Here's a few quick questions and answers:

1 - Is there really a way to run a project "agile" when you're in an agency?  Doesn't it kind of go against what agile is, because you have these constraints of time and budget?

Yes, you can, but it's not going to be perfect agile.  Like most things in life, you have to come to a compromise, because every project is different.  But yes, you can still run a project "agile", and it's actually pretty common these days to do so.  Picture Trello's or Jira's kanban layout - that's how developers tend to like to see and work on things.  That's agile...ish.  There's no hard and fast rules for how to make a project work, so don't worry too much about labels.

2 - What is the best tool for tracking time?

You could fill in the blank on this one - what is the best tool for _____? There are SO MANY TOOLS and they all work for a variety of different reasons and different scenarios.  I find the best way to figure out what tool to use is to not use a tool at all, and get a feel for what your specific team needs. Once you know "we need to be able to log in and do ______" you'll know which tools have that feature, and you'll be in a better position to choose one.  Try going old school for a short time to get your requirements together.

3 - Why are other people getting director jobs and speaking gigs and stuff, and all I'm doing is my same old job that I've had for like 10 years?

That's a good question.  A better question is - is that what you want?  And then - do you know how to get there?  If you don't know how to get where you want to go, the best thing to do is ask someone who would know.  I bet they would be happy to help you out!  

4 - Do you think that in-house PM jobs are easier than agency PM jobs?

Well, truthfully, for me - yes.  But I'm only me - and you're you.  There are definitely differences between the 2 kinds of PM jobs, some good and some bad.  As an in-house PM, I often didn't feel challenged, or I was surrounded by people who said "we tried that before" when faced with something new.  Then again, I didn't work 60h weeks, either.  As an agency PM, I felt like I never had enough time to properly devote to my client load.  Then again, I learned a ton of new things all the time.  So it's all trade-offs and what works for me may not work for you.  Think about what you enjoy most about your job, and see if that fits the in-house profile more than the agency profile.

Good luck!!

 

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