Here’s Some Memes to Help You Manage Expectations

By Akanksa Upadhyay, Account Supervisor at PRLab


[Source: Make A Meme, 2017,]

Expectations are a fundamental part of being human. We expect things from our teammates, clients, and mostly, of ourselves. Expectations show that we have a vision of how something should be. However, expectations are earning a bad name. People think that having expectations makes you selfish and that having expectations leads to disappointment. But here’s the truth: Expectations push us to work towards a better future.

Here’s a guide to help you manage, meet, and potentially exceed expectations! And since this is a tough topic, I added memes to make this a little easier.

Client expectations


[Source: Sayeh Pezeshk, 2016,]

In an ideal world, every project would be successfully completed, with every planned tactic resulting in better than predicted impressions. But realistically, we can never truly predict how a tactic is going to pan out. This disparity between what could have been (where most clients are stuck) and what happened (where you are), usually leads to disappointments on the client’s side. This is usually the result of incorrect or unclear client expectations. Here are some ways to manage client expectations:

  • Help them understand their place in the industry

Sometimes a client will come in, expecting articles in the Boston Globe, when it is their third full year of business. Having to explain to them that they don’t have a prominent media presence will be awkward at first. But it cannot be stressed enough how important this is. If they know where they truly stand, they will be able to better gauge the true impact of your efforts.

  • Set goals, and go back to these goals during every conversation

The only way to meet expectations is to find a way to quantify them. Setting specific, measurable goals will ensure that you are creating targeted tactics and keeping your client happy. These goals will also help keep you and your client on the same page, which is key to a healthy partnership.

  • Be upfront

Whether it is about changing plans, about agency practices or about a failed tactic, always be honest with your client. Being upfront with them, and keeping them up-to-date will help actively manage expectations and build a more trusting relationship.

Team expectations


[Source: Moziru,]

A big part of working at an agency is working in a team. Here are some ways of ensuring that you and your team are managing each other’s expectations:

  • Be a good communicator

This might seem like such a redundant point, but be a good communicator! Make sure to keep your teammates in the loop about any other projects you’re working on, which may be taking up too much of your time, or about unfortunate circumstances that are keeping you from keeping your work. Communicating is especially important if a teammate is doing something that hurts you or makes you feel uncomfortable. Shying away from confrontation might make it an easier work environment now, but in the long run, it might sour a great working relationship.

  • Provide a structure

Make sure that your team starts by deciding which direction your project was going to go in, and setting boundaries. Be sure to set boundaries – what is a good time to contact someone, how much lead time does someone need when it comes to feedback, what are some family or religious functions for which someone will need time off. Knowing these things will help you be a more understanding team member, and will go a long way when developing a mutually respectful relationship.

  • Give and receive feedback   

Feedback sessions are always awkward. But you have to make sure that you give constructive feedback, focusing your comments on the person’s work and not their personality. It helps to always end each criticism with resources they can use to improve their work, or specific ideas to replace the ones that aren’t up to standard. The harder part? Receiving feedback. One way you can make it easier is by asking for it more often. If you get used to receiving comments that help take your work to the next level, you are likely to adapt to it quicker and make the most of it.

Expectations you have of yourself


[Source: Jami DeLoe, 2016,]

Managing your own expectations is the key to living a happy, stress-free life. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we expect the most of ourselves. And here’s two simple ways to manage your own expectations:

  • Don’t assume

It’s just that simple. If you don’t assume that people know your work ethic, you won’t be disappointed by their lack of work ethic. If you don’t assume that the client knows how important social media is, you won’t be disappointed by their lack of interest in the social media plan. If you assume that something is as important to your teammates or your client as it is to you, you are setting yourself up to be disappointed.

  • Keep track of your progress

After meeting with your client and having them disregard all the new ideas you and your team came up with, it can be hard to keep your spirits up. Take these low moments to remind yourself of how far you’ve come – look at the impressions your tactics have generated, how many communication objectives you have been able to tick off the list. It will remind you that you have been successful in the past and will be successful in the future, and this small setback is not a reflection of you being an incompetent professional.

  • Remember that you’re only human

At the end of the day, remind yourself that you are a fully-functional human, who is bound to make mistakes, have off days, and miscommunicate. On those low days, when nothing seems to be going right, it is okay to take a self-care day, to do what makes your soul happy. Take those days, and come back, more resilient and more hopeful.