Is media the most spoiled industry?

In this posting from the LinkedIn Agency Influencer program, Publicis Media's Alex Delehunt questions whether adlands' notorious perks are also its problems.

When I first made the move into the media industry I was overwhelmed with the amount of perks and benefits that were available. Free yoga classes?

Sign me up! Movie discounts? Why not! A fridge full of booze for Fridays and breakfast provided?

I thought all my Christmases had come at once!

And don’t get me started on the industry events! There are live gigs, sporting events and lunches and dinners at the best restaurants in town.

Every so often there are even media junkets to sunny climates and agency trips to the snow. Dream industry? Probably.

Prior to this, I’d been in an industry where you were lucky to have two different types of tea. And forget about a biscuit tin!

I didn’t know any different of course, but once I stepped into media land it made me appreciate what I was provided with.

I did ask around if this was common to workplaces (and maybe I’d been stuck with a dud company before) but my coworkers assured me that the perks of media were very real.

If you ask any media person’s friends and family, they’ll be flabbergasted with the amount of things they are always going to.

But if you ask the media person themselves, after a couple of years when the glitter has faded, they will no longer be impressed with all of these. So can it still be considered a perk if the shine wears off?

For any new grad that starts they are always overwhelmed by the generous experiences on offer. Struggling uni students bask in an oasis of free lunches but if this is what you are always provided with as standard, it’s no wonder it stops looking so good after a while.

Publicis Media’s Alex Delehunt

Do we have a right to be so jaded though? Or are we breeding an industry of spoiled employees? Perhaps the perks make up for the long hours and weekend work when there’s a pitch on?

Does leaving early on Fridays in summer make up for not getting home in time to see your kids before they’re asleep because your client had a crisis? Do you forgo your own social group because you’re busy hanging out at work events with your colleagues?

In the pros column for the endless events is the way it allows you to make lifelong industry friends.

It’s quite hard not to when there are so many opportunities for you to socialise with your colleagues and the perks can be viewed as a chance to live the normal life that the long hours of media doesn’t always allow

However in the cons column is the question of whether as you move up through the ranks and perhaps move into the stage of life when you have children of your own to support, will you still be able to take advantage of what you deemed the “best” perks?

You’re probably going to be more attracted to an agency with a generous parental leave scheme and flexible working hours, rather than a cocktail cart.

There’s no right answer and the value of perks boils down to what each individual finds valuable, but I’d love to hear what you think of the media industry’s so called “spoiled” label or if you’re from another industry that thinks they are more spoiled!

Alex Delehunt is people and culture manager at Publicis Media

This article is part of the LinkedIn Agency Influencer program. See more from the program by clicking on the banner below.

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