The new agency I work for is so high stress, unorganized and has a crazy work load. I work till 12am some nights. The day I started 3 people on the team quit and it’s been me and one other social person grinding day in and out. I am contracted 20 hrs a week and I’m always rushing to finish my work bc I’m not suppose to go over (I always do tho) and I’m starting to mess up left and right. It’s constant pressure from leadership and clients.

Is this agency life??? I don’t want to be a quitter 😞

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There's being a quitter, and then there's just knowing what's good for you. While I will admit agency life can be a stressful or high maintenance, you shouldn't be working so hard you're making mistakes and sacrificing quality for quantity. It sounds like you're being overworked to make up for a lack of other people in the office. If that's the case, you should be making an amount that reflects the extra workload. Especially if you're working until 12 am! Overall I would just not take this as an agency-wide experience, and I would look for other opportunities.


I think even if she/he was making making more for the extra work, this lifestyle is just not worth it. We all need a life besides working.


One of the biggest and most common mistakes people make in professional services is trying to do too much. As a professional you must never be busy for days on end. You have to maintain extra energy and time to think, anticipate client needs, and ensure your work is top notch. Often times this means you need to do and work a lot less. Grow some balls and learn how to tell your boss and clients “no”. Its way more important to be dependable than it is to be agreeable. Your life work and career will be better for it.


This is not a reflection of you. I have worked at both good and bad agencies in the past, and your current agency is definitely heavily mismanaged. I am a Social Media Coordinator right now for a well-known tech brand and I work a regular 40 hours a week schedule. You should definitely start looking for another job.


If you don’t mind me asking, what is your salary? I’m a social media coordinator and I’m trying to figure out if I’m being majorly underpaid at 50k a year and organizing 5 companies.

This is probably a hot take, but I feel like most agencies are run poorly because they don’t have as many stakeholders like a board, VC, shareholders, or industry regulators. The poor management and lean hiring has helped perpetuate the stupid “Mad Men” narrative that agencies are cutting edge and demanding work environments that require a higher level of intelligence, resourcefulness, and work ethic, which is simply not true.

With that said, there are some agencies that are better than others. Quitting a dysfunctional agency doesn’t make you a quitter, it makes you smart.

A person who quit a dysfunctional agency and moved on to better things.


I also quit a high pressure agency job. Unfortunately I stayed too long and ruined my mental health. It took me over a year to recover my confidence and I still struggle with panic attacks. No job is worth that kind of sacrifice


I had two bad agency experiences back to back in 2021. At the first one, I was hired to market the agency and run the business development side. I was excited to help grow this agency since I had worked with them as a freelancer for a year and a half. When I was hired FT, I was given a nice commission structure and a base salary. The owners admitted that they were "bad" at Bus Dev and had zero processes in place. I put together a Bus Dev strategy only to have it picked apart. I brought in several prospects who would have been bigger fish than this small local agency had worked with previously. I don't know if the owners got cold feet but I had pretty much signed the first and largest client and the owner came to me and said that he didn't feel the client would "fit" into their "process" and he didn't want to do any work that fell outside of their "process" because it was too much work for them, being such a small agency. I was confused. Hadn't I been hired to help them grow? They had never mentioned a "process" before and didn't even say anything about their process on the calls with the prospect. The owner was constantly late for meetings and as the only woman at the agency besides an extremely PT designer, I felt like there were double standards. When I voiced my concerns, I was let go. The second agency had a female founder and I was so excited about the clients and the niche they served - I was ready to level up and work with some bigger brands. Unfortunately, it was much like your current situation - a revolving door, 3 people left during my short tenure there, and most of them were assigned to our largest account, for which I was the team lead. The owner hired one additional person while I was there but the workload was too great for the number of people we had. I had a team of 3 - a PR strategist, a UX designer, and a content writer - I am a writer too so I was expected to handle all the paid media copy. I was working 60+ hours a week, the client was in a different time zone and so was the creative team so I found myself on calls as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 10 p.m. Everything was a fire drill and the owner ended up being a bully and a tyrant. It severely impacted my mental health and my physical health. My family saw me go from being happy and productive to withdrawn, sick, and exhausted. I barely had time for hobbies or friends or just to decompress. I tried to rest on weekends but the Slack messages from the owner would stop late Friday and resume late in the afternoon on Sunday. Every Sunday night, I would dread the week ahead of me. I ended up in the hospital and on leave for 4 weeks (doctors orders). When I returned, my PR counterpart had given her notice and I learned that I would also be losing my designer because she was going on maternity leave and unbeknownst to the owner had no intention of returning to work, my writer had also given his notice so it was just me. I lasted about 2 weeks before my partner convinced me to leave. I gained 20 lbs over the 6 months I was there and when I finally put my foot down and went to HR to file a formal complaint, I told her that the pace and the workload was unsustainable and she said, "That's just how it is here." I will never kill myself for a job again. In fact, I started freelancing again and I am finding that agencies treat freelancers much better or maybe it is just because I don't deal with all the BS of being in-house. I'm not part of the drama, I get in, do the work, and am able to focus on other things outside of working hours.


Do not feel bad or guilty for looking for a new role immediately. The drain experienced will take a huge toll on you down the road the longer you try to stick it out.


Can I ask what agency? I’m interviewing with new ones and terrified I’ll accidentally land somewhere like this because I feel like people aren’t honest in interviews lol


+1 avoid edelman


If you are open to being in the Denver area we have a few Paid Social roles available. Not sure if this is your direct experience but figured I would share. Feel free to DM me.


Sounds like a great time to continue seeking other opportunities.

I can absolutely sympathize with this. I had become conditioned to think that level of stress was normal/given/what it means to hustle or be a team player. After a year of this hell, I finally got out of own way.
I’m at a new, much larger agency now, lots of incoming project and it’s incredible. It does come from the top down. My VP takes care of this team. She made it clear from the interview that she prioritizes boundaries. She’s been there 7 years, everyone on the team absolutely backs this up and it shows.
It will take a while for me to wind back the past habits and start to enjoy free time again. You can find an agency that respects your talents and time!

There’s no way I’m letting a job stress me out. Maybe you need a career change or an agency change. I’m an insurance broker and I create my own schedule and get paid daily. Plus, we have the highest comp in the industry. You can start part time or full time because you are considered independent. There’s potential for plenty of growth as well.

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