To say that leaving my first job was tough would be an understatement. It’s the place where I learned all the silly skills associated with a full-time career, where I became another Boston tech nerd and where I developed valuable relationships and real-life friendships. But recently, I celebrated my first “PANiversary” and had to take a moment to reflect on the incredible professional growth that I have achieved in the past year. While I was hesitant to make the jump from a large agency to a mid-sized one, it was the best career decision that I have ever made.
Prior to joining PAN, I was at one of the largest international agencies in the world working on a couple of household tech brands. While it was great environment to begin my career and start to build an understanding of PR and technology landscape, I quickly learned that large accounts also come with a large amount of administrative work and even longer review cycles. So much so, that I became so bogged down with administrative tasks that I wasn’t actually learning or growing my PR skills. I was working on one major client, owning all of the admin for the account and pitching out canned, formulaic notes to the same beat reporters on a weekly basis. In short, I was bored and frustrated.
Enter PAN, where the accounts range considerably, they are diverse in the type of client, the day-to-day tasks and the team sizes. This type of environment means that no day is ever the same and “monotonous” is not a word in the PAN dictionary! Because account and team vary in size, the ability for an individual to make an impact is much larger and an employee’s value add is very visible and truly reflective of the work that they put in. All team members are involved in the planning and execution of campaigns. This allows employees to begin their education on both the business of PR and the media landscape at the very beginning of their career.
Perhaps my favorite part of working at a mid-size agency is that ability to interact in-person with my colleagues every single day. This may seem like an obvious point for some however, at my previous firm, I worked with many colleagues including my own manager of two years, without ever meeting them face-to-face. Here, it’s easy to swing by, brainstorm and create personal and working relationships. With the bulk of your colleagues in the office every day, collaboration and mentorship is much easier to facilitate.
Beyond professional growth, it has been incredible to work for a company that truly appreciates the work of their employees. PAN’s leadership looks to their employees as a barometer for the company’s success. They listen to suggestions and challenges – even if the employee is at a junior level. This is evident through staff meetings, various committees and the annual ‘Breakfast with the President’ that offers each title a candid meeting with President to discuss issues specific to that career level.
I realize that many of the benefits I described aren’t necessarily a shared sentiment for anyone moving from a large to mid-size PR firm – they may just be unique to PAN. But regardless, making the move was the right decision for me could be for you too. Learn more about our open positions, here: http://www.pancommunications.com/careers/