90 Days at i.d.e.a.

Aki Martin // Jul 8 // Insights

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I just had my 90-day review at i.d.e.a. As I reflect on the past three months, and as any new job goes (but especially in advertising), I must say it’s been a little nuts. From getting to know over 50 new colleagues that span nine disciplines, learning their names (particularly challenging with five coworkers with the same name - Jessica), what they do, and where they sit, to figuring out how to scan on the copier, or how NOT to email a PO to everyone in the agency at 11:30 pm on a Friday night, the list of things to learn (quickly) goes on and on.

And stepping into an account person (or as we call ourselves here at i.d.e.a., a “brand” person) role means getting up to speed on a crap load of more stuff. Client names and roles, their active projects, scopes, brand guidelines, budgets, timelines... Again, the list continues. You spend your bank hours (8:30 – 5:30ish) in back-to-back meetings all day, so you can spend your evenings at home reading through the countless briefs on the project you inherited, scouring through past conference reports, or catching up on email. So, yes, the first three months on the job can be pretty nuts for everyone; on the verge of insanity for an account person at an agency. (I can validate this, as i.d.e.a. is my fourth agency.)

As nuts as it’s been, however, it’s also been tremendously fun and exhilaratingly rewarding.

It all has to do with the culture at i.d.e.a, a palpable ethos that drives this agency. A fun, collaborative, and supportive vibe, guided by a relentlessly ambitious vision to create and do work that moves people, product and culture. This vision statement, We Move People, Products and Culture., can be seen all over the agency, on TV monitors throughout the office, and on the wall.

But it’s not just an idea. It's a practice here. Weekly perks like the Free Yoga Mondays, or 4:45 Fridays (where the agency taps a keg to celebrate a week’s good work), or frequent learning opportunities like the Lunch-and-Learns or Business & Bagels are just some of the ways the founders and leadership at i.d.e.a. demonstrate the importance of culture as the root of the agency’s vision.

And the result is clear. The people at i.d.e.a. are genuinely happy, and as a result, the work that comes out of the agency is truly great. And award-winning too. The proof is in the pudding, as i.d.e.a. was recently voted one of the Best Places to Work in San Diego. And the work we did for Harrah’s Resort SoCal's Dive launch just won best in show and best brand marketing awards for the American Marketing Association's AMY Awards.

So after three months, I feel quite at home and excited to be part of the i.d.e.a.’s thriving family. And don’t worry, the nuttiness has calmed down. Enough so that I have some time to write this blog post. Albeit, it’s two weeks late and I am writing this on a Saturday afternoon.

How does your workplace culture reflect on its people and product?

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