5 Must-Have Traits for Marketing Agency Newbies

Culture, Inbound Marketing, Strategy

To say that agency life was completely new to me when I started at Leighton Interactive would be a slight overstatement. I had the pleasure of interning at an agency while in college, but worked only 10 hours a week and completed the majority of my work via laptop in the comfort of my apartment or the nearest coffee shop. That being said, my past full-time work experiences are nowhere close to what I’ve experienced at Leighton Interactive. Ok – that’s probably a little (a lot?) dramatic. In my past jobs I worked for companies as part of their marketing departments, focusing on one message and one brand. At Leighton Interactive, the work I do is similar, but the environment in which it’s done is new to me.

With nearly two months under my belt here at LI, I feel as though I’ve gained a bit of insight as to what skills and attributes can help make me (and my fellow agency newbies out there) a bit more successful in this crazy, fast-paced and fun world we work (live) in.

1. Adaptability

As part of an agency, I have several different clients that all have what feels like 50 different things going on, all at once. It is one of the most exciting and enjoyable parts of my job – better to be busy than bored, I always say! Being adaptable when it comes to switching from different projects, to clients, to topics, to solutions, and being able to adjust schedules, writing styles and priorities without panic or stress makes life in an agency that much better. Multi-tasking and adaptability skills will help you remain both productive and sane.

2. Energy

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The world belongs to the energetic”. I don’t know that the wisdom I’ve accrued at the ripe age of 23 can speak to whether or not this is applicable to all areas of life, but OOFDA (how’s that for MinnesOtan?), it sure is relevant to those of us working at a marketing agency. Working in a marketing agency means learning to thrive (and survive) in a work environment that moves a hundred miles per hour, with new projects and new clients being added to the mix around the clock. You best believe that being energetic in your work will be an immense help to your success.

3. Sense of Humor

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Let’s be honest, what list comprised of desirable traits doesn’t include “sense of humor”? They pretty much all do. Don’t be fooled, I didn’t include it on this list as a cliché; I truly think that having a good (and professional) sense of humor increases not only your success at an agency, but the satisfaction you get from your work. When you are able to realize that sometimes you just have to laugh off a mistake (again, time and place) or make light of a rough situation, you’ll find your work and work environment to be more enjoyable. Not to mention, everyone loves to work with someone who is fun and who they can share a laugh with! Don’t take things too seriously – some things are simply out of our control.

4. Passion

I’m going to level with you, I’m not sure that I would still be at Leighton Interactive if I wasn’t insanely passionate about the work I get to do here. In marketing (and probably other areas of life), having a passion for the work you do for and with others in invaluable. I’ve found that when you’re passionate about your work, you hold yourself to a higher standard and work just a little harder. If I didn’t get inspired or excited about writing blogs, meeting with clients, brainstorming eBook titles and creating social media calendars, I’d be one unhappy camper. Steve Jobs said “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”, and I throw my hands up and say “AMEN!” to that.

5. Appreciation

I don’t know if it’s because I grew up on a farm in a small town, or if it’s because I’m “Minnesota nice”, but I whole-heartedly believe that being appreciative will help you be successful, regardless of where you work. Showing your gratitude to others for their contribution and assistance allows you to leverage the skills of those around you and makes you more approachable to your peers. Especially in an agency where I work with developers, writers, designers and everything in between – I wouldn’t ever want an individual to not want to work with me or help me. Collaboration is vital at a marketing agency. Don’t ever underestimate the power of saying “please”, “thank you”, and “hey, I appreciate that”.

Well, there you have it. I bet you didn’t know when you opened the link to this blog that you’d be so enlightened, right? I’m joking. But really, I hope that someone somewhere out there read this and took something from it.

To all my fellow agency newbies, VIRTUAL HIGH FIVE – we work in one of the coolest (proven by scientific research, of course), most exciting fields out there. To all those reading this in hopes of one day joining a marketing agency, KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON! It’s great that you’re scouring the internet, following great companies like Leighton Interactive, learning everything you can. You’ll get here one day, and when you do – you’ll know it’s a result of hard work. I know there’s nowhere else I’d rather be (other than a beach on a tropical island –#MNProbs).

I’ll leave you with this final tidbit of inspiration: “To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work.” – Sister Mary Lauretta

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