The life of a project manager

How working for a large 50+ employees UK (as they have offices all over the world too) creative agency is different from working for a small 6 employees communications agency.

  • There is company supplied cereal in the morning. Great. And tea and coffee. And a dish washer!
  • There is a company jukebox too which fills the (huge and completely open) office with music 24/7. This is great as long as it is not the latest house euro trash rock beat tunes getting played. If that is the case – there are headphones to hide your ears in.
  • There are specialists for everything which means that I no longer need to do everything myself (Photoshop, Illustrator etc). It is convenient to be able to delegate everything to other people but I sometimes miss the diversity of it in my job. It also means I am getting less creative at work.
  • The creative world is the world of the iPhone. Everybody has an iPhone. I don’t. I have a G1 brick with a cracked screen that runs Android. Not much street cred for that here.
  • People don’t use cheap paper notebooks they use company supplied Moleskines. You know, those really expensive but beautiful ones.
  • Linkedin (if you don’t know it, it’s like Facebook for professionals/work) is da thing in this creative world. Everybody uses it to network with each other as you never know when you need someone who might know someone who knows someone. I must be doing something right when clients are inviting me to join their network?
  • Twitter and Facebook are no longer funny tools that you can waste your time on. Twitter and Facebook are a huge thing here and companies (clients) are spending more and more money on campaigns running on social networking sites to get to/interact with their audience/customers.
  • In my previous job I often managed one big project for a couple of months, finished it, and moved on to the next. Not here. I am trying to manage 5-6 projects at the same time which requires a lot of juggling skills. Challenging but it’s working. Never a dull moment though.
  • To manage 5 or so projects with deadlines crossing each other I tried to stick to pen and paper to manage all tasks, then moved to a Word Document until I found the solution to all my task management problems: Todoist. I can highly recommend it if you need a task manager that can do just a little more. It is free!
  • People don’t read the emails you send them. They really don’t. If there is something I have learned (the hard way) it is that after you’ve send the email you walk to their desk to ask them the same thing you just asked them in the email. Most of the times this works and they will do it. In all other cases, more visits to their desks are required.

    It annoys me sometimes that this is the way it works, but I guess it is something I have to live with.

  • And one last thing I’ve learned: If you are nice to people and treat them with respect, they are much more willing to help you out. Very easy rule, which a surprising amount of people don’t really get.

I have been here for 6 weeks now and I have been working on some high profile clients which is great for my CV. I don’t know how long I will stay here for, I am still on a contract basis without end date. I hope it will be changed into a permanent contract at some point, but let’s see what the future brings. At least I am working.

And I am packing, 11 days until my move.

6 thoughts to “The life of a project manager”

  1. I love hearing about your new position. :-) Thanks for this post! Good luck with this position. I hope they hire you full time as well! Best with the move, too!

  2. Yes, yes, yes – this is SO my life at a big corporation. If it helps I don’t have an iphone either, or a Luis Vuitton purse…but there is a ton of energy and engagement at this level, which I like. I am not sure yet which I prefer…smaller companies or larger, but there are definite benefits to the larger, like fancy hot chocolate and moleskins, at mine.

  3. Your company provides Moleskin notebooks?? Stay there as long as you can! Good luck with this role; hope they turn it into a permanent role for you.

  4. A quick comment about people not reading the emails. I’ve seen some actually deleting them, yes, deleting them, and they were the “intended recipients”. They were not cc’d.

    One has to wonder how companies survive with these kind of employees around.

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