As of lunchtime today, I'm officially between agencies. At least until Monday morning, when I turn up for work as the 'new boy'.
I've now been in PR for longer than I was in journalism, and think I'm finally getting used to it. I've been lucky enough to have worked with some AMAZING people doing really cool stuff. It's been a blast.
So what have I learnt about agency life in the last eight years?
You should... Keep hold of the good people.
I've been fortunate to work with some of the same colleagues and clients across two different agencies. When you find people that you gel with and whose work is brilliant, you're going to want to do everything you can to work with them as much as possible.
You should... Respect people because it's a small, small world.
People move agencies. Journalists join agencies. Agency people go in house. Clients join agencies. You're going to see everyone again in some capacity, even if it's just at an industry event. The way you treat people will be paid back to you 10 times over.
You should... Deal with it if things get intense. This is normal.
We underestimate the pressure we're under every day, because we got used to it ages ago. Long hours, short deadlines, multiple different relationships to manage, and fast-moving trends are going to take their toll. Sometimes things are awful. Tomorrow they will be brilliant.
You should... Ask questions (if they're stupid, even better).
I cannot think of one instance where people aren't going to appreciate being asked a question, even if you think it's a stupid one. Questions mean you give a toss, and want to improve. Nobody knows everything and we're all in this together, so let's share some of that knowledge, OK?
You should... Have fun.
This is the most important rule. If you're enjoying your work, you'll be doing your best work. Agencies sell their people, and people having no fun have a lot less value than those that are. Mess about in the office. Be noisy if everyone is quiet. It's not slacking, it's *business critical*.
See you on the other side.