Thursday 4th February, 2016

A "leap of faith" from in-house to agency

Our office “newbie” Kate recently made the jump from working client-side, to joining the team here at GR. She shares what she has learned from her leap of faith.

Kate Usher



“Towards the end of last year I started looking for my next career move. My job history is varied to say the least, and I’d spent most of my time either working for the media or in-house. What I really wanted now was to sample life at an agency.


“I quickly learned that it’s not common for people to make the switch this way. It seems there is a tendency to pick a side and stick to it, or to go from agency to client-side, not the other way around. Many people I spoke to seemed surprised. Not least the agencies themselves - the majority of whom appear to prefer someone who has done agency work before. Here at Gardiner Richardson things are different. We’re more interested in your story and the fresh ideas you bring to the table.


“Here’s a snapshot of what I’ve learned from my move to GR so far…”

 Time flies when you’re having fun

“There is never a dull moment here. Being at GR puts you right in the thick of a fast-paced, busy, lively and energetic office environment. The days fly by at a rate of knots and the variety of clients means I’ve started to build a knowledge of a vast array of – sometimes rather obscure – subjects and sectors. But contrary to what I expected as an outsider looking in, the work-life balance is a big plus point of being at an agency. We work hard, and play hard. (In my case, my commute has become significantly shorter too, which helps!)”

Madness or genius? It’s all relative

“Agency work is great for letting your creativity run riot. I confess I can be a bit of a daydreamer which sometimes leads to bonkers ideas spilling out of my mouth uncontrollably. Being client-side for so long meant I’d learned to rein it in a little. However, I’ve found this ‘talent’ can be harnessed for good here. Our attitude towards collaborative working here is unlike anything I’ve experienced elsewhere. GR brainstorming sessions are a tremendous outlet for creativity and often an idea that might not work for one client, can work for another.“

Find something you love and keep doing it

“Being part of a big creative team means you have an opportunity like no other to bounce ideas around and to learn from seasoned professionals in PR, marketing, design and digital. I joined GR just over a month ago and I’ve learned so much already. Career progression client-side tends to be very structured – you turn up, put the hours in, and each year you make small, incremental progress until you can’t go any further. In an agency it’s what you make of each day and experience that counts. And I can’t wait to see where that takes me at GR!”