Moving on up: Avoiding the AD freak out

You’ve spent months working your best, proving to your managers and your team that you are ready to take on more responsibility.  You’ve been drafting beautiful pieces of copy, you’re smashing coverage targets, your creative ideas and presentations are works of art (step aside, Picasso!), and you’re taking the lead on campaigns for all of your clients. Now, the promotion you’ve been working towards is on the horizon. The date is in the diary. #Winning!

However, while you’re basking in the glory of taking a step up the career ladder, you may also start to feel a bit apprehensive. When making big career jumps – like you are when going from being a senior account manager to being an account director – you realise that along with a shiny new title and the nice pay rise that goes with it, you’re also taking on a lot more responsibility. You will now have to make difficult decisions, and you will be held accountable.

Plus, there is the massive unspoken expectation from everyone around you that you will know exactly what to do. Or is there?

When I was offered my promotion at Octopus I didn’t feel a bit of anxiety, because right from the start it was made clear that I would have loads of support before and during the transition into my new role.

For starters, my manager Stephen had put a solid plan in place, ensuring that I would have training ahead of my promotion to learn how to use all the new tools I’d be using, including our pricing calculator and our time planning programme. He had also made sure to book sessions with managers across the business who were able to explain how account directors fit into each business unit at Octopus, how we can contribute to making the agency profitable and productive, what role we play in keeping clients happy and how we can make Octopus a great place to work. And to top it all off, I had the support of Sammy and Sarah, veteran Octopedes who’ve risen through the ranks to senior account directors, who gave me the insider’s scoop on what my new role entails. 

While I was already familiar with a lot of the things we discussed in these prep sessions, it was very helpful to have a bit of a refresher, and to look at Octopus through a new lens. Plus, it was comforting to learn that our CEO, Jon, still remembers how tough the jump to account director can be, and is therefore very supportive of anyone going through that transition!

As a result, when the day finally came when I was officially promoted I was able to celebrate instead of worry. I still have a lot to learn about being an account director, and I know I’ll make some mistakes along the way. But I also know my managers and fellow AD’s have my back – so I can enjoy the traditional bottle of Octopus promotion champagne in the knowledge that I’ll be great in my new role.