What is it like to work in an Advertising Agency?

The complete working experience in an Agency can be summed up into one word, ‘LEARNING’. If you are wondering why “LEARNING’ and not any other word, then I must take you through my experience so far in an advertising  agency.


Life in an  advertising agency


Having a bachelor’s degree in hand and landing up in a new city as a girl, having a job takes the driver’s seat of your journey, of both, your personal as well as professional life. However, the ones who believe in conventional work-life balance, working in an agency is what you need, to open up your eyes into the appalling reality. No, it doesn’t mean you are risking either of these spaces in life if you pick up an Agency job. All you must do is hope for the best. – too simple to read and the most difficult to follow.

A majority of agencies would claim to be the most interesting startups you would ever come across, and that there is a lot that you will get to ‘LEARN’. And it is exactly how I landed in one of the agencies in this new city (new then) I moved 2 years back.

Having believed that the right agency can be a breath of fresh air and a hub of creativity and vision, every time there was a problem in the work culture, work processes, mix of key responsibility areas and Flashmobs of salaries; I would consider it as a “learning experience”. Of course, when you begin to work at a place, and you get to learn new things, you tend to develop a liking towards the work you do. Not to forget the confidence it gives you, Ab yeh sab dekh liya hai, toh isse zyada aur kya hoga… sab handle ho jayega!”

But, does that ‘learning’ and confidence work for you and the agency? –Remains a question that many deny to answer.

You wouldn’t deny if I say, learning is important, but at the same time, you do not want to be working as interns throughout your life?! Isn’t it?

Similar was what I expected after working for over 6 months. Tackling the unorganized work culture (like in any other startup as they say), different language problems (a majority of the colleagues were from the same city) and various work related pressures is not everyone’s cup of tea.

I saw numerous people quitting in the middle of the race. The glamour, the unlimited expense accounts, the exhilarating lifestyle – all these popular portraits of life in the big-time advertising agency were proven to be misleading. In my journey for over a year in the agency, I learnt that advertising is demanding, challenging and is a pool of hard working people.

There was a time when I felt it was interesting and fulfilling, but,  it certainly made me realize that it demands a mix of personal abilities, considerable business skills, and an ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines.

Those brainstorming sessions, mocking bird lectures,  head heating exercises and pressure building work environment…for this, it takes a lot more than just a willingness to learn. But, what you learn is all worthy. Yes, even learning to manage your finances when your bank account number falls to the least.  I learned it too.

Workdays generally start around 9:30, and continues up till late hours in the evening. Not only because sometimes it’s the work that demands attention, but also, sometimes it’s okay to discuss some ideas and people.

Yes, people work hard and play hard. That’s pretty much a cliche in the advertising world.

So, overall, working at an agency is awesome. But, you should be able to believe in working hard for it.  That’s how I see working in an advertising agency.

Work hard, play hard.


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