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Hi --- for those who made the transition from an agency, what do you love about being brand side?

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You actually build something you have a stake in. Relationships, business, a life.

And it’s a lot more fun for me. 8 years at Salesforce, 2 at a SaaS construction firm… all
after 20 years at agencies in NY, LA, SF and MPLS which were not really fun at all. (Long nights, ego driven ideas, award show lust, fearful need to be clever rather than strategic, misogynistic culture—ugh.)

While nothing is perfect, my work every day is more varied, more interesting and more meaningful than anything at an agency.

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There are too many reasons to count, but for the 40+ crowd, the most refreshing aspect is that in-house culture doesn’t seem to be as plagued by ageism. I’m almost 50 and have been doing some of the best work of my career alongside folks half my age. There is a beautiful mutual respect that I haven’t felt in 20 years. I was about to hang up my hat and go work the breakfast buffet line when an in-house opportunity swooped in and saved not just my career, but my feeling of self worth and mental well-being.

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60 here, and over the agency side. There’s no way to keep up with the drinking/partying culture. However, reporting structure to sales team is awful. Make it bigger! Change the color! No regard for brand whatsoever. Having to explain “why” and they still don’t care… why doesn’t my screen match the color printouts? It can get pretty frustrating.

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Better work/life balance. The trade-off is marketing/advertising is no longer the priority in your overall workplace and have to play politics to get significant things done.

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Well said

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Not working on weekends or late nights unless I want to.

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Love this

Better bonus (when it is actually paid). But it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows on this side of the desk. In fact I’d say agency is way more “fun”.

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agreed about the way more ‘fun’ part. I also believe there are more avenues to grow vs. at a bigger brand where the machine is well oiled.

Equity. Life balance. Less toxic/ego driven.

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Working at an agency I felt like I worked on a part of a project for many different brands. Working in house I see the bigger picture for one single brand

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Literally every aspect. The pay, the work/life balance, even the appreciation is much better brand side. Never looking back!

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Getting to work with internal departments, seeing the bigger picture of the business operations

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Being in the room when decisions are made, you feel like you have more control over your destiny. And the pay is way better

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Everything - better work life balance, salary, holidays - list goes on. Haven't looked back!

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Far less toxicity. I had no idea how much of my time and effort was spent on interactions that didn't benefit or advance the work, playing politics, appeasing egos, etc. On the client side my head is far more clear and my energy is abundant and positive. Goals are more common and shared between teams, and as a result people are far more collaborative than combative. I'm loving it.

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Flexible hours. Not having to kiss ass anymore.

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My agency is currently not fun at all. Am looking to move in house. Good to hear it's a positive change for most here.

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I don’t miss the clients and having to get their approval on every single thing. Especially when something goes wrong (and things do go wrong) and you have to explain a mess up to your client like they’re your parent.

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As a CD, agency side I had to have everything approved and scrutinized by CCOs, strat, account, clients... Brand side the CEO lets me call the shots and isn’t involved in the minutia.
The down side is now I understand how there can be “mistakes” brand side: no one’s overthinking your every creative move and things can move fast.

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Respect

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Depends on how your mind/heart is built. Assuming "brand side" doesn't mean "startup" - it can feel like exchanging a lot of fun, excitement and creativity for soul-crushing bureaucracy and politics (and less work + more money).

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+1. just switched from agency to brand and i 100% miss the agency side.

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I find it sad that new generations continue to defend our choices with the same old arguments. Don’t be afraid to explore both sides. Just like any agency, no brands operate the same. Find your best fit. That’s it.

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I am constantly frustrated that I can’t work at an agency because they do not support moms. It makes me sad that I won’t get to work on big budget TV which is my favorite part of the job but the trade off has been worth it for me and I have made creative, award-winning work brand-side and still get to have dinner with my family every night.

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