Advertising

I’m client side at a big-name company in a creative/strategy role focused on content (I set the strategy, come up with the ideas + creative direct them). Trying to go agency but no luck yet. Any tips?

likehelpful
Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon
works at

Switch places with me.

Reaction Icon Like
likefunny
Arrow Icon

Me too!

Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Think twice. If you're client side with a brand that's got a decent rep, maybe tough it out. Agencies still have the slick veneer on the outside, but 8 out of 10 are struggling to either stay relevant or with their own margins. And a lot of the work you will do agency side is churn. (You haven't lived until you're on round 7 of creative edits on banner ads). Don't get me wrong, it can still be a lot of fun and so many great people, but the industry is in major flux. When Droga sells out, take it as a major sign of where things are headed.

Reaction Icon Like
likesmart
Arrow Icon

I feel that. I’m struggling; I can’t see the point in staying somewhere that I’m not growing at all. There’s literally zero opportunity to move up here, my boss would have to quit for it to happen, and I’m miserable trying to navigate the bullshit. On the other hand - what are the 2/10 agencies who aren’t struggling? Anyone still doing well I should look at?

Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Hey - I’m client side. Spent my last 5 years trying to go agency side. Just scored an awesome job at a huge global in-house agency. Is the work as exciting as agency side?... nah. But I’m doing stuff i enjoy and get out most days at a decent hour. I used to hate hearing this but.. based off what people tell me, agency life ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Hell, i spent the last 6 months kissing ass to Droga people and know what? They just got acquired and a bunch of people may be out of jobs in the coming months. Gimme the in-house agency and more time with my family every. Damn. Day.

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

The grass is always greener

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

Maybe cause you’re more of a generalist than a specialist.

Reaction Icon Like
likehelpful
Arrow Icon

It sounds like your stuff might be too vague and wishy washy to be looked at as an ad book. You say "content" and "hands on" and "strategy" (even your title here is just "Specialist") but that doesnt sound like work to me. You can tell from the responses here that lots of agency people wish they could go client side--and here you are on the client side obviously hating it and wondering what an agency needs to see. You should take that as the grass not being much greener. You should look at some Creatives web sites and see the kind of stuff they have in their books. If your stuff isnt like that---at all---then thats why youre having trouble. Try doing some spec work. Maybe take a class if youre in a good city. You might have to go a few notches down to go to an agency. And then once you get there, EVERYBODY will want to know how you could ever leave the client side, you were soooo lucky 😃

Reaction Icon Like
likesmarthelpful
Arrow Icon

I really would like to echo BBDO here in that you may not be articulating why you want to switch in the clearest way. Saying that you're miserable is not a compelling reason. You need to come up with an answer around why it is you want to switch over to the agency that doesn't set these bullshit triggers off (and as you can tell from these responses on this thread, there are many). You also need to communicate what it is that you can bring to an agency that no other agency veteran can bring. Practice your pitch. Do lots of networking. Honestly, do your research on why people are telling you to not switch and address them head on. Listen for feedback on whether your pitch has credibility.

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

Don’t go agency side. Stay where you are...., agencies are not adapting fast enough.

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

Totally agree, switch to another in-house role. I left agency life in NYC and relocated to Miami in-house. If you are looking to innovate there’s a lot more freedom in-house.

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

Quick summary of this chain: OP- Not happy client side, looking to switch. Agency peeps- Why/Nooooo!

Reaction Icon Like
funnylike
Arrow Icon

For what it's worth, I love my career in the agency world. Look for agencies that are well adapted with a good culture. The rest will figure itself out.

Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Not sure about what anyone else agency side has heard, but from my what I see working on a large auto account the in house clients get paid substantially more and work betters hours.

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

I saw this at a company I worked at as well. Client side is the place to be

Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

have you thought about looking elsewhere client-side ?

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

I have, but finding it’s not as interesting as what I want to do. My company basically has an internal agency doing a lot of hands-on creative stuff (aka me), and all the other client side stuff I’ve been looking at is super dry

Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

keep your chin up - switching over to agency side is hard right now because of where the industry is at, but it can totally be done ive switched client side to agency side multiple times, i just had to move cities to do it - looking for freelance / consulting jobs is a good way to start. and dont listen to some of these haters - a bad client environment is not better than what the majority of this industry is like ✌️

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

Thank you! That’s exactly the approach I’m taking - this thread was helpful, after getting over all the “you’re an idiot” comments. It’s such a classic “my situation is always better than yours” where people can’t see how my very bad situation could POSSIBLY be worse than what they’re dealing with. Client side can be equally as nightmarish. I love all the folks saying my work-life balance is enviable client side - I’m literally on call 24/7 and feel like a rat in a cage here 😂

Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Let's put it this way, outside of "toxic environment" which is location specific, why go to the agency side vs another client? As bad as your client is to its own people think about how they must treat their agencies. It's not all foosball tables and long lunches on this side.

