Of working in advertising agency

A lot of people think that working in advertising agency is cool, is fun, is……*fill in the blanks*

Which is kinda true, at times.

Today, let me tell you the how working in an agency is like, specifically, in Account Service department.

First of all, agency is a really really tough environment. It is NOT as glamorous as you might think it would be. But one thing, it is fun. Really. Although it’s hard and tiring, it’s fun, and I don’t know why, but from 3 agencies I’ve had worked with previously, I always find the people interesting and really fun to be with, which is good, as you need fun people and environment to release the work stress.

Secondly, working hour. Yes, agencies do have official working hour like other companies. Usually it will be 8-9 hours per day. But, believe me, it won’t happen. Wait, it does happened, once in awhile. Most of the time, you will be working around the clock, sometimes until wee hours in the morning.

I’m not saying that everyone who works in an agency will have to work around the clock. There’s exception for those in Administration or Finance departments, and sometimes Marketing. But for Account Service and Creative team? Forget it. I literally had almost no social life when I was still working in agencies.

Client Servicing team is the punching bag in an agency. You got scolded from North East South West Up Down. Superior, Creatives, Clients,….you could get scolded/shouted at by them. Maybe mostly are from clients. Most clients are nasty, if you asked me. I’m not saying that there are no nice clients out there. There are! And I’ve experienced a few of them. But some are just plain nasty. How nasty you asked? Well, sometimes they expect too much from us and pay peanuts, did way too many revisions, couldn’t make up their mind, and what pisses me off at times is when they keep on rushing us for artworks and they keep on saying “It’s urgent! It’s urgent!” and after we had rushed the artworks and finally sent them, they took their sweet time to give approval, and on some rare occasions, they keep it on hold.

And I thought you said it’s urgent?

Some people think Accounts team’s work is nice. We got to meet lots of different people from both small and big companies. Well, what I can say is if you’ve never worked in an advertising agency before, you will never know how it feels like.

But please don’t be afraid of working at agencies just because I’m saying this, alright? This is just my personal views and opinions. Of course there are advantages of working in an agency, such as: you got to network with lots of people which will be useful in the future, you learned how to deliver excellent service for client, how to keep on smiling (or putting a fake smile) although you are hella pissed off (including when you are talking on the phone), how to think and solve problems quickly, how to deal and communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and levels, etc. These are just some of them, which can be applied to any job in any industries out there.

There were times I regretted of studying Mass Comm, there were times I felt like creating a voodoo doll of my client, there were times I threw out the F words cos of depression, there were times I felt happy from the satisfaction of completing a project and saw the smile or big grin on client’s face.

Good and bad, working in agencies played a role in shaping me to who I am today, until I (and my last Account Manager) realized that I am just not that suitable to work in an advertising agency 🙂

It’s time to move to the next step and hopefully I will be able to land on something I’m really good at soon 🙂

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