The First Six Learnings: Agency transitions

This is me trying to revive and return to my oft-neglected blog. Enough with the string-laden Facebook status messages and depending on hashtags (#happify), it’s time to get back into writing and put a little order on the thoughts rummaging in my head – a thousand words per nano-second.

May the grammar nazi be kind to me.

There are so much adjustments and challenges a person encounters when you work full-time, more so, once you’re part of the production and project management team.  Eight-hours a day extending to twelve hours our fourteen can be exhausting.  So much has happened over the last few months since I got back in Manila from the short yet adventure-filled life in Myanmar (you may find my blog HERE), How I wish I was able to post a little bit more than what I started but I guess, it’s never too late to share stories and get it off my head to archive.

Life in Myanmar was character-molding and definitely slower than slow even though they’re trying to be up-speed from the backwards practices to catch up on the modern western world.

Being back in Manila has given me the front seat and the wheel to drive faster than Screen shot 2015-04-10 at 5.23.43 PM60kms/hr. I can’t deny I have missed it by a percentage but sometimes, It’s good to slow down and take it easy.  As of time being, I have transferred to five (5) desks in eight (8) months from where I am presently employed. I have been managed by three (3) separate departments before they conjoined all project management departments together and have lingered moving to a new department where my strength in business development, tapping partnerships and building a network of connections would be highlighted. It’s been 8 months, about 8-10 accounts executed and monitored. Sounds a lot? Not even.

Tons of learning curves, growth pains, adjustments and realizations. Leadership and management skills were definitely honed, sharpened and microscopically well attended.It was busy, crazy, awesome, stressful, and (in between the madness) fun. What have I learned so far?

The First Six:

1. Over-communicate. 

Communication is the key – regardless what industry you’re in. Think of it as a relationship.  teamwork is your marriage.

When I started in the agency, the first contribution I have instilled was to make use of a much efficient app called Telegram. I am a sucker for immediate update of things, every movement and status. If you’re in a huge organization, having to update everyone on a fine print where you can scroll down and up would help on aligning and reminding you on what has and what is yet to transpire from the account. In this world where messengers are abundant, pick one that can send, upload and download files, archive chats, and would also secure conversations.

2.  Respect schedules and alignments

It’s crucial that your team would know where you are and what you’re doing on certain times. This would make everyone just check on how their day is like, what their focus is and when work sessions are. It gives everyone the sense of time, urgency and work flow.  Let your team know if you’re working from home and what you’re working on.

3.  Client Briefs

You may have known the brand by heart and your campaign but often times because of wanting to do so much things, we do get out of focus and tend to forget what is really written in fine print in terms of deliverables and what the vision-mission of the brand. Client briefs are golden, it’s useful on keeping your campaign focused, organized and a reminder on what your Key Performance Indicators are.

4.  Audit reports

Ugh. You may hate the numbers but this will save you from clientele and agency expectations. It’s important you get to have the contract work side by side with your audit report, quantify and justify what has been done. This is a great indicator if you’ve over performed or under performed, if there are service credits that can still be used or you’ve given much more than what was asked for – this, in turn, we call as delight or sweeteners to please your client.

5. Manage Expectations

When dealing with a client, because they’re the client, they have the “customers are always right” in-mind; you’d have to protect yourself and the agency by managing expectations and having it all written in an agreement or a trace that states what their thoughts are and always inform them on consequences should they be late in terms of submitting necessary information or requirements.

6. ASAP – Everything is ASAP, not just one.

RUSH doesn’t mean you’d have to do less, it just means you’ve got to prioritize something up however it’s best to say that once you rush one, the entire team would need to rush the entire deliverables, too. Delays are definitely not negotiable. If things are to be done in a lightning speed, everyone should know that quality may also suffer not for just one but may also be for the rest of the following.

What have you learned so far?

Shades of red and Ivy League Dreams: Admitted!

I haven’t blogged in ages. Forgive my rusty self.

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions and it was of great relief I stayed in the city for a quiet Holy Week break. From what supposed to be an out-of-town trip with my girl friends;  I opted to take a two (2) half-day retreats on solo to rejuvenate, clear my head and my emotions diluted; thanks to two (2) influential people I have ever met in my life who gifted me the opportunity, I was enlightened, blessed, guided and reminded of God’s love, God’s perfect timing and kindness in my heart to let go of those of which that hurt you, including comfort zones that has become painful to breathe in and out with.

Before you give me that stare – I am by all means not a spiritual being nor have been all out there preaching. I was going through that “I don’t need a job, I need a career” struggle or probably the “Holy smokes, I’m 30. What now?”

In the last two weeks, it was a drama fest filled with tears and confusion but, again, through God’s perfect timing  – I have been guided towards the direction I should follow.

Just when I was about to doubt myself, he opened the doors and blessed me with an opportunity I thought was gone forever.

7-8 years ago, fresh from college, I was given a scholarship grant from an Ivy League University, from the  “Harvard of the Hospitality Industry.” 7-8 years after, on the eve of April fools,  my scholarship from Cornell University of Ithaca, New York was reactivated. Boy, it was the best ‘April fools’ news I’ve ever had. However, there was a condition – I had to decide within the month or they’ll have it forfeited. Who am I to say no to such opportunity?

I AM READY. In a heartbeat, without a doubt, I’m taking it.

Looks like, this gives me the right to start with the Cornell University jargon and call myself as a “Hotelie.” It’s been a week since they broke the news. I am undoubtedly still elated. Life just gave me the assurance that everything is possible. Who would’ve thought my 23-year-old self who celebrated her Birthday in Manhattan reached an extension of bliss, years after.

lp_logo_cornellEverything and ANYTHING is possible. Gah, I’m so excited. I have been researching, reading and stalking fellow Hotelie’s blogs.  Dreams do come true, they do.

From the retreat to a bright lit news – I will be taking Hospitality Management: Focus on Marketing and Revenue Management. Onto the next steps, I will get myself back to the industry I sheered myself from but will be applying insightful, valuable and enriched lessons from the different industries I’ve explored and been with. 

Can’t hardly wait!