Are you a creative professional who's wondered what it's like working at an agency? Working at a marketing, advertising or digital agency can be quite different from working in-house. Is the agency life right for you? Read on for advice that may help guide your decision. 

What kinds of personality types excel at agencies? 

Agencies exist to serve clients, and the pace is often fast. A client's needs can change suddenly, and new, urgent projects can arrive unexpectedly. So working at an agency requires grace under pressure and an ability to shift gears and get up to speed quickly. Bottom line: If you can confidently tackle any challenge thrown your way, you'll be a valuable player in an agency environment. 

What's the agency's corporate culture like? 

Agency company culture varies. In a nutshell, it's how the agency chooses to translate its mission into day-to-day work life. Some agencies operate like startups, with flexible work hours, open workspaces, beer on Fridays and kickball teams. Some agencies focus on work-life balance and keeping their employees engaged with their families and communities. 


How do you find the right agency for you? 

With so many variations, how can you discover which corporate culture is right for you? Search Google, Twitter, Instagram and Glassdoor to learn what people are saying about an agency and to see pictures of the workplace. During interviews with an agency, ask about daily life there. Many agencies use group interviews as a method of introducing the candidate and the team to each other and seeing how well they fit. 

To some extent, adapting to an agency is like fitting in at any other creative job: Take your cues from your coworkers when it comes to dress code and cubicle or office decorations. Same goes for local customs regarding kitchen cleanup (is it a wash-your-own-mug situation, or is there a cleaning person?) and language (is swearing like a sailor the norm, or do your coworkers keep things PG?). 

If you take the time to evaluate how you like to work and what your goals are, you'll have much improved chances of finding an agency that's right for you. If you're considering working at an agency in the creative industry, be sure to check out the Salary Guide from The Creative Group to find out what your earning potential is.