The Agency Soul: new yet familiar experience

A long overdue post that was kept in draft for months (yeps, not days, not weeks, months). 

Some time ago last year I had a conversation with my boss after reading this article about democracy in an agency (from Marketing Interactive: Why democracy isn’t always needed in an agency). In this article, Lou Dela Pena, CEO, Publicis Communications Singapore, explained about the rapid changes and development of people working in agency these days. While she mentioned lots of interesting insights, this quote of her made me realize something,

We are like a bunch of Labrador retrievers who do it for the pat on the back, which is our currency. It is all about fame, it is recognition and it is culture.

Then I told my boss a story when I was still in Lazada. Sometime in 2015, Lazada Indonesia had a new CEO and arranged a meeting with the marketing team. He asked the team what kind of reward that might be able to motivate us the most. Some said bonus, salary increase, or team vacation. I said, recognition. Then he starred silently at me for three seconds and asked, “Are you sure? Why?” My answer was, “Yes. For me money comes with the job, which is my responsibility. If I’m able to exceed beyond what’s already agreed, all I need was for you to acknowledge it so that I know I have opened up new opportunities.” I can see clearly from his facial expression that he didn’t expect to get this kind of response.

My boss’ response was, “Yeah, you definitely have an agency soul.”

I couldn’t agree more.

It has been almost a year since my first day at Leo Burnett and I’m very grateful to be part of the team.

Yes, maybe Leo Burnett isn’t known for its PR capabilities. But what’s life without challenges, right? I get the chance to build the team from ground, with the name that’s already out there! And the collaboration with the other team is just SO COOL! I get to learn so many new exciting things that other standalone PR agency might never had the chance.

*evil laugh*

So here’s me, extremely excited to embark on a new adventure. And I would like to share what it’s like to live in the agency life, which is only the tip of the iceberg (haha):

  1. It’s not as scary as you might’ve heard, if you have the agency soul of course.
    I don’t know how many times I heard someone saying that the agency life is scary, extremely long working hours, crazy unexpected client
  2. Multiple personalities, or at least perspectives.
  3. Semi-experts on many different things.
  4. No better place to hone your team work skill

It definitely isn’t an easy journey, but I’m up for the challenge. Bring it on!

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