Working For an Agency Vs In-house: the differences, pros and cons
When looking for a new job, the terms ‘agency’ and ‘in house’ might pop up frequently, especially if you’re looking for anything in marketing, PR, web development/ design and HR.
Whether you work in an agency or in-house makes a big difference – from the kind of work you’ll be doing, who you’ll be working alongside and pace of work.
So, working for an agency vs in house – here are the differences, along with pros and cons of each!
Working for an agency means you work for a company which specialises in a particular service, or set of services which are most often provided business-to-business. You’ll be working with a number of clients across a variety of industries.
An example could be a Digital Marketing agency, which specialises in SEO and content marketing, but works with clients from industries ranging from property to eCommerce.
Pros of working for an agency
variety of clients and projects
A pro of working for an agency is the variety. Working with clients from numerous different industries means you get a more rounded experience, which will look great on your CV and lead for an exciting day.
You could be working on a campaign for a sports company one minute, to doing a photo shoot for a beauty company the next.
For someone who gets restless and bored quickly, working for agency is definitely the best bet.
working alongside people doing the same job as you
There is no time for loneliness at an agency as chances are, there will be a team all doing the same job but working on different clients. This means if you need support, you can turn to your colleagues. It also makes for a fun more collaborative atmosphere.
With quick turnarounds of projects, working for an agency is fast-paced and exciting. Two days are never the same, and you never know what’s round the corner – a new client? A new idea for a project? There’s one thing for sure – you’ll be always kept on your toes.
Cons of working for an agency
can be higher pressure
With deadlines looming over your head and constant pressure from clients, for some, working in an agency can be stressful. You have to have a strong personality and be able to take criticism from clients and able to cope with last minute changes.
competition with other colleagues
In some companies, what should be collaborative behaviour, can instead be competitive, particularly if bonuses can be earned. As you will be working alongside people doing the same thing as you, competing with colleagues on who gets the best results might be present. This kind of environment is not for everyone.
jack of all trades, master of none
An issue in working in an agency is also a strength – the variety of clients and projects. This could mean that you never get fully immersed in a project or industry because the week later, you’ll have already moved onto your next project. For this reason, you might never get to know one industry in a whole lot of depth.
working for clients you’re not interested in
One week you’re writing for a music magazine – your dream client. But the following week, you’re writing for an accountancy firm – your worst nightmare. Unfortunately, this is just part of the job. This could end in a love-hate relationship with your job.
Working in house means you are working within one organisation, you might be in a small team or the sole person doing your role. You will be working alongside others in the organisation who might be from different teams.
Pros of working in-house
You can specialise
Working in-house, you can fully immerse yourself in your industry and become an expert. If you love the industry you work in, this means you’ll find your role interesting and rewarding.
You have more autonomy
You don’t have to listen to clients and do as they say. There is a lot more scope to experiment, change and diversify strategies, particularly if you work in a small team. This freedom can be exciting for some people who prefer more autonomy in their role.
Cons of working in-house
You might get bored
Working in the same industry day-in-day-out can leave some to get bored quickly. This is why if you work in-house, if you aren’t very interested in the industry, you’ll want to move on pretty quickly.
you might feel lonely
Working in-house, your role might feel very illusive to others in the company, they might have no clue what you do every day.
Worst still, they might not have much interested in finding out. Working in-house can get lonely.
You’ll want to share your campaign successes with your colleagues but they probably won’t appreciate (nor understand it) quite as well as you!
Overall, making the decision to work in-house and agency will very much depend on what you want out of a role, and your personality. Talking personally, I have worked in both and don’t have a direct preference – both have their pros and cons! But working in both has given me a more rounded experience in my career, for which I am very thankful for.