Has anyone ever been at an agency that went through really rough times (layoffs, lots of clients leaving, no new business) ?

It’s taking a toll on me.

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Yes. Pretty much everyone in this business from 2008-2012 experienced it.

likefunnyupliftingsmarthelpful

Yeah. It sucks and I would love to tell you it gets better but in my case it didn’t. I really loved the people there but I had to leave.

If you have a hobby outside the office, practice it even more. If you don’t have one, get one. That helped me manage the stress and emotional shit of being in a sinking ship.

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Currently. I’m on the “safest” account but that just adds pressure to do well. I feel like our team is keeping the lights on. I’m emotionally and physically drained all the time. I’m planning to leave agency life next year because it’s not worth the stress on my body.

likefunny

I tell younger creatives to expect to get laid off several times in your career. It just happens. Have a safety net in the bank if you can. It’ll make it less stressful

likeupliftingsmart

Agree with CD1 - and it’s only getting more unstable. You need nerves of steel and a good savings account for agency life these days. Or go in-house somewhere, which is probably the wisest move.

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Twice. It's actually a good opportunity to be a part of something new and grow within the "new agency". Hopefully they are laying off the right people, though. If you feel the struggles are due to people who are still there and are instrumental to the problem(s), then it might be time to jump ship.

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Yes my previous agency went through a few clients leaving us with no new biz wins. That means no money for anyone. 85% of the creatives have quit since March with non being replaced. I left immediately and couldn’t have been happier. Just get out. It takes a toll on your mental health. I was so miserable until I started my new job

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It’s a weird axiom of these moments that often it’s the worst people in management who survive which only fuels the death spiral.

likeupliftingsmart

I’m going through this very same cycle. It’s a downward spiral that’s killing me. Layoffs lead to more work...then low morale makes folks quit...more work...then clients leave...more pressure to bring in new business...sinking...performance tanks...confidence declines...Job hunting...

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If the issues are due to people who are surviving the layoffs, get out of there.

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At my previous agency, we went through that. It was ugly. It doesn’t get better. When new management comes in, they clean house for anyone who survived. If they don’t, expect continued misery.

Polish up that resume.

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Twice. First one re-emerged within 2 years to win 10 in a row. The second didn’t, and I got bounced. Really wish it had been the other way around.

likesmart

I hope you find some solace in the fact that this has happened to a bunch of us. And I am living your life right now. Having money socked away is what is prepping me when/if more layoffs come, and I’m also working on my portfolio

likeuplifting

Everyone is going through rough times. Time for advertising agencies to break themselves into pieces, consultancies to capitalize on their trend, pr to have a mini moment, production companies to rework their business model, and for brands to figure out what internal creative really means. I blame Facebook.

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Every business after 9/11 and the financial crash in 2008. It’s hard

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Yup. Twice (like a lot of ppl here). I had to leave in both circumstances. it’s never really the same after watching a bunch of your coworkers get the boot. Even if/when things get better, you always remember that next time things get tough it could be you

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Yeah, I hate the lack of stability in this industry. I have student loans, so it’s hard to save money for a downturn.

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4 months into my first job in advertising, new management started to lead my department and everyone around me became miserable. 75% of my friends were let go. 6 of them in one day. We refer to that day as the “red wedding” from game of thrones. I was told by people who’d been in advertising for a long time that it was a normal part of the cyclical nature of advertising. Except that the people being laid off were being targeted for personal reasons and the whole thing was very ugly and political. I’ve never been more stressed in my life. Many more things happened after that but long story short, it went downhill from there. There were bright spots, pretty much all the people not in management were amazing gems, even the new hires. But the toxicity of the management infected every corner of the department. People were afraid to be themselves and trust each other. Every one started looking out for themselves. I’ve since left that place and gone freelance. It’s been amazing. Knowing that I can spend a couple months in one place and then move on is reassuring.

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Going through it now. Hopefully coming out of it.

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I’ve watched this happen to a few the agencies I’ve worked for but I’ve always bounced before the layoffs began. This time I stuck around because I’ve noticed that all agencies tend to cycle through periods of expansion and then contraction. The pendulum is starting to swing back towards expansion at my agency and since I stuck around, I’m trusted and I’m getting the best briefs. Yes, it was really sad to see so many of my friends leave and I was always questioning if I had stayed too long but I’m glad I hung in there. I feel invested in my company’s legacy and it’s nice to have played a part in it.

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