Three months in agency has changed me
By Gillian Jansz
Welcome to my first three months at Herd MSL.
Nothing prepared me for starting work as an Account Coordinator in the agency. I repeat. Nothing prepared me. Not even my internship!
What a whirlwind it’s been so far – and it turns out that growing the roots of the creative communications wiz that I dreamed of becoming is no easy feat.
I wanted to share my experience – but let me warn you – some of what I’m about to say might seriously out me as a the non-cool-cucumber person I can be sometimes, but that’s what happens when you’re growing in a new environment. It brings about new changes, challenges, and feelings – the good and bad!
Understanding what it means to be a work in progress.
They say your resume is a “living document” but for some reason, it didn’t click that my career was also forever going to be a work in progress. Not that I thought “Hey, this is it!” and set up camp to settle into my role as an expert, but one thing I’ve had to become okay with is accepting that I’m not going to be perfect all. the. time.
I’ve learnt through our agency WIP meetings that everyone in the team is constantly finding ways to progress, both individually and together.
Everybody is pushing to grow and seeing that has reassured me that not everyone is as perfect as I might think they are. Being surrounded by talented people with great ideas everyday means reminding myself that I’m here for a reason – like everyone, I am growing and progressing – and to believe in myself.
I got 99 problems and prioritisation can probably solve all of them…
As a person who strives for progress and to always take steps forward, coming into “agency life” as they famously call it, means thinking of my to-do list as a huge web.
Some things might get done and some things might need to be pushed back. Organising time is a great skill and I thought I had it down pat but turns out… well, I didn’t quite at first. Finding time in my day to be still and recentre stopped me getting lost in the commotion so that I could organise my priorities to create the best outcome.
Finding time to think about my priorities for the day, the week, the next week and the month was the executionary push that an overthinker like me needed. Daily meetings with my career manager helped to work out what had to get done and to flag new tasks coming in. Here, I learnt I had to leave my ego at the door, front up and ask as many questions as possible.
It takes a billion years for a plastic bag to break down but it takes me one round of feedback.
Okay, I’m being dramatic, but I’ve truly realised that resilience is a growth area for me.
Having hard conversations is tricky, but necessary, and has led to greater progress and confidence in my short time here. A large part of this is filling my cup and letting it overflow into my work – by this I mean creating space to find inspiration in the world around me, to keep me recharged. Being inspired and sharing ideas with the team has helped grow my confidence over the months. Asking for feedback on a regular basis and taking short online classes have encouraged me to get outside of my own head and lean into those tricky parts.
Doing the things that initially made me feel scared gave me the confidence to keep doing them more. It helped me build my resilience as I get more and more familiar with what it takes to be successful in the agency.
I can safely say that my first three months of imposter syndrome is slowly crawling away. I’ve been feeling everything I need to feel with the growing pains of a new role, leaning into the uncomfortable feeling of being both new and inexperienced.
I’ve learnt to reach out to do the things that I know I would enjoy, making peace with the tiny bit of fear in my heart. It could be having that coffee catchup with someone I haven’t worked with yet, getting involved in extracurriculars or even writing this very article! I’ve learnt so much about my strengths and what makes me different. I’m excited to discover more along the way.
I’m in awe of some of the talented people around me, which upholds my purpose of why I chose to work in this industry. On a meaningful level, my drive to initiate thought-provoking conversations and reflect a world where the greatness of being unique is represented has never been stronger.
Learning to fail in the process to fly is my own personal WIP.
Words and cover illustration by Gillian Jansz.
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