When landing my first marketing job is it better to start agency side or client side and how hard is it to switch?
I am a masters student studying marketing and data science. #marketing #management #business #data #agency #client #adtech #socialmedia
This is a great question. I think it all depends on what you want to do. Take this time to explore all of your opportunities. Tap in to your network and connect with alumni, friends, etc. that are both brand side and agency side. Ask them questions about their career- what they like, what they don't like, etc. to better understand what a day looks like in their seat.
Personally, I started my career at an agency. In my experience, I learned so much during my time as I was able to work on various accounts. Eventually, I was fortunate to make the jump to a sports team. I know that a lot of the skills I learned at the agency, put me in a position to succeed in my future role(s). So, it is entirely possible that you can do both during your career.
Just remember, these are exciting times! Don't put too much pressure on yourself trying to land the "perfect" job. You learn just as much (if not more) from something you don't like/ enjoy, than what you do like. At the end of the day, work hard, learn as much as you can and be the teammate everyone wants to work with. Best of luck to you!
Josephine Hua’s Answer
Thanyadhorn (Thanya)’s Answer
When I spoke to people in client-side as a student, many of them advised me to start my career at an agency. Most also began at agencies, and although work there is known to be longer hours and less pay, they were able to learn a lot and experience what it's like to work with clients in different industries during their time there.
There is no right or wrong answer to your question - both agency and client side provide valuable learning opportunities and work experience. In terms of transitioning, as Elizabeth mentioned, I think this process is pretty seamless. I personally started off in market research at an agency working with 2 tech clients and then transitioned to work client-side in data analysis for studio entertainment, so that also goes to show that yes - switching is possible! Especially if you're working in the same type of role (e.g. market research), your knowledge and work will definitely apply to roles on the other side. If anything, you will be even more knowledgable, as you'll have had greater visibility from both sides as opposed to someone who's only done either agency or client-side work.
I'd advise you to take advantage of any good opportunity that comes your way. In my experience, it may be a little easier to find a position at an agency immediately out of school, since they tend to hire more consistently (bringing in new classes of analysts each year), while the hiring cycle client-side is more inconsistent and work-flow related. Another pro to agencies is that they tend to promote more quickly - I've known companies who promote people to Senior Consultant level after just 2 years. Either way, make the most of any role you're in, and I'm sure you'll do great!
There are pros and cons to each, in my experience. A corporate position tends to be more stable and often pays better, but the 9 to 5 pace can get redundant and you don't get as much variety in your work. An agency position offers a lot more variety from day-to-day (often giving you exposure to a lot of industries) and the fast pace is fun; but the culture isn't as stable which can lead to uncontrollable HR issues, and you're expected to work a lot more hours. I'd recommend getting experience in both, if possible, so you can be well-rounded and experience what each one has to offer!
Best of luck, whichever direction you take!
The best advice I ever got is to think about the job you want to be in on the day you retire, and work BACKWARDS from that... what jobs did you have to have to get there? How long do you have to stay in that role? And make yourself a timeline... your career moves will become clear!
All the best to you!
Marketing is a lifelong learning career as things shift and change. Learn something new every day!!
Starting off in your career, look for a role or a company that will expose you to as much variety as possible. Usually that means an agency job, but I was fortunate to start my PR career at a company that gave me a lot of variety because it was growing, leanly staffed and operated with a very entrepreneurial culture that meant you could help out wherever you saw opportunity to contribute something that a team needed. A job at a PR, Marketing or similar agency will expose you to a variety of clients, different projects and teams, and hopefully using many of your skills and learning new ones.
Put simply, find the opportunity that gives you the most variety possible.
it is definitely easier to start from agency side and then switch to client side; it gives you a broad overview of different types of work as well so you can make a better choice for your next career move
that being said, you can definitely start with client side and then switch to agency
Personally I started working on the agency side and 3 years ago moved to the brand/corporate side.
In my experience, on the agency side, you are closer to the advertising and creative development. You get to learn about creative strategy and how to make campaigns come to life. It is also fast paced and at times could be long hours. However, if you are passionate about the work, the hours shouldn't be a major concern.
On the client side, you are typically responsible for marketing a specific product/service. You are closely tied to the business and overall enterprise goals. The big "ah-ha" moment for me was that as a marketing manager on the corporate side, I am responsible for the entire pizza, versus the agency i'm responsible for one slice of the pie.
I will say that working at an agency has helped me greatly in my role as a marketing manager. I am able to effectively write creative briefs based on my agency experience, and how to give creative feedback/direction. You will learn quickly that building a solid relationship with a creative team is key to your success.
I am someone who has worked on the agency side and then switched over to the client side. It took me time to make the switch.
But i found it to be worth it..
The agency side of things helped me learn to handle mutliple brands/client and projects of varying complexities. At any given point in time I was managing a campaign (large visibility) and at the same time getting a PowerPoint presentation in line with the brand guidelines for the client's marketing manager!
This kind of exposure to multi tasking is immense.. Yes, it required me to stretch and work long and crazy hours but trust me it was worth it. It is an immense learning experience. I reached a stage where I was adept in agency operations. This learning later helped me when i switched to the client side. Managing agencies was part of my role in the client side and I could talk shop with them. They knew I know how to get it done, and they did not have any negotiating room on topics like timelines for specific deliverables. Be it with the communications agency, the media buying partner or the digital marketing agency, it helped them as well, that I as a client was happy to solve challenges with them and not let work get prolonged.
To make the switch, I took more time for most marketing managers tend to work with the same employer for long tenures. As someone mentioned earlier, it is a stable jb, one can expect fixed hours and it could lead to lesser burn out, possibility of greater work life balance etc but that would also mean lesser job openings for the agency guy :)
Hope this helps you..