Careers Agony Aunt: How do I apply to client side positions?

Dear Helen,

I have been working at a marketing consultancy in London for nearly three years since graduating with a Masters in Marketing & Communication. My official title is the New Business Development & Marketing Analysis Consultant however my duties range in the menial to complex on a daily basis.

I jumped at the chance to work in marketing although I would have preferred to start in client side marketing as my real passion is in creating, implementing and running marketing campaigns rather than analyse them for ROI improvements.

I very much enjoy what I do but I believe that client side experience is crucial for my future development.

My real question is how to go about applying to client side positions when I have only quality experience from a consultancy? What level should I look to join as I believe I will have to take a step down in order to progress? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Kind regards,


Helen-BrownDear E,

I am sorry to say you have the wrong title. Your employer has oversold the actual job you do. What they needed was a marketing co-ordinator but knew that they would have a hard time attracting someone with that title.

You have an impressive sounding degree and a master’s to boot but in terms of a 40-year career you have only three years’ experience and a lot of time ahead of you. You say your daily tasks range from the menial to the complex, well that’s not going to change, ever.

The fact your role requires you to analyse the ROI of a campaign actually sets you up rather nicely to join another agency with more client-facing opportunities – I don’t know a media or marketing agency out there that isn’t extolling the virtues of data analysis.

Every client wants a fail-safe way of measuring the effectiveness of their campaigns so whilst this may not be the most exciting part of your current role; it has set you up perfectly for the next – as a senior account executive.


My name is Helen Brown and I’m your Careers Agony Aunt for Brand Republic.  I’m also the Chief Talent Officer for Mediacom.  Maybe you’re frustrated about losing that promotion or not sure whether to accept a tempting job offer?  You might be suffering from a lack of development or struggling with management. Whatever the problem, email here and I’ll do my best to help.

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