So, first day out the way at the new job. Already, I’ve noticed some fundamental differences to working client-side that I hadn’t considered before I made the move. Thinking back, they’re fairly obvious. Got to love hindsight, right?

You may recall that I hate timesheets. I simply don’t think that time at my desk, working, is the best way to keep me creative. Or a good way to measure my output. Timesheets don’t come into play at all client-side; at least, not in this job. Rather, I have deadlines and if I meet them then that’s okay with everyone. This is both liberating and a little bit scary. I mean, I could be spending my time writing blog posts.

Things get done. No endless meetings without agendas; no pointless charts to justify someone’s job. Instead, a simple stand-up meeting in the morning to see what’s happening – so everyone knows, not just the management – and then we’re on with our day. If and when I go back to agency life, I’ll remove all chairs from meetings that are designed to be quick.

Yes there isn’t the rush to get things done here. I have time. No loads of time, but enough time. It’s a bit like it was a decade ago in the advertising industry but with up-to-date knowledge applied.

Collaboration. How this word is the spectre in the advertising world. It’s lauded by all, yet rarely done well. And I think I know why: competitiveness. Client-side, we’re all working for the one client, our employer. We’re not vying to work on the “amazing account”, or for the biggest budgets. We’re all focused on getting the best work done and in the way that is easiest and most effective. This is how it should work in agencies, but creatives are, by nature, competitive. Often, management believes this competitiveness keeps them sharp, on their toes. Mostly it creates divisions. Now I know not all creative ad agencies work this way, but in my experience it’s often the norm.

But for every great thing I can mention, there has to be bad stuff to balance it all out.

The internet. It’s just not the same here. That’s mostly because I now work in the financial industry. A lot of sites are blocked. And I mean a lot. It’s this new thing I’m learning about: compliance. I mean, I knew about compliance, but never really considered its impact on what I take for granted. What it does mean is that I tend to get more done. Some would say that’s a good thing.

They have their own language and jargon in the finance industry. Loads. Too much. I have a 10-page style guide just for jargon.

Everything I do is logged or recorded. And I mean everything. This isn’t about surveillance, it’s about compliance. That word again. I am learning, fast, that in the world of finance, mitigating risk is key.

So, two days in. Immediate differences noted. I’m sure these thoughts will need updating as the weeks roll by. Watch this space, then.

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