The “Entitled” EXP

entitled exp jae davisI have been hearing from many vetted EXPs about the sense of entitlement they have encountered with both new and experienced EXPs in the industry. Requests for higher compensation, extra break times, compensation for additional travel and expenses: The list can go on for hours. Account managers and coordinators deal with EXPs and their “diva-like” requests firsthand. But as an EXP, I have to wonder: Are EXPs entitled to request additional benefits? What will get you blacklisted with an agency? I have listed a few tips to keep in mind to ensure that you are not labeled an “entitled EXP.

Gain Extensive Experience

As an EXP, it is important to acquire a wide range of experience and skills when executing events. Unfortunately, this does not happen overnight. It requires years of experience of both good and bad situations and the ability to problem solve and work through issues as they arise on-site during an event. If you have only been working as an EXP for less than a year and have yet to serve as a manager consistently, then having a sense of entitlement, requesting higher compensation, and making other demands isn’t appropriate. Yes, I understand that there is a minimum compensation rate one can request. However, as an EXP, you have to be accountable and responsible when executing any event. This will not only assist in growing the industry but also ensure that you have built a great rapport with the agency and/or account manager, who will work to award opportunities and higher compensation when they are available.

The “I Applied so I Should Be Awarded the Opportunity” Mentality

Just because you applied for an opportunity doesn’t mean you will be given the position. Remember, there are enough programs and events for everyone to thrive and receive opportunities as an EXP. On the other hand, if you have been awarded an opportunity, it doesn’t mean you can:

o   Show up late to an event

o   Expect to be given a position that requires less engagement with consumers

o   Continue to ask for multiple breaks and take extended time while on break

o   Sit on a cell phone for hours on end

o   Have an attitude with fellow EXPs or when the on-site manager(s) give direction

Opportunities, especially ones that pay a high rate, come with certain expectations. Therefore, as an EXP, having an entitlement mentality when communicating with account managers and executing an event is frowned upon.

You Only Communicate When It’s Beneficial for You

Not responding to emails or texts and not sending in event recaps or photos in a timely manner are pet peeves for any account or staffing manager. Then, when your compensation is incorrect or you are not given the opportunity to work an event you applied for, you are quick to reach out and voice your concerns. And if the agency fails to reply in a timely manner, then many EXPs take to social media. Before sending that email or blasting the agency, ask yourself:

  1.       Did I always communicate effectively?
  2.       Did I send in all the requested information for compensation?
  3.       Did I complete all the event recaps in a timely manner?
  4.       Did I work with the account manager to communicate all my concerns?
  5.       Did I execute the event without hindering or causing any distraction?

What you perceive is subjective and may not correspond to what actually occurs. Therefore, it is important to practice the three Ps that I discuss in my book, You Do What? (be professional, presentable, and personable). As an EXP, there are instances when we feel undervalued and underappreciated by the agency. I have been there. However, having a sense of entitlement will only result in the loss of future opportunities and agencies refusing to hire you. So proceed with caution, and remember: You are only as good as your last event!