How an Agency Prepares You for Parenthood

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and I can’t help but reflect on my role as a mother. Some days I knock it out of the park and others, I wish I could get a do-over. Oddly enough, working at an agency has helped shape me into the parent I am today. I’ve found many similarities to the culture at Saxum and my approach to parenting my two-year-old daughter (and sometimes for my two teenage stepsons).

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Ask why

From answering why our dog won’t play with a lightsaber to why it is safer for her to ride in a car seat, I lose count on a daily basis of how many times I answer the question “why?”

Although sometimes hard to answer, “why” is an important question to ask regardless of your age. It is a learning opportunity.  Asking “why” rather than just doing what you’re asked gives a great opportunity to understand reasoning and context. Understanding the “why” can provide motivation and direction.

At Saxum, “why” is more importantly asked to make sure we’re doing the best bold work. Why are we taking that approach? Why will that idea met goals and objectives?

Be flexible

Sometimes you are in control of your day and sometimes you are not. Maybe your toddler has a meltdown when you’re headed out the door. Maybe you or your kid is sick and all plans go out the window. You have to be flexible.

The same goes for agency life. A client facing a crisis can impact your day or month. A client might have a last-minute addition to a project. Whatever you had planned needs to be shifted, reassigned or squeezed in to a short timeframe.

Being flexible has its perks. It requires you to think about priorities. It forces you to get creative and allows you to solve (sometimes complex) problems.

Fortunately for me, I work at an agency that provides so much flexibility to employees. To be honest, that hasn’t always been the case. Just in the past few years, Saxum has added a telecommuting policy and flex schedules. We work from home if the roads are icy and last week, the team worked from home when severe storms were predicted.

Saxum embraces flexibility and puts its employee first. The leadership at Saxum knows great work can be accomplished outside of office walls and typical schedules.

Always be prepared

Back-up clothes, diapers, snacks, a book, some toys and sunscreen. Yes, all of those are in my bag, because you never know when you are going to need them. Being prepared is part of what allows you to be flexible.

For example, in the Saxum event tool-kit you’ll find scissors, adhesive, string, a back-up camera and yes, sunscreen. We plan out messaging for multiple scenarios knowing only one scenario will happen. Our clients expect us to be prepared, so we always deliver.

Don’t get me wrong, agency life prepares you for countless scenarios and experiences. I just so happen to think it has played a big role in how I approach parenting.

This post was written by Sara Walker, SVP, HR and Operations

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