Your best career pathway: linear or dynamic?

July 10, 2016

Your best career pathway: linear or dynamic?

We are each a product of the life (and job) choices that we make. We may choose our jobs based on our career goals, circumstances or necessity. At times we have the power to select our ideal job, and at other times we have to take whatever we can get. There is no right or wrong career pathway, and no two paths will ever be the same.

A career in agency account management is made up of a series of clearly defined levels, which create a linear pathway from the time you graduate from university, through to senior management.

Given that our life journeys will be so diverse, is it generally considered better to stay on the account management ladder and have a "linear" career (agency only), or deviate off the ladder and have a more "dynamic" career (e.g. agency-side, client-side, marketing, sales, starting your own business, voluntary work, travel, having a family)?

 

Things to consider 

The economy

In a healthy economy, business confidence will be high and jobs aplenty. It will be far easier for you to take a dynamic path (outside of AgencyLand) when the world is your oyster; it's quite a different story when jobs are scarce. 

Your ambition

How high and how quickly do you want to climb the account management career ladder? The longer you stay within AgencyLand (on the accepted pathway) the more quickly you will ascend. If fame and fortune are not your main drivers, you may enjoy deviating here and there for variety and job satisfaction.

Your goals

Where would you like your career to be in 5 to 10 years' time? If you have a clear idea of where you'd like to end up, then it pays to make choices that help you achieve your goals. Any deviation may mean a longer, tougher road to your destination.

Necessity

Has your job been made redundant and you need to find another immediately? Are you new to the country and eager to secure any job in order to get local experience? Sometimes the need for employment trumps the ability to choose your ideal role, and often that means taking work outside of AgencyLand on a forced dynamic pathway.

Risk

Changing jobs will always come with an element of risk. Will this be a good career move? Will you be able to keep moving in the direction you want to go? If this is a dynamic move, will you be able to jump back onto the account management ladder at some point in the future?

If you are risk-averse you will be more likely to stay on the linear-ladder. If you are adventurous, a more risky (dynamic) pathway could be the perfect choice. 

Employer perceptions

If your CV shows a dynamic pathway, your suitability for a role becomes open to biased interpretation. Some employers will see a dynamic CV as interesting and well-rounded. Some will be confused (or put off) because you don't tick the obvious boxes. Always remember that beauty is in the eye of the CV-beholder. What one agency employer dislikes, another will think is fantastic - it just may take longer to find a like-minded employer.

 

Choices

Every single career choice you make (be it linear or dynamic) will come with it's own set of consequences (some good and some not so good).

There is no doubt that staying on the account management ladder will enable you to move up through the ranks more quickly, and your salary will increase accordingly.

There may come a time where you gaze at the green grass on the other side of the fence and decide to do something  different. As long as you understand that a move away from AgencyLand may mean it will be more difficult (depending on the stage you are at in your career) to get back onto the account management ladder in the future.

It's best to weigh up your options carefully, and analyse the pros and cons. Ultimately you have to do what is best for yourself and your family, and nobody but you can say if your choice is right or wrong.

.

    .





    Leave a comment

    Comments will be approved before showing up.


    Also in Latest Tips & Tricks

    Keeping people happy
    Keeping people happy

    February 07, 2018

    Keeping clients happy will lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals. Keeping suppliers happy could mean sharper pricing and improved turnaround times. Keeping your team happy will allow you to move work around your agency quickly and without fuss. And, most of all, it will mean people will like working with you, which should open more doors than you could ever imagine.

    View full article →

    Account management - your USP
    Account management - your USP

    January 24, 2018

    Think about all the times you’ve been into a store, and the customer service was mediocre to poor. Now think of a time when you visited a store and were treated to excellent customer service. How did that make you feel? Surprised? Being an agency that is well-known for their high level of client service is a huge selling point in the highly competitive agency marketplace. 

    View full article →

    Being a good steward
    Being a good steward

    January 02, 2018

    Account managers hold the purse strings for every single job that goes through an agency. You get briefed on requirements, and then you are given the budget in which everyone has to work. Beware, because with much power comes much responsibility!

    View full article →

    Our gift to you!

    SIGN UP TO RECEIVE REGULAR ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT TIPS FROM AM-INSIDER, AND YOU WILL RECEIVE 100% OFF THE PURCHASE PRICE OF ANY ONE RESOURCE FROM THE AM-INSIDER WEBSITE. THAT'S ONE RESOURCE
    ABSOLUTELY FREE.

    CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP NOW!

    It's our way of saying THANK YOU for subscribing, plus a BIGGER THANK YOU for caring about your career and wanting to become the best account management professional you can be. We're in behind you all the way.