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Setting Your Sights on Other Agencies

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Summary: Everyone can’t work in an advertising agency. Even after performing well and putting your best efforts to achieve your agency’s goal you may sometime feel uncomfortable with the career opportunities of your agency. In such situation it is always advisable to explore your options. You cannot achieve anything without moving forward. Your forward movement not only offers advancement but it also provided motivation to become the best at work.

What if you find that you really do not want to stay at your first agency? Or that it would be a wise career move not to stay there? Then you have to start looking at other agencies. Just as you did to find a job in an agency the first time around, you will have to begin researching area agencies all over again because agencies can change drastically in just six months. If you are willing to move out of the area, you may want to expand your research into agencies in other locations. It all depends on what you want from another agency that you are not getting from your present agency.

The fortunate part is that you will have a basis of comparison once you have been with an agency long enough to evaluate whether it is the right one to commit to or not. If not, be sure you know exactly why. Is it too small and does not give you enough challenge in the kind of clients it handles? Or is it too small to allow you to move into higher levels of more responsibility? Is it so large that you feel like you are getting lost in the crowd? Is the atmosphere un supportive, or is it stifling your growth or creativity? Knowing what you do not want and what you do want in your next agency will help you zero in on exactly the right place for you. Of course, you may not find out for sure if an agency is right for you just through your research. You will not know until you begin interviewing for the your next position.

Unless your present agency is really unbearable, do not change agencies just to make a lateral move into the same position. And do not take a cut in salary. Switching agencies and jobs becomes an important part of your career history. Future employers will wonder why you accepted less money. They might assume that you had a problem with your former agency. If it is at all possible, you want your resume to reflect upward movement and career progress. That means moving to another agency, taking on more responsibility and making more money, but with the same title as your previous job, ask your new employer to be to consider changing your job title. For instance, if you had the tide of graphic designer at your last agency and are moving to a new agency as a graphic designer supervising other designers, ask if there is an art director. If there is and your new employer is resistant to having a second art director, ask if you could be given the tide of assistant art director. If not, go for senior graphic designer or supervising designer or managing designer anything that would appear to be a step up on your resume. And try to be just as conscientious with your salary, too. Even if it is only an increase of five hundred or a thousand dollars, be sure that you are going into a new job at a higher salary level than your previous job.

Leaving agency work completely

What do you do if you discover that working in an ad agency is just not where you want to be right now? Instead you find that your thoughts and interests are being drawn somewhere else. Perhaps one of the companies your agency handles holds greater attraction for you as a place to work than the agency does. Maybe you still want to do advertising, marketing, or design work, but you want to do it someplace other than an ad agency. Maybe you find yourself fascinated by the editing process each time you get to work on a client's television commercial in a video production studio. Or it could be that you cannot stop thinking about how terrific it would be to work in a college publications or public relations office. No matter what it is that you find yourself dreaming about, it is important to explore the feelings behind the dreams.

Working in an advertising agency is not for everyone. And if in spite of all your best efforts, you just cannot warm up to it, then it is time to begin exploring your options. Throughout this book I have spotlighted positions available outside of agency work. Take the time to go back through and read all of those Focus boxes again that talk about alternatives to agency work. The difficult part to accept when someone is going through the soul searching process of exploring alternatives is that many people begin to feel guilty. This is especially true if they have spent years going to school to earn a degree or certificate. But the fact is, for most people, it is not advertising they are rejecting or even their chosen specialty; it is the agency work that they are not suited to.

If you find yourself facing this kind of guilt, keep in mind that guilt is an albatross that will keep you stuck in place. Nothing can ever be accomplished when there is no movement forward. Forward movement in your career involves not only advancement upward, but also the motivation to become the best you can be for yourself. And that takes commitment, interest, excitement, and involvement in what you are doing each day. If you hate to come into work every day because the environment in an agency is a vexation to your spirit, but you love the work you do, then change your environment. If you can find a supportive and enjoyable environment that you love in a place other than an ad agency, that combination of loving where you are and loving what you do is exactly what you need to assure your future happiness and success.
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