On to Bigger and Better Things: Talking with SEO Technical Account Manager, Jack Lingard
Jack knows what it’s like to move from one agency to another. Switching agencies can create uncertainty. Can I trust what the new agency is promising? Is the grass really greener there? Is moving to a larger agency the right choice for my career?
We could tell you all about switching until we’re blue in the face, but we’ll let Jack tell you about his transition to WMG instead.
Why did you choose WMG?
For me, I was very sold on WMG during the interview process. This included meeting people who I was going to be reporting into, seniors within the team and meeting the managing director.
There were some very notable things that stood out, one being the fact that beyond everything, the key thing that’s valued here is emotional intelligence. Why on earth would I not want to work for a company which values this as a skill? They’ve got a process for everything here, but having that emotional intelligence is very important and it’s something that’s harder to train. Not every company values that as an asset.
There’s also a lot of focus on training and development as well as a lot of focus on structure and that was very appealing too. It seemed like a no-brainer – I felt confident I could grow professionally at WMG and I’ve not looked back since.
Has working here lived up to your expectations?
100%. Since the day I joined, everybody has been very supportive and very welcoming. I can’t say enough good things about the team I work with and who I report to. The training has also been second to none. I feel like I’ve learned loads, even in my first six weeks.
In terms of personal growth and development, it was important I came into an environment where these processes were already in place and where they’ve been refined over time. I’m exposed to a different way of doing things here, but WMG are also very open to suggestions and change – there is always an opportunity to evolve how we work.
It has matched up with my expectations and I can honestly say it’s the first time where promises that were made and the reality of the situation have been identical.
Explain what it was like moving from a smaller agency to a bigger one…
Where I came from was very sales driven. It was dynamic as you had your hands in every pot, and you were influential because it was a smaller team experiencing rapid growth. Everything you do is impactful to the business, and I enjoyed that level of responsibility and involvement, which could be rewarding and exciting. However, I found I was becoming thinly spread, which I feared would stunt my professional development in the long run.
The key thing at WMG is there’s an appreciation of different skill sets, and you can see that in who is employed. For instance, we have the technical SEO team, the outreach team and the content writers, all bringing expertise to the three pillars of SEO.
We have all these responsibilities to cover, and you can see the process recruitment has gone through to get those positions filled. I think that shows that these skills are valued and appreciated.
There’s also a great onus here on professional development and personal well-being, with a solid and consistent structure in place to support both areas. I haven’t worked at a place that has such a focus and commitment to these two areas.
How did you find the recruitment process?
I had an initial conversation with internal recruitment, and they sold it immensely well in terms of the culture and what the environment would be like. You could see the focus on development was transparent as well and it painted a very clear picture to me.
In the second stage, I had to do a website audit and then an overarching strategy for a pretend client. These tasks are important for both sides: for the company to see your skill set and for the candidate to see how the company operates.
Sometimes you get businesses who ask for ridiculous, mammoth-sized tasks to be completed over a couple of days. But this task was just right – enough to show your skills across all areas, but without asking for the world.
What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking of moving from a smaller agency to a bigger one?
Keep in mind the structure you’re going into. With some bigger agencies, there is always the risk you’ll become another number.
Many people believe that when you move to a bigger company, you become a cog in the system, but that isn’t the case here. The way we work here is through a pod system where smaller teams sit within the wider team. So, while it’s a big agency, you are still operating as a part of a smaller, agile team.
You feel valued and you have your monthly 121s which are really important. People check in to see how you’re doing, you have regular chats with your seniors about strategies and it’s a place where you can bounce ideas off one another. It’s an immensely supportive environment to work in.
You have to appreciate that if you move into a bigger agency there are going to be a lot more processes. But there are a lot of benefits to that too. Some people like them, some people hate them, but you’ve got to be prepared to adopt processes whilst also having an open mind in regard to looking at improving them, as the business welcomes constructive feedback on these areas.
Any final words of wisdom?
I would recommend working at WMG to anybody. And that’s the truth. I’ve recommended friends to look for roles at WMG and I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t think it was a great place to work.
I would recommend anybody who’s thinking about moving from a smaller agency to WMG to not think twice because the opportunity to develop is incredible and you’ll be in a focused, structured role. You can really hone your craft here and there is great scope to grow and develop both personally and professionally.
As the market grows and changes, we grow too. Are you ready to take the next step in your career and feel supported along the way? If you’re interested in working in our SEO team or have any other questions about the opportunities we have available, don’t hesitate to get in touch.