From Corporate To Agency – Reflections On My First Day In A New Job

Thornley Fallis Back in June, I announced that I was leaving the Ontario government to join public relations agency Thornley Fallis Communications as a Senior Consultant.

Today was my first day in my new job, so how did it go?

Bottom line: I loved it. The day flew by and, from start to finish, my new colleagues were friendly, helpful and made me feel like I’d already worked at Thornley Fallis for years.

Here are a few things that stood out for me today:

  • Demographics – the company has a great mix of experience and youth that make for a dynamic, educational and fun work environment in equal doses. Coming from the public sector, the increased number of fellow young professionals at Thornley Fallis is a pleasant change.
  • Accountability – I’d been warned about timesheets previously, but the level of detail involved surprised me today. I spent some time this evening reading over the “how-to” guide that I’ve been given and I think I have my head around it now but, knowing me, I’m pretty sure I’ll have screwed-up my first day’s activity logging, though!
  • Work ethic – I walked into the office at about 8:30 this morning and was greeted by several smiling faces. When I left just after 6, plenty of people were still around to wish me a good night. As a guy who received a “You Know You’re a Workaholic When…” book from an old girlfriend, that was a good sign.
  • Varied clients – in my first meeting today, I sat down with Terry Fallis (yes, that Terry Fallis, the rock star/author and podcaster) as he walked me through several client projects he’d like me to get involved in. Each is different from the others, each has its own challenges and they all sound fascinating. Coming from a job with a very focused portfolio, this was exciting.
  • Into the deep end – from heading out to a briefing by a potential client in the morning to plowing through piles of reading to get up-to-speed on projects as quickly as possible, today was a very pleasant change from the twiddle-your-thumbs first days I’ve had in some previous jobs. I’m happiest when I’m up to my armpits in alligators so this was a good first step. I look forward to getting stuck in to those projects, and more, very soon.
  • Welcoming – I said it earlier but I’ll say it again – I know I’m the new guy and I have a tonne to learn in my new role, but all of my new colleagues made me feel so at ease that it was more like coming back from a vacation than walking into a new place.

The most noticeable difference for me today between the public and private sector: the difference in demographics and the resulting level of energy in the office.

For those of you who’ve made the switch from corporate to agency communications, or vice-versa, what’s the biggest difference you noticed?

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.