Case study: how to broaden out.

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Hi guys. It’s your faithful blogger Matt here. “Matt, where have you been? It’s not been the same without you!” Just chill out guys.

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve heard some great advice from Dan and Neil. While rooting around in the archives I found this gem of an example of how to broaden-out by moving in-house. Or more accurately, broaden-out and then move in-house. Enjoy.

Matt

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Kate

Kate found herself working agency side after a stint at Google and was rising through the PPC ranks. Having moved up the ladder so far, she found her path of progression blocked. “Agency side there is a lack of senior roles and the people who were in them when I left are still there.” With this in mind she wanted to move in-house, climb the ranks and broaden out.

This is easier said than done so Kate set about acquiring new skills. “Anyone looking to move in-house from an agency should aim to have an additional niche.” She had become a PPC specialist but in-house teams are often looking for a broader set of skills. Kate was able to move into Conversion Analytics, “which was easier then because they were creating a new department” but her advice was to do everything you can to expand your skillset, “even if it takes up extra time”.

Now in her new company she is at the other end of the equation. Kate has overseen the process of hiring a full service in-house digital team giving rise to one of my favourite questions: when hiring, does she value agency candidates higher than those from in-house? The answer was an emphatic yes. “Candidates from agencies work harder, are more dedicated and have stronger skills. If you are used to managing seven different clients you can easily handle one.” Whilst this is a fairly uncompromising answer it is not the be all and end all as “if you are from a strong in-house team in a relevant sector” then you are just as desirable.

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I think you’ll agree a very interesting snippet from a revealing interview. Two points stand out. Firstly, do everything you can to acquire new skills in your current role. Secondly, if you are agency side the good news is your skills may be valued more highly by someone like Kate who shares a similar background.

Ok gang, hope you enjoyed the blog, more from Neil and Dan next week who explain that if you’re are struggling to find the perfect move in-house, perhaps the problem is you’re not at the right agency.