You need to feel at ease and happy in your work environment, otherwise life can end up being pretty uncomfortable. You could even end up not enjoying what you do…

After starting my design industry journey with various in-house and freelance jobs, I went back to school for a year. I wanted to sharpen my skillset and build knowledge as a creative. It was then that I felt I was ready to enter the agency world, and I was lucky to be offered a job at Carbon Creative. I could not accept the offer quick enough! If there is one thing I had learned after doing various experience days at other agencies is that, everywhere is different. You definitely need to find the place that is the right fit for you! Having met the team at Carbon and being fully aware of the kind of creative work Carbon did, I knew it was the perfect place to begin my agency life.

The Team

Being a relatively small agency, with less than 20 staff under one roof, it is a very tight- knit environment. We work together on most projects, where everyone knows what is going on and is always on hand to offer help or an opinion.

When I started at Carbon, I was at the level where I was learning lots of new things every day (actually, the learning never stops! But the first few months were particularly jam packed with new knowledge and experiences). Having such a close working environment with the rest of the (far more) senior team meant that I could learn their ways of working and processes, which was valuable beyond belief.

Everyone was – and still is – so happy to help and share expertise, in a way that I am not sure you would get at larger agencies or other workplaces. It has really helped shaped the way I do my job and has absolutely contributed to how much I enjoy agency work. A good work environment is second to none!

The Environment

You need to feel at ease and happy in your work environment, otherwise life can end up being pretty uncomfortable. You could even end up not enjoying what you do which is a huge ‘no-no’ for me. Along with the super accessible and helpful way of working at a smaller agency like Carbon, the close community that comes along with agency life really adds to the enjoyment. Prior to Covid, group activities were common in the calendar, whether it be fun activities, nights out after work, lunch-time pub visits, local litter picks, tree planting or gardening at Ordsall Hall. Social time like this really helps build the camaraderie and relationships you have with your colleagues – something so important in a collaborative team.

The Work

I have never worked the same day twice at Carbon. Every day is completely different. The work is sometimes fast paced, with projects coming in as quickly as they are going out, so it can be a really busy and demanding environment to work in. At the start, I found it to be quite challenging at times as I was not used to this way of working at all. This is not to say that it’s not enjoyable – quite the opposite actually, like anything which can be tricky at times, it makes it all the more rewarding. In the beginning, I felt like I spent a lot of time on my toes. I think that is the best way to learn your craft; by learning to adapt and staying flexible to do what is required.

One of my favourite things about the job is being able to have direct contact with clients – this way you can be 100% part of the process and the development of the project, learning first-hand a client’s needs and expectations, as well as sharing their positivity when a job is finished, and the brief has been met. The collaborative nature of the team at Carbon means we are often part of many projects together, however, I am also lucky enough to often take ownership of my own projects. This means that my skillset and experience is constantly able to grow, and I am not finding myself doing the same tasks over and over again.

All In All…

My experience of agency life is one of the most rewarding I have had. This is due to the supportive, collaborative, tight-knit nature of the Carbon team, forever allowing me to progress in my role, along with the varied and interesting work that never lets me become too relaxed (not to mention the odd bit of healthy pressure that comes with the fast-paced nature of the role). The first two years of being at an agency has been exciting and educational – all I can do is look forward to what else is in store!