7 deadly sins of a 1st year as an Account Executive
The start to the year always seems to be about bettering oneself. Whether it be dry January, sugarless February or those tiresome New Years’ resolutions that we’ve already forgotten about. I thought now would be an appropriate time to reflect on what my first ten months at Bright Blue Day have taught me so far. Keeping in tradition with taking sin out of your life, what better place to start then applying the 7 deadly sins to an AE’s experience?
“Careful what you wish for” they say. My experience at Bright Blue Day has been much more enjoyable and challenging than I had ever hoped for, but agency life can be bloody hard work! Boy, do I now appreciate the meaning of work ethic and the value of working as a team. Yes we get to brainstorm and go crazy from time to time on the white boards. Yes, we get to throw ideas around the room, but….keeping ahead of the competition and maintaining the BBD service for our clients is a constant challenge. It’s also not always about creating super cool stuff – there’s a whole lot of admin, shed loads of emailing, and occasional firefighting when something goes wrong.
The harder you work the more cakes you seem to get. Although there is always a reason for bringing sweet temptations to the team’s desk and sabotaging your colleague’s fitness plans. I know this applies to most office jobs, but I believe long hours + running thousand miles an hour (brainwise) + the one or the other pregnant colleague with cravings makes it the perfect combination for munching all day. But I like to think sugar must help fuel energy and efficiency, so oh well…
Be careful not to want too much too soon. The Devil is certainly in the detail and it takes real time to master the basics at the level we and our clients expect. Make sure projects, clients, tasks all remain quality driven before quantity. More will come your way for sure but be patient and don’t be embarrassed to really learn the ropes properly before wanting to press further ahead.
As the Spaniard that I am, I must admit that I’m susceptible to being attacked by the dreaded mañana-mañana-Virus from time to time. As there’s still no known cure available, I have to always remember that there is no time like the present if you can cross that task off your list and this is certainly no job for cutting corners. Master time management and (realistic!) task prioritization and you are well on your way to success.
If you don’t make mistakes then you’re probably not working hard enough, but make sure to take critique on the chin when it’s deserved. Every day ad BBD is a good day to learn that I can’t let on the job frustrations or client demands get the better of me. These challenges are why we have such an important job to do in the first place. When clients prove to be challenging, don’t get angry – remember there is always a person trying to get a job done on the other side. Patience and understanding is key.
It’s my first year as an Account Executive and I know I’m surrounded by brilliant, experienced professionals at BBD and yes, they often make it look so easy! Beautifully written prose flows effortlessly in many emails; pitches are performed without breaking a sweat and clients are comforted or reassured with only a few choice well selected words. How do they do this?!?! I, like many before me have wondered if there is really a dark art of Account Management or if my colleagues really are just that much better, but stick with it. It starts to build slowly but surely and then before you know it you find yourself leading on client calls and even on meetings. Being more patient makes you realise that good things come to those that wait, listen and learn.
It’s said to be the most important of the seven deadly sins. The one sin that part fuels all others. I for one certainly know first-hand the importance of not letting my pride and ego get in my way to become a better professional, and to embrace every knock along the way as an opportunity to learn and grow within my career. Remember it’s not about how we fall, but how we get back up again that is the mark of good Client Service.