Same, Same but Different


I was woken up this morning by a hand-made card being thrown at my head. Followed up with a 20 minute explanation of what each dino-bot-transformer-bird picture was called, a café brunch, followed by an endota massage. Best. Mothers. Day. Ever :)

And as I indulged in my ‘morning off’ I was thinking about how, as with everything in life, everyone has their own definition, version, preferences of what it means to be...whatever role they’re in.

Some Mums want to do as little ‘mother-ing’ as possible on Mothers Day. Some want to be surrounded by family. Some mums get trumped by their own mums. For some it’s one of the loneliest days of the year. And for others it passes by without a thought.

Cue seamless segway into my mind wandering into creative careers...and I was thinking about how the same ‘job’ title can be played out in so many ways at work too.

For sake of discussion, let’s use the title Group Account Director (aka. GAD). Some companies don’t have this job title at all. Creative agencies often do. Many have the role, but not the title. But you can be a GAD in the same industry, the same agency, or even the same team and still be doing a very different role to your counterparts. 

I definitely believe in job titles and job descriptions – as a baseline. As the minimum you should be doing, and as a benchmark for your success.

But the positioning of your company, the size, and the team around you, all affects your day to day role.

What I wanted to say was – make sure that YOU are also influencing the role. You need to be playing the role you want to play, and make sure others know what your preference is.

Your personal strengths, skills, values and goals should always be an integral part of how you play the role. What's your version of a GAD?

Much like all Mums are Mums, but from there you can be any kind of mum you want to be. Hands on, hands off, fun-mum, protective-mum, soccer-mum, dad-and-mum, or all of the above?

What’s your personality? And how does that affect the type of GAD (or GM, or CSD, or AD) you are? Are you outgoing or reserved? Dominance, Influence, Compliance, Steadiness? Are you strategic, creative, a thinker, a do-er?

To be happy and motivated, you need to know your motivators, your preferred way of working, and have that acknowledged by the influencers of your career.

You need to take control of that positioning, and play to your strengths.

Is your next step to next-level-GAD, to CSD, to GM, to MD, to Strategy Planner, to Head of Account Management, to Dog Walker?

Managers can’t assume they know your next move, but it’s likely they will unless they’re told otherwise.

You need to know your goal to know how to nail your current role, and start doing the next one (general rule of thumb is you have to be doing a role for 3 months before you get promoted into it*)

If you don’t know, what goals do you have and tasks are you completing over and above your JD?

Extra brownie points for someone trying to get into a Head of Account Management role are very different to someone trying to move into GM. How you behave and how you are perceived all need to be considered.

If you don’t tell anyone…

At best, someone will help you towards the next obvious promotion. At worst, no one will know what you want, and you’ll keep ticking along as a safe pair of hands.

If you tell someone…

Worst case scenario, you get ignored, you leave and you find a job where they do support you. 

Best case scenario, you are supported with a plan, relevant KPI’s, and a juicy promotion into the role you actually want when the time is right.

I'm just saying, think about it. Think past the ‘obvious’ promotion. Make sure the next move is the one you want.

Then make a plan.

And tell someone who can help.

Take control of your next career move, or someone else will.

(*unofficial statistic ;)

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