How to Settle Into Your First Creative Agency Job

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    • 16th May 2019

    Whether you're changing your career or starting it, creative agency jobs in Leeds are a rewarding choice. However, there's still plenty to consider before you apply.

    In this guide we’ll highlight typical activities, how to work well with your colleagues, and what you can learn from them during your time working at a creative agency of Leeds.

    What it’s like working at a creative agency

    Before we begin, it’s important to remember creative agency jobs in Leeds (and further afield) are all different. The culture may be playful or businesslike; the office may be large or small. However, there are some things you’ll do regardless of where you work.

    Team Meetings

    These typically run every week, or during major projects. People attending these will share updates on the tasks they’re working on. They may also offer ideas to help their colleagues, or raise any concerns they have.

    If you’ve spent a lot of time studying or working alone, these can be a little intimidating. However, they’re an excellent opportunity to stay abreast of what your colleagues (and clients) are doing. They also allow you to build good working relationships with colleagues, and understand what’s most important to the business right now.

    multicoloured pens on lined notebook
    In creative agencies, you’ll often need to put your heads together.

     

    1:1 Meetings

    1:1s are meetings between you and your line manager; they’re a chance to discuss your work, your clients and how things are going more generally. They work best when they’re short and focussed. You can highlight your recent achievements, but you should focus on the goals you want to achieve in the short term.

    Compared to team meetings, 1:1 meetings may be much less frequent. Their frequency depends on the size of the agency; some agencies have them every fortnight, every month or not at all. If there’s no formal 1:1 meeting in place, don’t worry; many line managers will have informal chats instead.

    Don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues about one-to-one meetings. Getting a sense of their style—and frequency—lets you avoid any surprises. It also lets you use the time more effectively when you actually have them.

    Socials

    Pink drink with ice and lemon on wooden table
    Relaxing during (or after) work is essential in creative jobs.

    Creative agency jobs in Leeds adopt a “work hard, play hard” philosophy. This takes the form of regular socials, on a monthly or quarterly basis. They may take place in-house, or out in the surrounding city.

    Again, the level of formality of these events tends to vary. They might be organised by the agency you’re working for, or they might just be a regular meet-up arranged by your colleagues. Whatever form they take, socials are an excellent way to settle in to a new job.

    We recommend attending socials when you can, at least in the first few months of your job. Don’t forget you’re working in a team as well as a job; socials let you unwind and get to know colleagues a little better. If you’re not a night owl or big drinker, don’t be afraid to suggest a lunchtime social instead.

    Teamwork is the dream work 

    People shaking hands in front of white wall
    Working closely with others is the key to career success.

    In any creative agency, the needs of your client are a priority. To achieve the best results for your client, creative agency jobs in Leeds count on cooperation and collaboration across their workforce. Here’s some tips based on our experience with candidates and clients on how to ensure that the dream work happens during teamwork. 

    Working across departments in a creative agency job

    The different departments of creative agencies will often work together on a single job, from a single brief. In most cases you won’t be writing briefs yourself when you start work. However, you will need to understand them and—crucially—know when to speak to other departments. Don’t be shy about giving updates when asked, or contacting another department if you’re unsure about something.

    Deadline etiquette

    Juggling projects is another part of life at creative agencies. You’ll probably know what this is like from university degrees or previous jobs. That said, creative agencies also have unspoken rules surrounding deadline etiquette.

    yellow clock on white cabinet
    Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time for amends!

    Talk to both your line manager and colleagues to establish deadlines for work. You can avoid breaking deadline etiquette by having an internal deadline that’s prior to the client’s.

    Never forget that creative projects always require checks, amends (and the occasional rethink) to ensure the client gets the best version. Sending early drafts straight to clients will reflect badly on both your agency and you as an individual.

    Client services

    Depending on your role in the business, you may not have much direct contact with the clients you work for—at least to begin with. However, there are still a number of things you can do to demonstrate you take client service seriously. This is definitely something your line manager will be looking out for.

    Work is ready to go

    For starters, make sure that you send your work in the right format. For example, if clients prefer written content as Word documents, make sure you send it as a Word document. You should also make sure the work looks ready to go, is free of internal comments and meets any previous requirements the client has set.

    Answer the phone

    You should also take your turn when it comes to answering the phone. Even if the call isn’t for you, taking a message (or passing a client over to the right colleague) is a huge help.

    Review it from the client’s point of view

    Finally, try not to get caught up in your own creativity. It’s very easy to let your passion run away with you, but the most creative idea doesn’t always serve your client’s requirements. Make sure you prioritise your client’s goals and job targets, and don’t worry; your ideas may only need small tweaks to line up with the original brief.

    Learn from Others

    man writing in notebook while holding pencils
    It never hurts to go into a new job with an open mind.

    Whether you’re fresh out of university or you’ve left it far behind, learning doesn’t end when you enter the workforce. In fact, new jobs present a vital opportunity to learn from those around you. Leeds has a rich culture of creative agencies, and many of your colleagues will have worked at other agencies in or around Leeds before now.

    This broad spectrum of experience is perfect if you want to learn more about working in creative agencies. Indeed, a willingness to learn is essential for developing your career.

    When your colleagues aren’t too busy, try asking them how they prefer to work in their current roles. You can, in turn, learn how to perform your role better. It may take some time to truly settle into your role and the agency’s wider culture. But speaking to your fellow colleagues will help you understand what makes your agency special—and how you fit into it.

    Having an insight into Leeds’ rich, unique agency culture will also help you in the future. When you discuss projects directly with clients—or support the sales team with pitches—showing your insight into the big culture of agency life is useful. It also shows your line manager that you’re passionate about helping your creative agency to be the best that it can be. 


    By now, we hope you have a better idea of what to expect if you work in creative agencies. Creative agency jobs in Leeds are very popular with both graduates and career changers, as they offer a wide range of creative challenges for their employees.

    Since 2006, we at Gloss Recruitment have specialised in creative agency jobs in Leeds. We have an in-depth understanding of Leeds’ agency landscape, and we’re dedicated to matching the right candidate to the right employer. With our in-depth candidate process, we’ll help you reach your full potential.

    We’ll go through your CV with a fine-toothed comb, helping you to tease out the skills and experience employers want to know about. We’ll take a similarly incisive look at your portfolio, so it shows off the most relevant work for the job in question. When your prior work is all polished up, we’ll help you practise your interview skills so you can talk about your achievements properly.

    Take the first steps towards your ideal job today. You can submit your CV here to give us a first impression of your skills, or call us direct on 0113 209 5705. If you’d like more advice before contacting us, try reading our articles on getting into creative roles and how to work SMARTER during your career.