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How To Survive Your 1st Agency Job

Posted by Kirsten Agnello-Dean on Jul 25, 2016 12:00:00 PM
Kirsten Agnello-Dean


Working with an agency is a little different than freelancing; surviving is about so much more than just showing up to work and getting the project done. You'll need these tips to help you survive your 1st agency job.


Start with the Important Tasks

It can be easy to get swept up in everything that has to be done in an agency job, but before you ever arrive to the office, make a plan about how your day is going to go. What is the most important task? Forego your morning emails, other than urgent inbox messages (or getting online to start secondary research or tasks) until you take care of the important tasks you know need to be done first.


Use Reminders and Alarms

If you'll be meeting with a client, have a deadline, or have other important tasks coming up, remember to set a reminder or alarm to alert you ahead of time. Whether it's a half-hour or 15 minutes before, a quick reminder will make sure you don't miss meetings, get a last-minute call about a client's arrival, or miss an important deadline.


Try Not To Double Book

Speaking of important meetings...when working on several projects for different departments and brands, make sure you don't double book yourself.

Even if you see your bosses double dipping on meeting time, don't follow their lead. Be a better person and keep your schedule under control.


Master the Art of Multi-Tasking

You may have to multitask; if you have two projects due around the same time, you might want to work half the day on one and half on the other, so you don't fall behind on either.

Unsure what account or project should be your priority? Ask your supervisior or Account Manager.


Don't Eat All the Candy

Agencies are full of perks that help their creatives work longer, faster, and harder. They're often housed in large city buildings with retail amenities in the bottom, in addition to meeting rooms being full with candy, free sodas in the kitchen, and even a snack cart that comes around everyday at 3pm. These perks are helpful and fun, but keep a watchful eye on your wallet and your waistline.


Get Up From Your Desk

We've all heard how the average American sits too much. Make it a goal to get up often and flex those muscles.

Have a tight deadline and have to stay at your desk? Try these simple exercises and tips.


Avoid Burnout

Job burnout is very real, especially in an agency setting. There are many things happening all the time, and you might get overwhelmed by the amount of work that's available.

While you may not be able to turn down work as a junior creative, you can make sure to balance your workload. Always put your own work first before you help colleagues with theirs. Know when your deadlines are, and make sure you're working efficiently.


Keep Building Your Portfolio

It's hard to remember to keep samples of your work when the projects are flying around, but don't forget to take time to save important pieces you've worked on. Agencies are ripe with big brand name clients, so you'll want to get permission to include them in your portfolio.

Take screen shots and save files of things you create on and offline.

Pro Tip from our Social Media Manager Kirsten Agnello-Dean: Keep a working portfolio on sites like Pinterest if you're working on web projects.


Agency work can be fun and rewarding with the right attitude!

If you're ready to look for your first agency job or want to look for other jobs in your field, you can find one with us at Artisan Talent.

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Whether you're starting out or want to move to a new company, we can help with your next ideal career move. Learn more about partnering with Artisan here.

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