So you’ve landed your first job in an agency, congratulations! Your cheesy jokes and skillfully planned answers during the interview process were enough to convince them to overlook your fudged resume (underwater basket weaving is not an applicable skill) and give you a shot. But what do you expect now that you’re hired? Well no need to fret and wonder why your palms just got clammy! Below you’ll find some of the key skills, detailed in a zombie apocalypse format (because everything is more fun with zombies), that will help you not feel devoured (pun intended) by your new roles and responsibilities.
- First off, BRAINS!!!! If you didn’t scream that in a dramatic/cinematic fashion, start over, but if you did, you’re doing just fine. All joking aside, you were hired for your potential to contribute as a functioning part of the agency. If you’re coming from a part-time or less involved position (looking at you, college grads), be prepared to be learning and thinking a lot. In all likelihood you signed the dotted line to make this a career, so treat it like one and realize that the concepts and skills you’re learning are what will help you advance yourself as time goes on.
- Be a team player. Just like in a zombie apocalypse scenario, your chances of survival and success are much higher when you can work with others. This is especially true if you’re new to advertising and have no real skill value yet (you’re the guy/gal leaching resources off the group and praying they don’t realize you ate the last of the Vanilla Wafers). Having the attitude to be a productive group member and help the team tackle an approaching deadline or project will ensure they keep you around and don’t secretly vote to leave you behind next nap break (arbitrage happens). After all, you can’t manage every facet of an account on your own, just as you can’t take on a hoard of drooling flesh-eaters solo either.
- Zombies don’t hunt from nine to five. It’s a nice idea believing the work flow abides by a traditional work day, but it’s important to realize an account can be somewhat of a living organism (unlike a zombie). Deadlines or budgets can shift, new reports may be need created, but whatever the reason it is important to know you don’t just call it a day when eight hours is up. The work needs to get done, and quitting early is just as much of an option as deciding to stop making ammo. You’ll always need the bullets, and your team/client will always need the extra help.
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Of course you want to impress by showing you can tackle any project/creature that wanders your way, but taking on too much is setting yourself up to be eaten alive. Not only will you stress out, but the work will suffer and it will have the opposite effect of making you look awesome. Your skills will develop and you’ll eventually become a seasoned pro, but until then don’t ride your motorcycle into battle with the training wheels still on.
So there you have it. As long as you remember to keep these key details in mind during your first month of employment (or the impending doom of civilization), you’ll find you’re not only surviving the new environment and challenges, but thriving.