It’s been twenty years since I was a bright-eyed, bushy tailed, five-year-old. Much has changed; I’m a lot less bright-eyed and bushy tailed, that’s for sure, but one thing I never grew out of is my love of Disney; it’s actually a slight obsession.
I read a blog recently about how PPC account management can be at times like Cinderella, and it got me thinking about how I can relate my career and life to Disney films. It’s funny how easily it all fell into place as I started comparing my experiences from my job search at University, to my rise to Senior Account Manager at NMPi. Hopefully, by sharing some of the traps I fell into, I will help you avoid the same pitfalls.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Released in 1996, this is a film from my childhood. It’s also a great analogy for how many people feel about job searching when they finish University; i.e., stumbling round an unknown world, looking for a place to fit into, and struggling to find your identity. Eventually, you find a business that will take you for who you are, can identify with your skills and personality, and give you a place in the new grown up world you’ve just entered. For me that place was NMPi.
Starting your first day at any job is daunting, but your first ‘proper’ job can be especially intimidating. For many individuals there is this sense of unknown – you don’t really know what to expect, or what is expected of you. There is so much to learn and to do, whilst trying to remember the array of acronyms everyone uses with what seems like the sole purpose of confusing those who don’t understand, though I promise, those terms will become second nature quite quickly.
It’s a journey of learning and self-discovery, a lot like Marlon’s in the 2003 Pixar classic, Finding Nemo. For me, this was the first 6 months as an Account Executive at NMPi, and a very enjoyable time because whilst it’s scary, and often outside your comfort zone, there is also the thrill of embarking on a new adventure.
Fantasia – (The Trap)
Now this is speaking from experience, and not everyone will have this issue, but at the start of your career, this is something to heed. Mickey Mouse, as the sorcerer’s apprentice, yearns for more responsibility, and takes matters into his own hands with disasterous results. By rushing into skills he has not yet mastered, he ends up making a mess of everything. This may be a very limited and short summary of a classic, but it’s an accurate way to summarise a 3 month spell at NMPi for me.
In my desire to push on to Senior Account Executive (SAE), I took on more and more responsibility, and heavier workloads. I forgot about the basic jobs, and started making mistakes, which ultimately held me back. The moral of the story is: While we all congratulate those who want to push on, don’t forget to continue doing the basics that got you there in the first place!
Having got through my Fantasia phase, I was finally promoted to SAE. This was another learning stage for me. As an SAE you have all the attributes to be dangerous; it’s more of a polishing stage to ensure that you are seen as an expert and a force to be reckoned with.
Much like Tarzan, who needed to be polished from the raw human being he was to a leader and a gentleman. This is much like the process that needs to take place to move you to an Account Manager at NMPi.
The Emperor’s New Groove – (The Trap)
The Emperor’s New Groove is a guilty pleasure of mine, as I appreciate it is not Disney’s finest piece of work, but it paints a nice picture for pushing from Senior Account Executive to Account Manager. Fortunately this isn’t a trap I fell into, but it is one I have seen others get sucked in by and it’s not pretty!
As an Account Manager, your role is as much the development of your team as it is about account efficiency and client happiness. If your team is not happy, performance and client relationships will suffer! Don’t be the Emperor and climb all over those around you to get to the next level. PPC is a team effort and everyone needs to work together to be successful. Don’t forget it, as it can come back to bite you!
Account Manager has been my favourite role at NMPi. I have been the day to day contact for clients, as well as having a team to guide through their development and keep away from the pitfalls I hit (and obviously, pirates as well!).
It’s also a transition away from always thinking of myself first, to putting my team first, which can be difficult at times. This reminds me of the situation Peter Pan faced when he wanted to keep Wendy to himself. I hope my team of lost boys (and girls) have learned a lot from me and we can continue to grow and fight pirates… I mean performance and development successfully.
As a very new Senior Account Manager, I haven’t yet found the film to fit this role. There are also a number of films that I want to use to summarise my career so far however, I definitely am not far enough down the line to say it’s a Beauty and the Beast success. I am anything but a perfectly polished prince. I can’t even call it a Lion King success, as I’m still a long way from being king at NMPi!
There is one film that can summarise me nicely though, Aladdin. It’s been a long way up from the bottom, and I still have a lot to learn about being a sultan, but I’m getting there. Every now and again I will go back to being a street rat, and making those ad changes, or running SQRs.
No matter what stage of your career you’re at, I hope you’ve found this as fun to read as I did to write, and have taken away some good advice, which has the intention of most Disney films!
The best advice I can give: Learn as much as you can and realise you can’t do everything on your own. Being a PPC analyst is a collaboration between you, your team, and your client. Work hard, create your own luck, and most of all, #beyourowngenie.
Senior Account Manager, NMPi