Five Takeaways from My First Year of Agency Life

It’s hard to believe that it has been almost eight months since I started full time as an assistant account executive at Affect Strategies. Having only graduated this past May, I have not only learned a tremendous amount about PR and marketing, but have experienced the fast-paced and dynamic environment of an agency. Now, days into my new role as an account executive, I look back at some of the key lessons I have learned in my first year working at an agency:

  1. Maintain an upbeat attitude. While the agency environment can take some time to adjust to, it is important not to get lost in the moment. Even when stressed or under pressure, keep an optimistic, excited attitude. Not only will this improve the quality of your work, but it will have a positive affect on your relationship with coworkers and clients.
  2. Produce work that is “client ready.” Whether it’s a monthly report or a draft of an email, no assignment should leave your desk unless you are 100% sure that there are no errors. Taking the extra time to reread your work and check the formatting. This will prevent you from having to redo assignments and will show your supervisors that you can be trusted to communicate directly with clients.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. When starting a new job, and in my case my first job, it is natural to want to prove that you can handle projects on your own and to feel that asking questions will make you look incapable. However, this mindset doesn’t help you or your agency. Asking questions is something you will need to do throughout your career and shows your coworkers that you are dedicated to producing the best results possible.
  4. Focus on today’s priorities. With a to-do list a mile long, it is easy to get overwhelmed by assignments that are due later in the week or month. While it’s great to plan ahead, it is also important to realize that there is only so much that can get done in one day. Stressing about deadlines that are weeks away will distract you from focusing on the task on hand.
  5. Take initiative. Don’t let yourself be defined by your job title. Being the most inexperienced employee in the agency doesn’t mean you should sit around and wait for assignments and instruction. Instead, come to the table with your own recommendations and don’t be afraid to take advantage of opportunities beyond your job description.

Kaylen McNamara is an account executive at Affect Strategies. She joined our team as an intern in December 2008 and came on board as an assistant account executive upon the completion of her undergraduate degree in public relations at Quinnipiac University. Kaylen was promoted to account executive in February 2010. Congratulations, Kaylen!

3 Comments Five Takeaways from My First Year of Agency Life

  1. Katie Safrey

    Great advice Kaylen! So happy to have you as part of the team and watch you grow from intern, to AAE, to AE.

    You’ve learned and done so much since you’ve started at Affect, and I can only imagine where you’ll be by this time next year.

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