What happens when you no longer care?
You are working on a large website job with a difficult client. The work has been going on for months and the website is now overdue for release. Your client is making substantial last minute changes and your development team is packed with other work.
You are weary of both the project and the client, and you know you are not pushing the work through the dev team as hard as you might ordinarily do.
You get a call from your client who says they feel they are not a priority anymore, and that you don't care. Are they right?
One trait that separates a great account manager from merely a good one is a strong desire to care.
You will care about your clients and their needs; care about your team; care about business outcomes for your agency; and care about the work that is being produced.
How much you care will show in your actions and your attitude. Your colleagues will see it and your clients will sense it. They will notice when you do care, and they will most definitely notice when you don't care.
In an industry crammed with long hours, pressures, demanding clients and fighting fires, the seemingly endless grind can often wear you down. You may feel like it is easier to care less, because the less you care the less you will be disappointed. But beware of the day you stop caring - it is a sign that something needs to be adjusted, and quickly.
For a minor adjustment
- Evaluate yourself – take an introspective and honest look at your attitude and work performance (better you do it than your boss asking you to!).
- Choose to focus on the positive aspects of your job, rather than dwell on the negatives.
- Practise gratitude – remind yourself of everything about your job that you are grateful for.
- Mentally determine that each day will be a good day.
- Mentor someone – it will help you to be outward-focused instead of inward-focused.
- Ask your colleagues how they are doing, and if you can be of any help.
- Check your appearance - when you look good, you feel good.
- Get involved – it's harder to not-care when you are actively contributing to a team.
- Look for ways to bring "newness" to your work – add new challenges, learn new skills, seek out new innovation.
- Remember what you got into the industry for and try to recapture that enthusiasm.
For a moderate adjustment
- Talk with your manager about the way you are feeling.
- Ask to be assigned to different clients for a fresh perspective.
- Consider moving agencies to defibrillate your career.
For a major adjustment
- Seriously consider whether you need to leave the industry - AgencyLand can be an unforgiving place for an account manager who no longer cares.
Try to do at least one thing – every day - to show your colleagues and clients that you care about your job, and you care about them. Being intentional about caring is a good practice to adopt, and will help to see you through the down times when they inevitably come along.
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