Do smaller agencies typically equate to less politics and stress? Been working with top brands / agencies for years. I’m burnt out and need something 9-5 that is less stressful. Is there such thing?

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As I own a small agency, but worked at a big one previously, I will tell you you’re less of a cog in the wheel. There’s some stress because every agency wants to deliver the best work. However since most small agencies are privately owned, the owner, not a holding company, sets the tone and expectations. Interview with small agencies. You may be happier

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Well... in my experience smaller agencies still have politics and stress, it is just “different” politics and stress. I swear I don’t think an ad agency can run without it (for some Godforsaken reason).

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MUCH LESS!!! 😀

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In my experience, you’ll never find an agency without politics & stress. Politics are a little different at small agencies because you know everyone who works there (not some mystery person up the chain). With 9-5 it can be hit or miss & just depends on the culture of the agency. Where I started it was about 40 ppl in chi & literally no one was there before 9:15 & it cleared out before the stroke of 5. My theory is it’s just the kind of clients small agencies are likely to have (smaller clients with less young go-getters so everyone is more likely to have kids/a family & holds the work hours more sacredly, just a theory though & not always the case).

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There is such a thing. In smaller markets, the work and your salary can suffer, but you live more and stress less. If you have big brand/big agency experience those small market agencies will treat you like a queen. Plus, I’ve noticed all age ranges are represented more equally as the reverence for talent and experience trumps youth.

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Consider going client side

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I’ve worked for large network agencies and also little regional shops as well as big global brands and little regional clients. In my experience, politics is kind of a roulette. I worked at one small shop where the leadership were the nicest people I’ve met in this business, and where there was no politics at all. I also worked at another medium sized independent shop with regional clients and the CEO was a fucking psychopath and the agency was a miniature version of Game of Thrones. At both of those places it was pretty 9-5 though (except maybe during pitches, but it was much easier than at network agencies). If you have big city and or network experience, most little agencies will treat you like a celebrity and will listen to you a lot more.

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Small agencies are like small towns - expect more politics and less diversity.

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I left big for small, and although everyone is gone by 5, the politics are worse. Everyone is cliquey and it feels like high school.

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Nope

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another thing about small agencies u get to wear alot of hats, so you'll find yourself doing everyone else's job at some point.

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