10 months ago I found myself in a confusing position where I had to forcibly hang up my beloved flip flops in the Caribbean and embark on a new ‘foreign’ life back in the UK. I had carved out a lifestyle where I surrounded myself with people, palms, & pina coladas – all the important stuff.
When mother nature cruelly snatched this from us all, I knew it was time to climb onto the UK working carousel or risk never being able to catch up with the 20-something digital wizards. I love the old age mantra of ‘Love what you do and you won’t work a day in your life’.
SO I brainstormed at the kitchen table over a cuppa and tried to search for something here in Bournemouth that encapsulated all my skills, yet still evoked some excitement – et voila Bright Blue Day appeared on my screen.
I had never worked in an Advertising Agency but Mad Men had given me all the practise I needed…right? WRONG.
I prepared myself to walk into the lion’s den on my first day, how wrong I could have been. The 1960’s, cigar smoking, pin striped, male dominated office was a thing of the past.
I nervously arrived and was faced with quirky luminous green walls, comfortable sofas, happy faces and enough MacBook’s dotted around to put Apple out of business (NB. that’s an exaggeration)
One of the wisest people I ever had the pleasure of working for once advised me – ‘Always say yes & work out how to do it later.’ I don’t think anything could be more accurate for this mountain of a role I accepted to climb.
Working within Client Services, you need to be the perfect blend of approachable yet professional. Finally, the two key skills I took from my last job were going to come in handy! Now to tackle the jargon, I can tell you now, a smart phone with instant access to Google has never come in quite so handy. During my first week, there were countless meetings and conference calls. It was evident from the offset that if I didn’t keep up I would get left behind, and fast. Hence the frantic acronym searching under the desks.
(After much stress, I later found out that most of these were creations from the team’s wonderful minds at BBD!!)
I still told myself to not ask too many questions and endeavour to work most of it out for myself or risk being the annoying new guy - turns out everyone is more than willing to help.
The team within this office have the vastest amount of knowledge of any collective group of people I’ve met, so, more often than not, they want to get into a good old chin wag about their field with someone that’s desperate to soak it all up.
So, it was time to get digging and learn exactly what an AEM, DAM, NODE, MARQUEE & WIP was. Once you get the majority of these under your belt you can feel confident going into a conversation with anyone in the room.
Looking back this was a huge turning point; self-belief is the trigger to get out there and prove to the world that you have full control of your projects.
There were a few learning curves & not being just the project in hand. I have gone through my working life with the belief that the customer is always right. In an integrated agency, we follow that mantra - with a twist. The experience collected here, as a whole team, enables wider vision which gives the ability to conceptualise the bigger picture. This provides a solid platform to have the conviction to advise avenues for additional value to a client.
With enough evidence to prove the reasoning behind the recommendations, the customer 99% of the time turns out to be happier with the final piece.
It isn’t confrontational, it’s just because the Bright Blues are just so god damn good at their jobs.
8 months later..
I thrive on pressure and stress but if I said that wrestling my projects over the last few months wasn't tough I would be lying to you. At times I was running through marmite but love it or hate it I came out the other side feeling stronger than ever. My lesson learnt is that it’s okay to fly that little white flag. I always assumed that calling out for help was the first sign of weakness. I actually enjoyed being firmly told that I was wrong and what a relief that was. There is no denying that we all get absorbed in our own deadlines & sometimes we forget to look up and find that support system that is ready and waiting to step in.
I now have full confidence to raise my head and say that little one line “I need help” and not be ashamed that I can’t tackle the beast on my own.
After all, how bad can life be when I see these faces each day?