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

Is your book good? Regardless of your career path, your portfolio has to be competitive. And if you have all the same brand in it , it will be tricky to show how you can work on different clients and an agency will have to take a leap of faith to hire you.

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

SCW2 - totally nailing PR. Generalists welcome

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

Dont do it. Big big mistake. You will be selling your soul to the devil

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

Have you considered publisher side? Publishers these days are moving toward agency-style work in terms of strategy consulting, creative production for brands. It’s a harsh time for the industry, but if you’re good it can help build a large volume of work in a short time

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

Oh that’s an interesting thought - will look into it. Thanks!

Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

From what I understood from OP's further explanations, I'd say copywriting not strategy is what you should be after for an agency role. You should definitely work on mimicking your book to an ad agency creative portfolio and you should have a very clear strategy/pitch/personal brand/clear story on who you are and what you do and what you bring. Right now my guess based on a vibe and intuition is that you're all over the place from a career switch/job search perspective and nobody is biting because they're unclear about you. Also when looking to take a turn or pivot job wise, it's not really going to happen by filling out online applications. This stuff requires networking methodically and it's a long game. (For real "content strategist" jobs I'd look at publishers or another in-house position at a large product or service provider with large audience and many engagements, not an ad agency. My best friend is a content strategist for uber eats and it's fascinating work that is lock step with product development and nothing to do with advertising per se like what we do at ad agencies.)

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

Stay where you are

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

Change the name of your title on your resume/LinkedIn to be more relevant to an agency. Maybe instead of the vague “Specialist” try the also vague but agency-ese “Strategist"

Reaction Icon Like
likefunny
Arrow Icon

Stay client side! So many of us are trying to get out of agency side.

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

I’m in just the opposite, I was in agency life for ever and now I’ve gone client side. It’s way less stressful. That, and I actually get to see the sun now.

Reaction Icon Like
like
Arrow Icon

Related Posts

Sounds about right

Post Photo
likefunnyuplifting
Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Just got stood up for the first time ever. 25 min across town. Called/texted all in deliverable. Def got blocked. Had 2 super fun dates before and texting a lot. Worse feeling ever.

like
Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Celebrating my 1-year anniversary from leaving my firm after 5-years deep in specialty 🎉 mixed emotions, but couldn’t be happier 🤗🎊

like
Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Just hit the bench and I'm interviewing externally. Do I keep talking to new projects even though I might be leaving the firm soon? How do I explain my lack of progress finding a role?

like
Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

I don’t know who needs to hear this: DTE is down this weekend so submit you’re time early!

likefunny
Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

I don’t know what to do. My brother has become incredibly sexist and homophobic since moving to SF. It’s to the point I don’t want to be around him when he drinks anymore. (Cont.)

Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

We should come up with a term for when your project only let’s bill 8 hours per day.

like
Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

FRYDAY plans?

likefunny
Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Any risk when Hireright verifies employment with firm? (Of course, I didn’t lie about anything). Thanks guys!

like
Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Inherently political message

Post Photo
likefunny
Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Hi, trying to move to Deloitte. 2nd year consultant, with experience in rpa, sql, product management. Can anyone refer me please?

Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Bourbon or Rye?

like
Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Do you still get cpa bonus if you pass after 2+ years? Or is it only within the first 2 years

Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Currently a staff in Internal/IT Audit but want to switch into a consulting role in S&O at any consulting firm at this point. Any advice or anyone looking to hire someone with 1 year experience?

like
Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Anyone here who with imposter syndrome? How do you deal with it ?

like
Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Hey all — feeling lost in the early stages of a probate case. Anyone have experience? I’m worried my uncle (executor) is taking advantage of me.

Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Just got my first stupid message on LinkedIn. WHY would you think this is acceptable. WHY?!??

Post Photo
funnylike
Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Anyone have any side hustles/moonlight jobs they do for additional income. I can't imagine there are many since our hours can be so hectic, but I'm curious of what others have found works for them.

like
Reaction Icon Like
Arrow Icon

Download the Fishbowl app

That was just a preview…
Sign Up to see all discussions
  • Discover what’s it’s like to work at companies from real professionals
  • Get candid advice from people in your field in a safe space
  • Chat and network with with other professionals in your field
Sign up in seconds to unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.

Already a user?
Sign in here

Share

Embed this post

Copy and paste embed code on your site

Preview