Client vs Agency: There’s only one winner

I decided to make the leap and join a PR and marketing agency after working in-house for 13 years. I can’t say there was any one thing that swayed my decision – there were a number of factors. I wanted to spend more time doing and less time managing. I sought ‘job joy’ and recognition for successful projects, events and campaigns delivered, as well as for the long hours I spent grafting. I thought about learning new things and became fed up with the daily step and repeat. And I enjoyed working with our external agencies – I got a sneaky glimpse of what agency life is like.

If you can relate to these aspirations and you’re re-evaluating your work-life balance, becoming a quiet quitter, or experiencing a change in the way you want to work, read on and hopefully the nuggets I share can help you make some decisions towards your career change.

Running around in circles

I often felt like my weeks were all the same. Whilst having a routine is good, I found working in-house became monotonous. In the past seven years working at Resonates, no two days are the same. I have some long-standing clients that I work with on planned activity month to month, and some newer clients that I am working on variety of projects with. I’m often included in wider team discussions across all of our clients too – that’s how our agency works – many minds create compelling content. I find it a good mix to keep me entertained. Ask yourself, are you bored of doing the same thing each day?

The right nutrition and training

I managed a team of people working client side and found that I never actually got to work on and deliver projects. I just got to review and approve them. I wasn’t learning anything new, and I missed getting creative and doing the doing. Working at an agency gives me the opportunity to work across multiple campaigns and channels. I’ve been able to develop a wider array of skills as each client requires focus in different areas. I’ve got a more diverse workload with a nearly limitless number of creative opportunities. I feel like my working lifestyle has shifted from a ‘work for me’ to a ‘work with me’ culture.

Triumphant teams

What I like most about working for Resonates is I get the opportunity to learn new skills, explore innovative cleantech businesses that are shaping our future and work with lots of different people. I really feel valued, by both the agency and I also feel part of the team with the majority of my clients too. I work with different team members and clients on all sorts of PR and marketing projects, from creating content about unified comms and sharing EV transition success stories, to coming up with social media campaigns and marketing strategies all in the same day. But don’t just take my word for it. If you’re considering making the move to an agency, feel free to contact the team here at Resonates, they’ll be happy share their experiences.

Rewarding environment

Depending on the size of the company you join, you can get lost and recognition for a job well done can be overlooked. I realised I’d Iost my ‘job joy’. I got it back when I received a little token of appreciation (a bottle of fizz) from my boss in response to going above and beyond. Honestly, it wasn’t about the fizz, it was about the acknowledgement. Again, this comparison depends on the culture of the business, but I found working in-house more corporate than working at Resonates. My experience of agencies is that they have a more relaxed vibe. I found myself wanting to work for a company that aligned with my values and found the prospect of working with clients in the cleantech space exciting.

The winner is…

So, is client side better than agency? It depends on what you’re personally looking for. If you enjoy a consistent and steadier workload that’s focussed on a single brand and marketing strategy, then perhaps client side is for you. If you prefer a more dynamic, flexible and varied working day then find an agency that meets your tastes and appetite for job satisfaction.

Once you decide what’s important to you, there’s only one winner and it’s you.