Lessons Learned From the Agency Life

-By Gabrielle Liner

A snowy downtown Asheville – picture taken by Gabrielle Liner

Before The Daniels Group, I worked for an advertising agency in downtown Asheville.

I remember stepping into the office nervous and excited to begin my professional career in the beautiful mountain town I love. I started as a lowly ‘account support’ making coffee every morning (and most afternoons – like any true agency). In two years, I worked myself up to account coordinator and then eventually to traffic, social, and account manager. My time at the agency was fast-paced, ever-changing, and a definite growing experience.

Below are just a few lessons I learned during my time there (and these are lessons I continue to grow in daily):

#1 Ask Questions

Every student had the teacher who repeatedly declared “No question is a stupid question.”  But even with that mantra thrown at you daily, it’s still hard to jump the hurdle and ask something you think everybody else knows.

It could lead to an embarrassing situation.

But even if the question might be embarrassing at the time, it’ll only get harder to ask the longer you wait. And sometimes it can be the opposite of embarrassing.  Questions let your supervisors and teammates know you are actively listening and thinking through things.

Questions can also spark new ideas and lead to changes in established processes that need some improvement.

(Of course, I must note – Things change when dealing with established clients.  If you’re about to ask your client a question about their company/industry that you think you should already know – Wait and do your research first!)

#2 Don’t Just Assume

It’s easy to go through the daily motions of work making assumptions that might lead you down the wrong road.

For instance:

You might assume certain specifications to a vague project your client gives you.

You might assume your team member is handling something you casually mentioned to them in the hallway.

You might assume a prospect/client remembers a meeting you scheduled with them a month ago.

Again, ask questions, clarify, and send confirmations to make sure you’re assuming correctly.

#3 Prioritize

Almost any job out there will have days (or many days) where there’s more on your plate than you can realistically accomplish in the timeline required.

If you’re constantly in that boat, talk with your supervisor and figure out what tasks need the most immediate attention and come up with a game plan.

#4 Think Big Picture

When you’re in the middle of a huge project or swamped with emails, it can be easy to lose focus on the actual purpose of the project you’re working on or the goals you’ve established for the day.

Always remember to stop and reflect on what you’re doing and why it’s important.  Sometimes the little detail you’ve been spending hours on is not as critical as you may think… or maybe it is, but you’ve been looking at it all wrong.

#5 Keep Calm and Carry On

Many agencies tend to dramatize mistakes.  If a mistake occurs, it feels as if the world is coming to an end!

Always remember that tomorrow is a new day.

Don’t stay up at night rewinding situations that could have gone better – or wishing you could change a situation that can’t be changed.  Instead, focus on what you can do to make tomorrow a better day for you and your team.

Gabrielle Liner is Account Representative for The Daniels Group in Asheville, NC. The Daniels Group is a communications company with the tools and knowledge to help you grow your business.  You can reach Gabrielle at (828) 277-0704 or gliner@danielsgraphics.com.