Michael, our Executive Creative Director, recently returned from a trip away with his family and shared his thoughts about some of the ways in which life in the agency is similar to going on a holiday. (This post makes his holiday tax-deductible, yeah?)
1. Be early and pack the night before.
When it comes to airports, it’s better to be early and bored than miss the boarding. The same is true for client meetings. You may have spent weeks on a presentation, but if you show up late, it will be the thing that’s remembered most. That’s why you should metaphorically pack the night before – aim to have important presentations well and truly finished and rehearsed the night before your meeting.
2. When you’re new in town, ask the locals.
If you want to find the best places to go and what to avoid, it always pays to ask the people who know the area best. Likewise, whenever you begin working with a new client, it’s smart to learn as much as you can as quickly as possible – and the client is the one who can share that vital information. Don’t be too shy or proud to ask questions. You’re not expected to know everything initially. This is also true when you’re working on brands you know well but in an overseas market.
3. Enjoy with caution.
Look, when you’re on holiday with two young kids, you need to learn to ‘enjoy with caution’. After all, you can’t be getting blitzed on pina coladas by the pool if the kids are in the water. You need to be constantly checking that things are ok – because before you know it you may find one of the kids is in tears. The same is true with client and agency relationships. You want to get in the habit are regularly checking that everything is going smoothly so you can get on top of any potential problems before they escalate.
4. Have a plan – and be prepared to ditch it.
Say your plan is to spend the day at the beach, but it just so happens to be the one day the weather turns bad (or there’s a tsunami alert due to a volcano). Do you carry on regardless? Of course not. You work out an alternative and the same is true with agency life. If something unexpected happens, you need to be flexible and agile enough to adapt. (And always try to have a Plan B, C, D and E.)
5. It can’t all be non-stop fun.
No one likes being the bad guy, however, on holiday you have to occasionally order your kids to bed or shut down their request for another ice cream. The same is true at work – sometimes you need to tell a client that a request is unreasonable or tell a colleague to lift their game. It’s not easy, but the alternative is worse (those of you that have seen kids on a massive sugar high right before bed will know what I’m talking about).
So there you have it – work and holidays really do share a lot in common. Or, perhaps Frank Tyger was right: When you like your work, every day is a holiday.Write a comment