Is working for an agency really so awful?

almost 7 years ago from Al M, Designer

  • CTodd LombardoCTodd Lombardo, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )

    TL,DR; You might wish to reframe your question. I think it's less agency team vs in-house team and more about the culture and leadership styles at the company. Perhaps your question might be: under what culture values and leadership styles will I do my best work of my career?


    I've been on both sides of that coin. I'm currently in the agency world and love it. And I'm not in my early career!

    The culture of the agency is critical. As mentioned some are toxic. Maybe most are, and some aren't? Is there any data out there on this? At Fresh Tilled Soil, while we have our quirks and ups and downs, it's a fabulous place to work. Is it all roses? Oh hell no, but positives far outweigh the negatives. The team backs each other up like none I've ever seen. Our CEO is vision driven and strives to create an environment where a band of talented misfits can help our clients create great products that add value to the world. There's always the P.I.T.A. client, the boring project, the project that just makes money because you need to make payroll, but those are the exception and not the norm. If you're comfortable with uncertainty, agency life can be a great lifestyle. Again, it boils down to culture and leadership. If they fit your style, it's great. If not, you'll hate it.

    Working for a stable product company with a talented team can also be nice as you get to see multiple cycles of your work make your end-users succeed (or fail). The ability to see that arc over time can be very fulfilling. However, some product teams are also mind-numbing zombie zones, so there's that.

    My suggestion would be to invite people in both situations out for a coffee or a phone call and have a chat.

    Best wishes!

    2 points