This is the New Normal and all bets are off.
It’s not what they promised you when they hired you.
Work hard and you will rise to the top. There are lots of opportunities for career growth here.
That is true to a degree but the problem is that you often won’t stay at your shop for as long as you like. Especially if times get tough. People pay the price when agencies lose business.
I know many senior level folks in the Ad Game. I have connected with them when I was conducting agency reviews, looking for talent, speaking to AAF Chapters across the country and just through my networking journey.
I heard a train was a coming when I last met for wine with a President of a local shop a few months ago. She could buy of course but she needed to have an itemized receipt for the Accounting Department as if somebody at their salary level would be trying to pad their expense account.
Accounting for many agencies is in India these days. It is cheaper my friend.
She shared her frustrations.
She and others that I have met were trying to choose their path. My passion or another last gig before I go fishing?
A couple of months ago I read in a New Business update online that her agency lost an account.
I knew she was on the chopping block.
That week I got her text. I have been chopped. The quick slice of the guillotine.
I knew the HR Director and she told me that it was all about cost savings.
Yes, when you are senior you are smarter, lead clients, build their business and increase revenue for the agency but that doesn’t protect you today. Especially if the agency is publically traded.
I was doing some recruiting for another shop the other day.
I got connected with a prospect.
I heard his story.
The agency had lost some business. Not his fault. Some clients had been acquired and the business went to the shops that the whale worked with. Other clients went away and so it goes. We have heard it all before.
He was on the beach along with many others.
I was looking at his agency’s website the other day and I saw that they were hiring.
They were looking for an Account Manager. Reminds me of a job posting I saw on LinkedIn the other day. The company was looking for an entry level leadership person. That’s an oxymoron for sure.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 59 percent of employees in the Ad industry are ages 25-44. The rest are vulnerable to be out of the game.
People that have been in the game longer are creative and smart but they cost more and when it comes down to saving money they are the first to go.
You can’t control your destiny these days in the agency business.
But you can control how ready you are to move on after the penny drops.
That is how people win.
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