ve read these 12 tips on how to navigate agency life in order to elevate your agency experience, it’s time to find the right workplace that can bring out the best in you. 

With Ad Culture, a leading digital advertising recruitment firm, you can get hired by reputable companies looking for talented unicorns like you!

Contact us today so we can start looking for the company that requires your skills and strengthens your weaknesses. 

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