Misconceptions about Agency Life
We also asked Charles about misconceptions on agency life he thinks are most common. Of course, we asked him for three!
Misconception #1: “There’s always the perception that life is better in-house, that the grass is greener, that it’s easier, the hours are more friendly and it’s all-around a better place. But the reality is, in an agency (consultancy!), it is my belief that the ability to make a difference is more significant. In-house has its advantages, but I don’t believe that the grass is greener. I believe greater things can be achieved via a career as an adviser.”
Misconception #2: “The second misconception is that it’s glamorous. Many people coming into this industry think it’s all fun, luxury, champagne, and events. Wrong! it’s serious, challenging work. I think it takes an exceptional person to do well. You must be very resilient. It’s an industry where you put your heart on your sleeve a lot. My firm won a large amount of new business in 2021, but we lost a pitch I was very keen to win a couple of weeks ago. I was very disappointed! In consultancy, as much as we love to hear ‘yes’, we must be prepared to hear a few ‘no’s!’”
Misconception #3: “It takes time to develop your career. Ignore the ridiculous number of titles that our industry seems to adore!
We have Assistant Account Executives, Account Executive, Senior Account Executive, on and on and on. What I would say is that good people can go far, very fast in agency life because we are always looking for high-quality people. If you shine, you will shine very, very brightly within the agency world. At the end of the day, very few firms have that magic piece of software or magic technical solution. Business success is down to the humans that comprise the business. Ambitious, smart, and creative people can do very well in agency life.”
Advice for Starting a Podcast
We asked Charles for some advice for podcast newbies.
“Firstly, find a topic you care about and that you also understand deeply. For instance, my educational background is in psychology, and I am interested in human behavior. You really have to know and love the subject.”
“Secondly, find a space where there’s not a lot of competition, a topic that is not overpopulated. For instance, when I was doing my research on Spotify, I was surprised how little there was around the ‘3 things’ concept!”
“Most importantly, spend money on outstanding audio. One of the things that make people leave podcasts instantly is if it sounds like it was recorded in a cardboard box!”
Thank you for your time, Charles! This has been most interesting.
At the time of this interview, Charles was three days away from his seventh show with renowned British political writer Quentin Letts, author of ‘Stop Bloody Bossing Me About!’. Charles’ other planned guests include an international bestselling author on getting the most out of relationships, a top recruiter in marketing and communications, and a technical expert who will share what we can expect from the internet in 2025. With ten podcast episodes per season, ‘What Are Your Three Things?’ Season 2 is expected launch after Chinese New Year. Listen to it here.