Aspiring authors who've yet to get one all dream of one thing (or person as the case may be). Their future agent. They want an agent, and they want one now. But there is wisdom in making sure you don't just find the first agent who will say 'yes.' You need to find the agent who is right for you, and for your career.
I've spoken with a few different authors/aspiring authors who have had to part ways with their first agent at different times. Does that mean the agent was a "bad agent?" No, it doesn't. In fact, not at all. In one case, the same agent represented two different authors I know. For one author the agent did a great job selling the author's work and working together, but in the second case after about a year, it just didn't work out. Same agent. Same skills. Different authors. Different results. So again, does it mean the agent was 'bad?' Obviously not, the agent did a great job for one of the authors. What it means is that every agent is a person, not just a means to getting you published. They have personalities (gasp!), they have editing styles, they have agenting styles. And what is a perfect fit for one author, might not be for you.
So, when you are querying and get to the stage where you are getting interest in your mss, make sure you take the time to really talk to the potential agents. Talk to their authors even, if you're still not sure. Write out a list of questions that mean the most to you. If you don't know what those questions should be, sit down and write out what factors/traits are most important to you in an agent. Not sure what they should be? Maybe I'll make that a future post. Off the top of your head, what do you think is the most important factor in choosing your agent?