Firstly, an Accounts person in advertising/marketing is not an accountant. 😦
A few months ago, a lady emailed and called me insistently offering a job as an accountant in an audit firm because my LinkedIn profile says “Senior Account Manager.”
FYI, we handle accounts. We manage projects and clients. We deal with long hours of work, difficult clients, extremely impossible timelines (that make us magicians) and very high KPIs giving us so much pressure and insane stress along the way that is very hard for me to fathom the importance. Apart form that, we have to make sure that our man hours are being paid properly with “much” profit to sustain winter when clients decide to pull out their accounts for another bizarre reason. Plus, we have to ensure that the ads and marketing efforts that we roll out won’t be harmful to humanity in any way (Well, that’s ethics and not all people in the industry think about it).
For the past year, I’ve been interviewing, hiring, firing and receiving resignation letters almost every month and I thought this list might be helpful to all aspiring Account Executives or Client Servicing people.
Here are the 11 things that I think matter to survive account management:
1. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. And if you really don’t know and you seriously want to try the role, find something that you exactly want to learn or experience and don’t quit in the middle.Well, if you want things to be interesting, you have to be interested.
2. WRITE YOUR TO-DO LIST. Or if you’re not a fan of writing, maybe you can record them just like Louis Litt? Or use your iPad, smartphone’s notes or even Evernote? No matter what your style is, you have to remember the details.
3. LEARN TO PRIORITIZE. Just like in life, if you don’t need a new house now, don’t buy just because everyone’s buying a new one. Know which among the long list of to-dos must be done now and deliver it.
4. LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE. In an entry-level position, you might not need this yet cause you’ll focus more on the “execution” and doing things right. However, you have to learn it fast cause your Account Manager will always be picking you up from the hole every time you drop and that is not very efficient. Eventually, you’ll ask yourself, “Why does it feel that everything I do is wrong?”
5. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL. Clients are humans and they have their goals as well in their organisation. No matter how bitchy or unreasonable they are, they have nothing against you (well most of the time. haha). But they have a goal that they fail to achieve because of the mistake you’ve done. Know your client and tailor your expectation management accordingly.
6. TREAT TOMORROW AS A NEW DAY. Forget about how bitchy that client was yesterday or how your boss raised her voice when she was under pressure because of the mistakes you’ve done. Move on, cause a new day means you have an opportunity to do the right things and prove the bitches wrong. 🙂
7. EAT RIGHT, DRINK PLENTY OF WATER AND GO TO TOILET OFTEN. In this industry, you’ll probably have insufficient sleep (often) especially if you want a “life.” So, you have to take care of your health. Just like what my Dad told me when I was working on TV, “no matter how good you are, your company will be able to replace you easily when your health fails. But you can not bring back your good health easily.”
8. WRITE EMAILS. No matter how nice your conversation on the phone sounds, you have to recap everything in the email to save your butt in the future. You already know that there are bitches all around, why will you keep yourself unprotected? Plus, it will help you remember things too!
9. MAKE YOUR BED BEFORE YOU GO TO WORK. Sounds funny to some especially when you think about how little your sleep and how rush your morning usually is. But believe me, after a long stressful day, it’s nice to dive in a tidy and good-smelling bed.
10. NEVER BURN BRIDGES. No matter how much you hate your employer or your client, try not to part in a bad light. Sometimes, things don’t work as planned or people just don’t click but it doesn’t mean that your paths won’t cross again. Sometimes, just like relationships, you break up because you have different priorities at the moment.
11. BE A TEAM PLAYER AND NEVER LOSE YOURSELF ALONG THE WAY. No matter how good you are, you cannot do things alone. Always be a team player and treat people with utmost respect as you can. The industry is hectic but it doesn’t mean that you cannot dance on the rain or sing out loud. Find time for the things and people who make you happy and who you are.
*Photos are from google