To be honest, when I first started my position as an Account Coordinator at FabCom, an integrated marketing and advertising agency located in Phoenix, Arizona, I was a little intimidated. Even with a couple of advertising internships and three years of marketing experience, I had never actually worked in an agency environment. I had heard what the #adlife would be like from people I graduated college with while earning my Bachelor of Science in Marketing in Wisconsin, but in reality I didn’t know what to expect.
The advertising industry is fast paced and can be overwhelming at first, but my experience at FabCom has been nothing less than amazing and I can’t picture myself working anywhere else. It’s busy, awesome, demanding, and – in between the craziness- fun. So how have I survived? Here are seven things I’ve learned in my first seven months at FabCom:
- Watch how others work. At FabCom, the average employee has been working here for 10 years. From the moment I walked in the door, I could see they knew what they were doing. They know how to get things done, but have fun doing it. I can honestly say I work with some of the most creative, passionate individuals in the advertising industry. Every day I come to work I learn something new, so one thing I’ve learned is to not only take physical notes, but mental ones. Finding out what people do and actually understanding how they do their jobs successfully, gave me an idea of what others would eventually expect from me.
- Ask questions. There truly is no such thing as a dumb question, especially in a marketing and advertising agency. In order to stay on top of the best strategies, social media trends, and latest technology products we have to constantly be asking ourselves questions. Is this really the best we can do? Did we put everything into creating success for the client? Will I leave work today knowing I put my best foot forward for our customers and team? Asking questions in any job, but specifically at FabCom, is not only a great thing, but crucial in our results driving marketing environment.
- Don’t expect a 9am-5pm job. If you’re the type of person who counts down the hours, the minutes, and the seconds until it’s 5pm so you can clock out, then FabCom probably isn’t the place for you. Our clients depend on us to produce great work. If that means we stay late to exceed their expectations, we will. Our team does whatever it takes to keep our clients happy, even if it means missing our favorite TV show. Personally, I think it’s one of the reasons why FabCom is a top advertising agency in the Scottsdale and Phoenix area. When you have people who love their job and want to be proud of what they do, working late isn’t really a question.
- Get to know your coworkers. Find out what motivates your colleagues and what they are passionate about. Once you’ve gotten past the “ice-breaking” period of working with new people in a new environment, you have an opportunity to find out on a deeper level what makes your coworkers tick. FabCom is a fully integrated agency, so whether it’s account services, copy writing, business intelligence, SEO, the creative studio, or video production, we are all working together towards a common goal: bring our clients the best we can. I’ve enjoyed getting to know my coworkers. FabCom is a melting pot of personalities, experience, and backgrounds, but at the end of the day they actually make coming to work – dare I say- fun!
- Communication is key. No matter what industry you’re in, communication is one of the most important business skills. Whether it’s presenting a new strategy to clients or detailing 360° feedback to the rest of the FabCom team after an extensive meeting, being able to communicate saves everyone time and money. At FabCom, it’s critical to be direct, to the point, concise and accurate.
- Expect the unexpected. No matter how much you plan in a strategic marketing agency you have to be able to adjust your expectations and be flexible. As an Account Coordinator working in client services, it’s pretty much part of my job to expect the unexpected when trying to find the best alternatives for a client or project. Things will explode into mountains of work and you will have to adjust your life to meet deadlines, although at FabCom we are constantly looking for ways to make things better. If a coworker is in over their head with projects, each and every one of us is working to bring them back up to speed. At FabCom, the word “team” is part of our daily vocabulary.
- Culture does make or break a job. The word “culture,” in my opinion, gets thrown around way too much. It’s a word you hear often, but what is it exactly? Many “outsiders” think ad agency culture revolves around free food, bringing your dog to work, or wearing whatever you want, but that is inaccurate. Yes, at FabCom we have all of these things and believe they are important for office morale and creativity, but these are intangible elements. Even though we have casual Fridays, black lights, and loud music, we take our work seriously. Culture at FabCom has been designed to sustain employee enthusiasm in their job, life and with the client’s mission. In my time here I’ve seen FabCom create happy employees because in the end happiness means more productivity, more focus, and more determination. When a business is more productive, that means it works more efficiently, and when it’s working faster, it can get ahead of the competition. I’ve come up with the conclusion that the workplace shouldn’t be something you dread every day. While our work is challenging and we have strict deadlines, the culture doesn’t add stress, it relieves it. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy coming to work. I get to work with incredible, intelligent, supportive coworkers and be challenged every day.
Amidst all I’ve learned, the biggest takeaway has been the realization that I’ve found my fit. Combining our culture with our demand for excellence is as inspiring as it is challenging. It’s a challenge that inspires me to give more, to be more. I not only accept the challenge. I embrace it.