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Agency Career Timeline Part 2: Finding your calling in a creative agency

03 Jul 14:00 by Daniel Carne

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You’ve landed your first job in an agency: congratulations! Now comes the interesting part. Depending on the size of the agency, you’ll be exposed to different departments and roles, with some perhaps taking your fancy once you become more established. 

Whether it’s a designer moving into client services, or a PR specialist becoming a copywriter, career shifts are incredibly common within agency so now’s the time to get to know what everyone does and whether you’ve landed in a field that really complements your skills and passion.

To give you a helping hand, we’ve highlighted some typical departments in agencies, the roles within them and the skills you need to excel.

Client services

An agency’s frontline, client services professionals are responsible for managing an agency’s ongoing relationship with its clients. They ensure that work created by the agency always meets the needs of the client, and will address any issues that arise along the way. The aim of the game is to develop long-term relationships with clients and maintain a high client retention rate.

Roles you’ll find in this area:

- Account executive
- Account manager
- Account director
- Client services manager/director

You need to be great at:

- Communication
- Leadership
- Problem-solving
- Understanding client’s business challenges and opportunities
- Staying calm and professional at all times


Strategy

Strategists within agencies, whether brand or digital focused, are responsible for developing, implementing and managing winning strategies for clients. Taking into account a client’s expectations and challenges, they will analyse data and trends, and use this information to develop solutions, whether that’s in the form of a marketing plan or the bringing together of digital channels.

Roles you’ll find in this area:

- Brand strategist
- Digital strategist
- Agency strategist

You need to be:

- An excellent communicator
- Creative
- Marketing savvy
- Research-led
- A team worker
-Awesome at presenting your vision and ideas


Creative

From creative director through to graphic designer, those working in creative are geared towards finding the most effective ways to communicate client messages in print and online through the use of colour, type, imagery and format. The finished product is typically an advert, brochure, magazine, digital graphic or website.

Roles you’ll find in this area:

- Creative director
- Art director
- Artworker
- Graphic designer

You need to be great at:

- Communicating
- Research
- Identifying and leveraging social and cultural trends
- Understanding business goals and opportunities
- Using relevant design software
- Decision-making
- Creative problem-solving
- Managing your time


Digital marketing

With roles in digital marketing incredibly diverse, it’s tough to provide an overview that offers a real flavour of what it’s like to work in it. In short, digital marketing experts are collectively responsible for creating aesthetically-appealing, functional websites, programmes and applications that are both effective and enjoyable to use.

Roles you’ll find in this area:

- UX designer
- UI designer
- Web developer
- Web designer

Depending on the role, you need to be:

- Up to speed with programming languages and creative software
-Creative
- Organised
- Passionate about user experience


Content and social media

Whether you’re a copywriter or a social media manager, the aim of content specialisms in an agency is to create words, images or videos that engage the target audiences of a client, as well as monitoring and adapting the content in line with audience feedback and behaviours.

Roles you’ll find in this area:

- Content manager
- Content producer
- Copywriter
- Social media manager

You need to be great at:

- Writing
- Editing
- Researching a wide range of topics
- Communicating your ideas
- Recognising social and cultural trends


Now that you’re up to speed with the departments and specialisms that make up an agency stay tuned for part three of our Agency Career Timeline where we offer our tips on getting your first agency promotion. If you’re looking for a new agency opportunity get in touch with the team at Henry Nicholas to find out more about the latest exciting roles on offer.