Variety Is the Spice of (Agency) Life

Jenn Robison
Jenn RobisonThursday, April 22, 2021
a bunch of different colored pencils

Working at an agency is an experience like none other, and while we absolutely love it, we recognize that it’s unique and not everyone is cut out for it. And not every agency is the same! But when people ask me what I love about working at an agency, there are a few things that immediately come to mind, but chief among them is Variety.

Clients engage us for a variety of different reasons such as code audits, mentoring and coaching, greenfield projects, and team augmentation, to name a few. We also get to work on a wide variety of projects and technologies, which keeps things interesting for each of us. We are never bored, and we learn and grow a lot. We share our expertise, we hone our skills with the technologies we already know, and we learn technologies we’re less familiar with. The projects are each so different, so we’re learning new businesses and with each, we see how what we’re doing drives value for our client. As I said, we’re never bored.

The flip side to all this variety is that things are dynamic, and we don’t always set the cadence or schedule for projects. Clients’ needs or budgets can shift, which quickly impacts what we’re working on. That can be jarring for some, which is one of the reasons agency life isn’t for everyone. But that’s also why we get hired — we’re brought in on an as-needed basis and when those needs change, we adjust accordingly. Coming from a corporate experience it can be a little jarring but likely it’s hitting on one of the reasons you have flirted with the idea of agency life. In corporate life, you are often moving at a much slower and controlled cadence in a project and may find a lot of bureaucracy along the way. While you are in the corporate world, we often get frustrated with this, but when you leave that environment and join the agency world, it may feel like you don’t have the same guardrails in place, making things feel a bit disorganized for those not used to this. It can take time to adjust and it is not for everyone, but for me personally I have found this to be very refreshing once I gave it some time. This means, like business problems we are trying to solve, we must approach the change with an open mind. Depending on how long you have worked in the corporate environment it may take longer to adjust, and as I said, it is not for everyone; this is something that only you will know.

I now look forward to the excitement of “What will today bring?" I never know what cool new business problems I will get the opportunity to solve. One day it may be healthcare technology, the next online greeting cards; whereas when I worked in corporate, every single day was about manufacturing and not nearly as interesting.

Would you enjoy the variety of agency life?

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