The past three months brought unprecedented change. Work, family, social media, and the communities around us all felt the direct impact of COVID-19. Although this time brought many new challenges, it pushed many individuals to seek new solutions, reach out for help, and take a step back from the routine so many of us are so deeply ingrained in. I continued to ask myself what steps I needed to take in order to bring some sort of normalcy back to my daily life. I began to thrive when I realized that the key to “normalcy” is not bringing back old routines, but adapting to new ones.
Learning to become an account executive has been an interesting journey because it is such a subjective experience. Every account manager has their own way of creating relationships with clients, discovering efficiencies in internal processes, and becoming a successful delegator. I have always been a formulaic person that likes to have a clear understanding of what the outcomes can be in every scenario. I quickly learned that to assess a situation or new project, I have to look at it from all angles and many perspectives. I realized I have a much stronger ability to pivot when I include my team members who have various expertise and can account for items that I would have otherwise overlooked. There is no perfect formula, perfect scenario, or perfect ending. It is through efficient communication, preparedness, and adaptation that the path continues to be cleared for your internal team and the client.
A universal lesson being an account executive has taught me is that organization is essential. Through countless versions of excel sheets, notepad to-do lists, and half-finished Google sheets, I have realized the key to organization is to adapt, adapt, adapt. Every situation is ever changing and the ability to pivot is essential to your client and agency’s success, especially during this pandemic. The fear of the COVID-19 and how it is changing business models was apparent through our clients, especially at the beginning of the shutdown. While many media placements and advertising budgets got completely reworked, I felt that it especially crucial to pivot social media strategies and executions, especially for our smaller businesses. We needed to put a pause on our current strategy and completely shift content to be relevant with the conversation online. By shifting quickly, we were able to find new initiatives like social contests, giveaways, and relevant campaigns that will even be present and effective after the pandemic. It has been a learning curve for all, but the pressure to look at a situation from a new perspective allowed our teams to create ideas that we may otherwise not have thought of at all.
As we are all witnessing during this time, the adaptation does not end at the office. My ability to pivot has benefitted me during this uncertain time and year. The world during COVID-19 has reinforced that we all need a little “account person” in us to allow and accept the change as a creative challenge, rather than a difficulty. As a newcomer to the account world, and to the industry overall, I am now a proud shape shifter, ready to change my path whenever necessary. The power to adapt is now my secret weapon, and I try to carry it with me in and out of the office.