But is the grass really always greener?
When working in the communications industry, you’re often asked the same question – ‘in-house or agency?’, and for many the answer will be a no-brainer.
But while both parties will defend their camps, they may be secretly curious as to whether they are missing something on the other side, and if the grass could be greener. Some will jump ship, while others will remain strong and avoid moving too far out of their comfort zone.
For me, starting in-house allowed me to learn how to align communications strategies with defined business goals. I was able to become an expert in complex market sectors and thoroughly understand the company’s target audience. I could see the full spectrum of work and how it all came together under the banner of ‘Marketing’ from market research, to relationship management and digital marketing to internal communications.
Life in-house, I feel, prepared me for my switch to an agency that is fast-moving, full of variety and most importantly, creative. Where I was previously restricted by corporate brand guidelines and ‘internal politics’, agency life is almost a breath of fresh air. I have the opportunity to bring a new perspective and approach to a client problem or challenge and can let my creative juices flow.
In reality, agency life isn’t for the faint-hearted, you’re managing client expectations and juggling deadlines. But the exposure to how challenging industries work and gaining insight into many different sectors is rewarding. The feeling when you secure coverage for any client is one worth holding onto and remembering. But for others the structure, reliability and specialisation of in-house work can be a comfort too.
In the end, each individual’s preference will come down to personality, working style and career aspirations. Some will stick to one side for most of their career, while others will jump between the two.
Looking back on the last six months since joining Stand Agency, I can honestly say I’m continuing to love agency life. Each day brings something new and I am often challenged, but in a good way.
As for making the leap to one or the other, I would encourage others to do so. It makes for an interesting and positive change of pace. It’s good to step outside of your comfort zone and I for one, haven’t looked back.
Sarah is a Senior Account Executive at Stand Agency and is Stand’s resident ‘list queen’.
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