The Agency, Freelance, Or In-House Find Out Which Role Is Best For You
One Job. Three Worlds. What’s Yours? Marketers are often faced with the same dilemma – do I want to work in-house, at an agency or do I want to freelance?
The three worlds are so different, and each comes with its particular pros and cons.
That’s why totaljobs created the “One Job. Three Worlds.” Quiz – to help guide jobseekers interested in marketing jobs like SEO, social media and PR decide which world they are best suited for.
Totaljobs also spoke to major brands and practitioners to get an insider’s opinion on what’s great about working freelance, in-house and in an agency.
Working as an in-house executive in SEO, market research or any other marketing discipline can be extremely rewarding. However many jobseekers and graduates are unsure of what ‘in-house’ or ‘client-side’ roles actually involve.
Sam Batabunde at fashion retailer River Island says, “In-house you get the opportunity to understand the brand you’re working for in-depth – having that sixth sense for factors like market trends and company goals can really give you an edge”.
For Georgina Rhodes at Marks and Spencer, variety is the spice of life: “It is this real mix of creativity and numbers which I love about my job. In my current role, I am lucky enough to work on high profile campaigns and really contribute to the creative direction they take”.
Harvesting what you plant is also a major advantage of in-house work: “Working in-house is the perfect use case for harvesting what you plant. You will get the opportunity to start, finish, and collect the results of projects, which is not something that comes around if you freelance or do agency work,” explains Thiago Monteiro at Treatwell.
This goes hand in hand with extensive teamwork, an important aspect of in-house roles. Aurélie Salle, Senior Trade Marketing Manager for ball-point manufacturer Bic France explains: “We really value teamwork, which allows us to ‘break the silos’ and bring new people into the project teams. We then get new inputs and perspectives, nurturing both the teams and the projects”.
Over the years, agencies have forged a distinct reputation – they are not made for everyone. All degrees and professional experience aside, the fact is that for job candidates to make it agency-side they must usually step into a different world.
However, you won’t have to work 24/7, promise! At Periscopix, a performance marketing agency based in London, they “operate strict working hours and in turn, see a work force that are highly motivated and focused when in the office”, says Natasha Bhana, Recruitment Manager.
Your working days will definitely be busy, and you will “have to think on your feet and be willing to change direction. We have to manage numerous projects within tight timeframes”, confirms Dan Maudhub, Managing Director at Wonderful creative agency.
But as the Periscopix team explains, this should not take priority over your well-being at work: “We review peoples’ workload regularly to ensure they are challenged and stretched, but not struggling”.
Working with clients is definitely an important part of working in an agency. For Andrew Seel, CEO of Qube Media, an agency offering social media services and based in Brighton, this is crucial as “you need to understand that developing a strong client partnership is key to achieving a powerful impact.
This means you need to be a good listener to recognise client and customer needs and motivations, but also be creative, agile and have a clear vision which cuts through the noise and demonstrates how you’ll be able to meet and exceed business objectives”.
Being a freelancer
For many people working in marketing, advertising or design, freelancing sounds like a dream come true. You get to be your own boss, work your own hours, and wear whatever you want. Sounds great, right? It certainly can be, however, freelancing isn’t for everyone. While some freelancers thrive on the added responsibility, others discover that they prefer working for a company.
Freelance life sometimes isn’t as ‘free’ as it seems” Shane Hurt, Integrated Creative and designer of the ‘One job. Three worlds.’ game says: “A popular misconception of freelancing is the notion of freedom. You might be able to pick your work hours day by day, but you will struggle to manage your weekends, holidays; any of the more important things in life. Fear of the repercussions of saying ‘No’ will leave you at the whim of your major earners.”
However, there are still major advantages, such as creative freedom and living wherever you want. Still, important aspects of running a business must not be cast aside! Darren Langley, Founder & Creative Director of Darren Langley Web Design, says, “As a freelancer it is easy to forget that you’re running a business and not just getting paid for what you do.
As such it’s vital, as with any business, that plans are made and processes put in place. The planning side should include strategic forecasts of what you expect from your business (how much it will make, where the costs are, how much work can be sourced and completed) and a vision of how the plans will be achieved.”
So, which world do you like best? Should you work in-house, in an agency or as a freelancer? Find out now!
By Sophie Bianchi
Sophie is a content marketer currently working for the Inside Job blog at totaljobs. Her passions include copywriting, beauty products and Italian food. She previously worked for fashion retailers Zalando and Bagllerina and holds a BSc (Hons) in Business Administration and an MSc in International Marketing.