What Career Path Is Right For You?

A Fork in the Road

Many people who’ve either just graduated from college or who are seeking a new job in the marketing industry are often faced with a fork in the road.

Agency Ave. Should you embark on this fast-paced, multi-lane thoroughfare? There is no stopping you; only green lights ahead with a “go, go, go” mentality. Although you’ll likely weave in and out of many lanes, there are diverse clients you’ll work with along the way.

Client-Side Drive. This path takes you down a familiar day-to-day route where you focus on one company (possibly with multiple businesses and markets), and it allows you to perfect your craft in an industry vertical.

What’s the difference between agency life and working on the client-side? We asked some Rebels who have experienced the best of both worlds.

Choose your Route

“Writing for an agency offers challenges and variety among industries that will grow your skillset in a way that writing for a brand cannot. Switching voices and writing styles at the drop of a dime to reach audiences all over the world has made me a more dynamic, creative writer and content planner.” —Jenny Haskins, senior content specialist 

“Prior to Rebel, I worked at ESPN as a stats analyst. Aside from not working crazy hours as I did at ESPN, I’ve enjoyed having a new challenge every day at Rebel. No client is the same and their business challenges are different, which creates a unique daily work experience.”
— Zack Hummel, manager of advertising and search

“Working for the brand  Sennheiser was rewarding, but creative grows stale as you are bound by the same regulations and brand standards on all designs. Agency work has helped my imagination expand and allowed me to stretch my wings not only in skill set but in my designs. The constant change of styles, guidelines, and pace makes every day different and unique.” — Corey Hutchison, graphic designer

“I love the thrill of what each day brings at an agency. Having worked for a global tools manufacturer, I always had a good idea of what each day’s workload would be. But at an agency, each day brings a whole new set of challenges and work. One hour you’re wearing your CPG brand hat, the next hour you’re putting on your aerospace hat, then your disability insurance hat, and so on. Each hour is unique at Rebel and that’s what helps define our topnotch work!” — Mike Cooper, technical content manager

“Working at an agency means never, ever being bored. After being on the client-side briefly throughout points in my career — once early on as a brand analyst at Marlboro and then later through staff augmentation at The Hartford — I found I was much more engaged in the marketing field when working with diverse clients and projects on a day-to-day basis. In-house client marketing teams are stellar and sophisticated. When it comes to agency life, however, the talent and expertise are unmatched. I sincerely enjoy learning something new from my extraordinary peers every day and being exposed to business challenges across every industry and project type imaginable. We also get to have fun in a more casual and less corporate environment — but it’s not for everyone. If you feel like you’ll want to let loose and have a Nerf war or two in-between meetings, agency-life might be right for you.”  — Allison Minutillo, chief operating officer

“Working in-house can be rewarding. You have the benefit of taking a route you’re truly passionate about while also becoming a master at it. In fact, there are a few industries where having an in-house/client-side team is preferable to hiring an agency. Before Rebel, I worked at ALEX AND ANI, an international fashion and jewelry retail brand. After working on the creative and content team for about three-and-a-half years, my specialty grew into something I’m genuinely passionate about: fashion. Being in an agency is a crucial step in my career as a copywriter and marketer, and I’m eager to become a more nimble writer.” — Sarah Viens, copywriter/content creator

“I’ve enjoyed working on both the client and the agency side of business. On the client-side, I have had the opportunity to launch products, services, brands and businesses with brand name companies, across a variety of industries, which are highly recognizable. I still see products and services in the marketplace where I have influenced their ongoing success. The marketing training, mentoring and experience that I received from the client-side have been valuable to my career.  On the agency-side, taking all of my client-side experience and applying it to a diverse set of clients and industries is exciting and dynamic, oftentimes more so than you would find working for one company. Additionally, the agency side is all about marketing and cutting edge approaches that are emerging. Marketing is my passion and remains my career choice. I feel fortunate to have had both types of experiences.” — Craig Wilson, senior marketing executive

Take this Exit

When faced with the decision to work for an agency or to work client-side, which road will you choose? Do your due diligence. For starters, talk to professionals who have worked in both environments to get some well-rounded opinions. Remember: everyone has different preferences and only you will be able to determine your best journey.

If you’re interested in taking an inside look at working at an agency, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter.

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