Interview: Agency vs in-house with Jaime Rivera

An interview with Jaime Rivera, Designer at Creative Lab UK & Europe at TikTok, about working in agency vs in-house in the Creative industry.

In this ‘agency vs in-house’ interview series led by Salt Senior Consultant for Creative, Holley Potts, we speak to customers from all different sectors within the world of digital to answer the age-old question – agency or in-house? This series is designed to give you a snapshot of creative career journeys and insights into what are currently happening in their businesses. Over to Holley…  

So excited to have force of nature Jaime Rivera, Designer at Creative Lab UK & Europe at TikTok on this series! Jaime allows us to see the world through his eyes from remote working to the newest trends emerging this year, so take us away Jaime… 

Holley– Fabulous to have you here Jaime! Having worked with you for some years on freelance across agency, it’s wonderful to speak to you here about your journey on the industry now that you have gone in-house, so enlighten us with your journey on these two sides! 

Jaime - Indeed! So, I was always in-house apart from when I was freelancing, then it was more agency life. The difference I see between both are the deadlines and timing of projects. In-house the deadlines are more flexible and can be 1 or 2 days whereas in agency, the deadlines are tomorrow or in 24 hours! I prefer in-house I have to say as it’s more relaxed, you own the projects and you get to see projects from concept to completion. Back in the day I used to think agencies did really cool things but now a lot of big companies are using the in-house model of an agency and producing just as good work.  

Nowadays, everyone is shifting from TV commercials to digital. That’s the difference. If you need a TV commercial then you would generally go to an agency, but now that this digital switch is happening, TV is becoming less popular.  

Also, in-house teams generally get paid more and have a better work-life balance than agency. In agency, you do really cool work and amazing TV adverts but it’s longer hours and less pay. So, it’s all about the balance you are looking for and takes a certain type of person, there is no right or wrong, it’s more of a personal preference.  

Holley – Like you said everything is shifting to digital, not that it wasn’t before but all the companies who weren’t digital-centric already will definitely be making the shift now. It’s about adaptation, especially when you look at the way designers are evolving, and extending their skill sets too. Being a multi-skilled designer yourself, have you seen this shift?   

Jaime - Yes, being multi-skilled myself, working across motion, brand, UX and digital definitely helps create a more holistic way of working.  

UX seems to be the big thing now, UX is saturated with so many designers, and not that many designers focused in brand and motion. I was actually thinking about switching to UX as a result, as everyone is doing UX. Should we be looking at Interactive UX designers or Motion with UX?  

Interaction design is definitely moving forward quickly and is something I will be interested in seeing how it evolves.  

Holley– That is a good point, UX is so prominent now, it has always been around its just new titles have been created around it. I will be interested like you said on how UX evolves even more, last year I saw a massive rise in UI with motion so will be interesting to see whether this is extended even more with UX. There are always new movements on the brink that are about to emerge. Do you see any new movements coming into play for 2021? 

Jaime - In terms of movements, last year I saw a lot of relevancy emerging, same goes for this year too. Next year I see half time working becoming huge, so working 3 days a week, and as for freelance I see them being able to work full time at home. Having spoken to my freelance friends, they all say they are not going back into the office again! I can totally understand it, as we have proven that people can be successful and productive whilst not being in the office so why not continue this way of working? 

Holley  - I think that will most definitely be the case for so many people, working from home has proven to be rather popular you could say amongst quite a few of us. People are set up for this now. It works. Of course, there are pros and cons to everything. What are the challenges you have found from remote working?  

Jaime - Working fully remote now, it can be a tricky balance as you can sometimes get carried away working non-stop as a result of working from home, so it’s all about finding a balance of knowing when to stop. When you are in the office you have the structure of the day to make sure you have breaks.  

I think there is a pressure for companies to be fully remote until the middle of next year coming from the likes of Google and Twitter who are almost setting the trend for it to be cool to stay working remote, after announcing they won’t be going back to the office. 

However, I do miss working with the team and bouncing ideas off each other in the studio, I am sure many designers will probably say the same thing! 

There we have it – a wonderful round up from Jaime! I want to stay tuned on his predictions to see how UX evolves even more, we are at an exciting time so only time will tell for next year!  

Stay tuned for more interviews, coming your way. If you would like to find out more about the series or find out how we can help you with your hiring, get in touch with Holley via hpotts@welovesalt.com

Read more of our agency vs in-house interviews here. 

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