Advertising

I’m in my first role out of college, and sometimes I just feel so useless... I’m getting better, I feel like I do perform necessary functions the team needs, but im not GOOD... and I’m used to being

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No more thinking that you’re not competent. Give yourself time to learn. Forgive yourself for your short comings. All of us have areas that need improvement and all of us encounter difficult learning curves at some point. Focus on the weak areas and get a mentor. In the end you just give your boss what they need. Ask questions when getting direction will save you time. And always if possible reiterate direction in an email and save it. I am not an AE but believe it’s all about getting the client to flesh out what they need so it can go on the brief, then getting the team to create work on brief and keeping the hours in check. I like to try to think about what my boss needs. What are their concerns so I am able to not see the work as just rolling downhill. Save and organize every email from the client and organize it by client. Especially emails containing direction. Any direction spoken in any meeting, sometimes this will happen with multiple team members over a few hours, that differs from the brief or is not on the brief, etc... you send out an email post meeting reiterating the direction in a friendly, email to the team with steps forward and save it all. If you need to rewrite part of the brief send it out to the team to let the team know the client has adjusted the needs of the project this will help your team members.

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Great helpful advice!!!

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We can all relate. For the first year of my job I was convinced they would eventually figure out I had no idea what I was doing and fire me. 😉 (I’m still waiting...) All of the people posting advice above are right - it takes time. But you also need to support yourself mentally and emotionally by not letting negative thinking creep in. We do more damage to ourselves by thinking we can’t do things, or thinking others are better than us. Frankly, I love the perspective new account or creative folks bring to the agency. I don’t always agree, but I like the fresh new POV, and that you haven’t had all of our bad habits trained into you yet. Everyone who has replied has given you solid advice. I would add only two things: 1.) The fact that you care about this tells me you are on your way to being a great account leader. Self reflection and a desire to do well is critical to great account people. 2.) Good account people are very valuable, great account people are worth gold. The difference is usually in their mindset, not their skill set. Message or email if you ever need a friendly reminder that “you got this!” 🙂👍🏼 because you do!

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Janet thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful response I really appreciate it... I worry I’m not cut out for this sometimes, but your response made me feel really inspired (yes, I’ll admit I screenshot it so I can reference on cloudy days)...Thank you again, you’re awesome for adding sunshine to my Sunday!!

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It all comes with time: skill, finesse, confidence, technical knowledge, strategic eye, business acumen—you name it. Take advantage of the opportunity that you get to work with really smart people. Be a sponge. Ask questions. In short: this is all completely normal.

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Such a great response. And I’ll also add that once you’ve proven you can nail and own the “menial” detail-oriented things, you’ll be more trusted to own the bigger things. Minor things matter in this business

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Advertising is a job that you can't really learn in school. You just have to figure it out over time. Make sure you're paying attention, asking questions, asking why your coworkers are doing what they're doing and the way they're doing it, and ask for feedback.

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You’re 100% right about that, really tuning in when you’re doing a billion things is so tough but so important... Thank you for the advice!

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All the above advice is all true and very helpful. One thing I’ll add - you’ll be fine because you’re self aware. You’re ahead of half the people out there.

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Thank you, I appreciate it☺️ Feeling a lot better after all of this and energized for the week so really thank you!

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Pretty good at most things I work hard at... I’m putting my all into account management and I actually do love it, does some of the skill/finesse just come with time? And will confidence follow? I sometimes still get nervous talking to my boss cause they’re so much more competent than me, and I hate it

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Give yourself a break! Your team probably thinks you are doing better than you do. So many 'kids" I work with think they know it all, that's a turn off and BS. After 20 years, I still get nervous sometimes talking to my boss. Keep your humility, keep trying and keep learning. You will be fin.

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And remember everyone around you is also faking it! Even your Boss.

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This is so normal! Just keep working hard, learning lessons, being humble and not letting failure scare you away. I failed a bunch but had good bosses who helped me learn and move on

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Thank you!! I 100% agree with that, I’ve been terrified of messing something up, but everytime I’ve made a mistake and talked to my managers about how to fix it i feel like ive learned something... so thank you for this reminder that it’s normal!

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You’re not supposed to be good. School isn’t real. Your job is to have new, weird and different thoughts. You learn the rest as you go.

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I am an account manager about 2 years out of college, a year and 4 months into my second position and felt the exact same way just a few months back. Literally resonating with every point you mentioned. At some point, things just kinda clicked for me and my role in my responsibilities felt much more apparent to me over the course of a few months. I think this came from ownership of more individual responsibilities and learning to feel “comfortable” in new situations that, at the time, could feel overwhelming or scary. Uncomfortable learning opportunities are often the most valuable ones and I urge you to seek them. Otherwise, I do feel confident that you’ll find your role better over time. Keep your head up!

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Just wait until you have an intern under you. That’s where you’ll go “Wow, I was pretty good in comparison”

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It’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to feel that way. It’s a right of passage. You’ll know when you pass that baton to someone else. In the meantime, nurture your imperfection as an attitude and an asset. It will keep you learning new things. If you ever lose it, worry.

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Our new art director feels exactly the same way. Just remember “you don’t know what you don’t know” and those of us with lots of experience know that. You’re basically going back to school with your first job. The good thing is you’re not paying for it this time. You’ve been hired for your thinking and potential, probably nothing else. The tools, processes, and efficiencies will all be mentored by others who want you to succeed. That being said, nail the details, celebrate the small wins and your opportunities will grow. ...and when you hit a wall (you will do this), get around it, over it, or through it. Don’t give up because it’s too hard or stressful, let your passion be your motivation.

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I’ve never stopped ‘going back to school’ with each new job over my 22 years. Each time it’s a different lesson I get paid to learn :)

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