Taking on a new role at an agency can leave you feeling anxious for what’s to come. That’s exactly where I recently found myself. Having been promoted from Account Coordinator (AC) to Account Associate (AA), I was in a transition period between the two positions, which is where many professionals straight out of school will quickly find themselves. Want to know how to handle the transition? Here’s what I did.
My first thought after being promoted was one of excitement, but my second thought was “now what?” What new responsibilities will I take on and what assignments will I transfer over? The thought of new opportunities gave me a mix of emotions. On one hand, I had felt a nice level of comfort in the AC role, while on the other hand, I felt a level of uneasiness moving into the AA role. Luckily at McGrath/Power, you work toward the responsibilities of the position above you to better prepare you for promotion. During my time as an AC I had begun taking on AA work so I had an idea of what was going to be expected.
I also made a list of all the duties that I was currently performing, asked my manager about new assignments I would be taking on immediately and looked at the duties listed in the job description for an AA, which is kept on file at McGrath/Power for employees to access. I would highly recommend asking HR for the job description of the position you want to move into. Take note of new tasks and ask your supervisor how you can get experience in those areas. These simple steps enabled me to prepare myself for what was to come and make the changeover as smooth as possible.
After I was promoted, the shift was natural. My managers made sure to not overload me with too many new assignments but also assured me they were there for any questions or concerns that would come up along the way. In my new role, one of the most significant and exciting changes is building client relationships. Speaking with them over the phone or through email has enabled me to build a stronger relationship and predict what needs they may be looking to fulfill. I have also started to implement something my managers have told me to do since day one: go with your gut. It sounds simple but when you’re beginning a new career or starting out in a new position it can be easy to second guess yourself. The more I trust my gut, the more confident I feel.
Having worked at the AC level for about a year, I was ready to take on new pursuits and be tasked with more responsibility. That year as an AC was an eye-opening experience. I was able to learn what PR was really about, how important research is to our industry and why relationships with the media matter, among other things. In an AC position, you’re at the beginner level (although above an intern), so I was allowed more wiggle room to make mistakes and get my feet on the ground. If you don’t get that in the AA role, don’t worry.
Be confident! And don’t forget the basics you’ve learned, the relationships you’ve built or how far you’ve come. It can be overwhelming when beginning a new role, but it’s key to remember you got yourself there and you will take yourself even further. Best of luck to all of the goal chasers out there. You got this!