The Story of a Manager, or a tale about how not to blow the deadline
Every story of any manager is different, I will tell you mine.
I’ve been working as a manager for three years, and every time when people ask me what I do for a living it’s so interesting for me to observe their reaction to my response.
They ask, «Where do you work?» «In a branding agency,» I calmly answer.
«Oh, are you a designer?» my new friend asks me enthusiastically. «No, I’m a manager!» and then I see the change on my friend’s face.The enthusiasm is gone, and here comes the disappointment.
In Europe and the US, «manager» sounds proud and has different connotation. Why then are we embarrassed? Very often I come across the images of the following content:
Of course, working as a manager, I won’t write a code, or create a dress design, or even be able to extinguish the fire. However, I am the one who can organize dressmaking in the shortest time possible, the one who’ll find the developer for the urgent project, and, since we already talk about it, I can also cope with the fire (or as we call it, blowing a deadline). Solving complex situations is a manager’s way of life.
Being a manager at a branding agency, I wasn’t bored a single day. Clients are different, and so are the tasks, so I can’t call my working life a boring routine.
I can single out a lot of pros in the manager’s job:
- Forget about boredom! Once, I spent an hour looking for photos of handsome half-naked guys for the packaging of a drug for men. Work is sometimes unpredictable 🙂
- A manager is a salesperson, psychologist, boss, and a mom at the same time. Yes, I really said Mom! After all, you should become one for clients if you want the client to come back to you again and again. You need to love the client as mom loves her child.
This realization didn’t come to me immediately
because, how can you waste your nerves on people who are nobody to you? But clients are the category of people who want you to help them, sincerely advise them and be generous with the time you spend on them.
Personally, I always prefer the store, where I’m served with a sincere smile. You feel the attitude of the salesperson at the subconscious level. You understand that you are sincerely consulted without a hidden agenda to flog some services. Therefore, the main thing here is sincerity. A thin smile gives itself away in a moment.
I’m not a saint, and sometimes it happens that after heated discussions with a client, I want to bite someone. But at such moments I just switch my inner Mom on. You inhale deeply, exhale, and you already begin to think about how to help the client, even if his/her wishes seem unrealistic to you.
- One of the most important advantages of being a manager (for me, personally) is that you take a direct part in the creative process. I have an incredible team, where everyone works with the same purpose — to create a real BRAND so that not only our direct client likes it, but also the customers in the store. After all, it’s so nice when you see a product on the shelf, which you helped to create.
Of course, in lots of pros there is always a fly in the ointment. Unfortunately, there’s no manual called «Manager, the way to success». No one is insured from unexpected situations. A successful manager is a stress-resistant person who’s not afraid to take responsibility.
Another disadvantage is that the manager in a branding agency is primarily the link between the client and the designer. Sometimes you feel extremely tired, even though you spent only a few hours at work. Communication with people is exhausting, and in order not to burn out, everyone has their own methods. Someone drinks water, someone eats sugar. I do squats. Firstly, I throw off all my negative thoughts, and secondly, I’m ready for the beach season 🙂
PS: ОPS: It turns out that to be a manager you don’t have to be a sweaty coffee addict!
PPS: PPS: Work can be fun!