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Making the Move from Designer to Account Manager

“So, how come you made the move to client services?”
This question taunts me whenever I mention that I’m an Account Manager with a degree in Graphic Design and Advertising. The way it’s said makes it sound as if the worlds of creative and client services shouldn’t collide, but I know first hand that this is definitely not true.

I made “the jump” about five years ago, after finishing my degree, and if I’m honest, at the time I wasn’t sure where I wanted my career to go. The thought of leaving my uni bubble and getting an adult job was pretty daunting. After a quick stint in PR, I landed my first agency role in Client Services. I quickly found that my creative background could be used as an advantage – I could empathise with designers; suggest exciting ideas to clients; write detailed creative briefs and spot design errors that, possibly, other Account Managers wouldn’t or couldn’t see.

As my career has progressed, I’ve developed a balance between being my clients’ creative eye and being an efficient and organised Client Services Manager. The fact that I can influence and improve the quality of the end product based on my degree and experience, regardless of the fact that I’m not in an obviously creative role, is really important to me.

If I’m ever asked if I miss the ‘creative side’, it’s an easy question to answer: No, because there’s no side to miss.

We don’t have ‘sides’ at Spark. We’re one team, who bounce and thrive off each other’s ideas. Each person’s opinion is respected and valued no matter what the job title or experience. For me, it still doesn’t seem like a big change after all these years. I’m still in a flourishing creative environment, working on exciting projects, and being involved right from the very start.

Having been at Spark for over half a year now, I can say hands down that it’s the most creative agency I’ve ever worked at. We work on everything from branding and campaign to digital and social, across a range of clients, from small start ups to well known global brands. No two days are the same, and I love it that way.

There’s always going to be that stigma in the advertising industry that Creatives and Account Managers are from different worlds (watch Mad Men and you’ll see what I mean). But they’re really not that different in my eye; they’re more like partners in crime: mac and cheese, salt and pepper, fish and chips – two great ingredients brought together to make a delightfully tasty treat.

Lucy Watson

6th February 2018