Senior Client Manager and Strategist
Every company you work for has a reason, or reasons, for you to stay. For Wonderland, these are mine.
It could be the challenges that come with the role, or the salary you earn. It could be the culture or the vacation days. For others, it’s the perks that do it, or the proximity of the office to home. Whatever the reason, it’s often something that resonates with you on a variety of levels (looking at you here, Maslow). For me though, when it comes to Wonderland, it’s the company’s ability to change and evolve, and to listen to the team.
I recently flagged that I wasn’t getting the opportunity to develop skills and grow in one part of my role because of the demands on my time coming from my other responsibilities. In some companies, something like this would be dealt with through a bureaucratic promise to change soon, or to re-evaluate at the end of the quarter or contract term. It would give me hope for change, but also frustration in my having to wait so long to see any real action, assuming I even did.
At Wonderland it was dealt with in less than a week, with a new job description and role, as well as ads written up and online to find someone to take on my current role, complete with a timeline for the transition. And no, it won’t be as black-and-white as that. I’ll still need to support my replacement, and work with them in the transition period, as well as supporting my current projects through to delivery. But it will change, and soon, and the fact that my simple comment was turned into a completely new role in just a few days went further in securing my loyalty than any idealised future plan could. The immediacy of the action showed a true understanding of what I wanted as a person and professional, as well as fostering the feeling that Wonderland genuinely wanted to keep me in the team and help me grow.
I also know that among the team I’m not alone in this sentiment. I’ve seen it with other members of our team, even people fresh out of university or internships, who have the freedom and empowerment to freely express where they want to go in their careers, and how they want to evolve in their roles. This is how it should be. Agencies, like many other business, often garner a feeling of you need to earn your place here like we did, which can ultimately lead to a toxic, secretive culture, and feelings of disenfranchisement within the teams. Unless this starts to change from the top down, like at Wonderland, we’re going to end up with another generation of colleagues who again feel that the younger, newer generation needs to earn their seat at the table, rather than helping them grow as teammates.
Wonderland has a great culture and an awesome team, and we’re in the process of bringing in structures that give us ownership and returns based on how well we perform each year. But the immediate and accurate response to my feedback meant more. It struck a chord and created a true feeling of value and appreciation, as well as reinvigorating me professionally to rise to a new challenge and continue to grow as a person and professional.
If you’re curious about joining Wonderland, or even filling my role, then be sure to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our open roles at wonderland.studio/join.