Agency life is full of unknowns.
As an AE (or account executive), it’s my job to take all of that beautiful chaos and handle it with every ounce of grace I can muster. Some days you trip—honestly, some days you fall flat on your face—but other days, you look like a damn ballerina. And boy, do those days feel good.
If you want to be that graceful ballerina (or, you know, just make it through the day successfully), you’ll need the proper tools. These are the essentials for any AE worth their weight in _____.
1. To-do list
This is an AE’s bread and butter. If it’s not on the list, it doesn’t exist. In addition to keeping track of everything you need to accomplish by EOD, to-do lists double as a “time billing safety net”—just retrace your crossouts to see how your day was spent.
2. Headphones (the bigger the better)
Nothing helps cut through that to-do list like the perfect set of jams. I’m not saying that Pandora’s “Thong Song Radio” is the best playlist in the history of the internet, but I’m not NOT saying it, either.
Can’t get work done while listening to music? Use your headphones to block out the world around you. Open offices are great until they aren’t. Sometimes a little quiet is all it takes to find your focus.
This one comes with time.
As an AE, you work with a lot of personalities. Let’s face it—clients can be needy, creatives can be dramatic, and vendors can be disorganized. It’s okay. Because we AEs can be annoying (especially as deadlines approach). It’s all part of working in a fast-paced environment—let alone a workplace where people care about what they do.
So when an email comes in that ticks you off, just remember that there are things you can and cannot control. Take five, vent to your team if you must, and maybe blast some angry music in those trusty headphones. Woooooosaaaahhhh.
OK, so not literally floaties. What I mean to say is that you need to learn to go with the flow.
More often than not, that quiet Friday afternoon with just one meeting scheduled is going to be ripped into the fray thanks to some unforeseeable fire drill request or an issue with the creative team’s files.
But, the good news is you’ll never get bored. So pull on those floaties, dive head first into the crazy, and just keep swimming.
Did we forget anything? Let us know what we missed!