My Role As an Account Coordinator in 2014 vs 2017
As part of my position at Happy Medium, I do a lot of first-round interviews. We often are hiring for a new position and candidates tend to ask questions along the lines of: What will success look like in this position, what will this position look like in five years, and what is the growth opportunity in this position?
The straightforward answer to the success question is, “complete all the tasks listed on the job description.” The more challenging portion is that Happy Medium wants each team member to work toward success and growth in their position and determine what that means. Happy Medium helps guide in success and growth, but we don’t lay out a step-by-step how-to. I’ll use my growth and occasional success (and failures) at Happy Medium as an example. To begin, we have to go way back to three years ago.
My first day at Happy Medium
I started as a pretty traditional account coordinator for Katie, our CEO, and Kristen, our now director of accounts, who were both managing accounts. I was brought on to help get their projects through the team and back to the client. While HM had previously had account coordinators, it had been about 10 months since they had someone in that role. We were constantly working to figure out where I fit in the process and it changed every day. It wasn’t always comfortable, but it was always exciting.
During my first year I also took on a lot of planning events, the largest being our 2014 open house for our new office and the HM holiday party. Taking on these tasks in addition to my daily tasks and showing an interest in helping the team overall led to me being asked to be a member of the culture team.
The culture team brought on a whole new position to grow and find success; and this was to be about an 80/20 split with our everyday jobs. Julie and I did a lot of party planning: HM’s 5th birthday, bowling, even burrito challenges. We also started working on bigger-picture things, such as retreat planning, how to scale our culture as we grow in numbers, onboarding, etc. Every year we change and grow to make sure we are taking the best of everything we do and are fixing the things that didn’t go great.
Then, in 2016 (insert dramatic music), things really got wild and changed. I stopped working on almost all external accounts and took on Happy Medium/Happy Boards as my clients. This was a big shift because most of my day to day was dictated by client needs, and now HM was the client.
And this brings us to Jill’s 2017 version of account coordinator. It looks a lot different than Jill’s 2014 account coordinator. I have tried and failed and tired and succeeded at treating HM/HB as clients; (see HB website redesign for a major success). I have gained new tasks such as the hiring/interview process; (also tried and failed and tried and succeeded) and I have more time to help with everyday details of the culture team—yes, we are still throwing parties, but we are also working on improving our onboarding and intern programs.
3rd year anniversary at Happy Medium
If I had asked in 2014 during my interview what success and growth looked like in this position (I probably didn’t because I’m a terrible interviewee), I’m sure the answer would have been similar to the answer I give now; do the task on the job description and then you get to decide what success and growth means to you. It’s been a wild ride, but I’ll call it a success!
Jill Patterson is an account coordinator at Happy Medium and a member of the Culture Team. She assists the account directors while coordinating workflow and overseeing projects. She has a corporate communications degree from Buena Vista University.