When I was getting ready for my first day at Ruder Finn a month ago, I realised the corporate outfits that had been clogging up my wardrobe for the past eight years weren’t going to cut it now. I was going to an agency – known for their relaxed dress codes, lively and creative cultures.
And those stereotypes have not disappointed. Music plays in our office all day, there are socials, lunch and learns, brag of the week, hero of the week and I now wear trainers four days out of five.
So aside from realising I need a new ‘relaxed’ wardrobe, what else have I learned in my first month at an agency?
- Mad Men is misleading – it’s not all long lunches and drinking at your desk. The pace and workload is demanding. I’m not the client anymore, I’m having to come up with idea, answers and quick responses.
- Budgets baffle brains – or not so much the budgets but timesheets. I’d heard about these mythical systems from colleagues in the past who had tried agency life but never been subjected to them. I suddenly have to account for my hours during the day! If this went in-house there would need to be a special miscellaneous code for all the inexplicable wasted time.
- Creative collaboration is key. The great thing about an agency like Ruder Finn is that we have our own design team, digital and production team as well as the account managers. I’ve been to more brainstorms in a month than in my past eight years and it’s so insightful to hear about different clients, successes (and failures) in the past and come up with new ideas as a team.
It’s been a steep learning curve and challenging month but I’m feeling more at home every day. Now, when are the dogs being brought into the office?