Three successful marketers share their marketing career advice and lessons
Often, it’s later in our Marketing careers (and life in general!) that we look back and the dots connect. We asked the internet to share with us, their marketing career advice, what they wish they had known when they started their careers, and what they’d do different, -could they do it all over again.
The internet delivered, and we’ve shared our top 3 most honest and insightful responses, below.
Bart Turczynski, Content Team Lead & Career Expert
When I first took over a team, I was excited but terrified. I felt like I’ve stopped being a strong contributor and worried I wouldn’t do what I was expected to do for the team: help them get their work done.
I doubt I’d undo the decision I had made, but still— I think it’s important to understand that if you have a job you love and excel at, most employers will want to see you in a leadership role at some point. This will feel like a natural progression. But think about it hard. Managing people is a whole new world and one not for everyone.
Being great at your job doesn’t imply you’ll be great at leading people. (Google The Peter Principle.) Promoting people based solely on their performance backfires for everyone involved. The A player (that’s you!) will feel stuck dealing with other people’s problems.
The employer will have lost a high-performing specialist, and the team got a leader who doesn’t really know how to help or explain what needs to be done. Not taking on managerial responsibilities is not a sign of weakness. It might actually be the most appropriate thing to do.
Tim Gibbon, Founder, Guest Lecturer and Industry Adviser
- Have the courage to consider more than just data. Always listen to your common sense (which isn’t common), gut and experience as it grows. Back up creativity with data and research, lead with the former.
- Voice concerns with alternative approaches to circumvent or even cancel activity/campaigns. Marketing nightmares happen because there isn’t the courage to say ‘no’ to obviously bad ideas and execution.
- Ignore marketing jargon like best-practice. Break, bend, smash the norm. Everything best practice, so often isn’t best. Instead, do what works for an audience and brand.
- Be comfortable not having to say anything in some meetings. It’s OK to analyse, think and re-think. There are plenty of talkers and they’re rarely doers. Doers really make things happen and that’s where the meat is. Be more of a thinker and a doer. They’re not mutually exclusive.
- Avoid any consultancy/roles describing a candidate is sought to ‘hit the ground running.’ It literally sounds painful and it’s often an employer with unrealistic expectations.
- Strongly consider applying to what are perceived as large brands and organisations. Many are not interested in diversity, if they’re banging on about it, they’re most probably terrible at addressing it. Do your research.
- Big brands and organisations can have big problems. The common denominator is people. If you’re surrounded by great people is probably makes for a great team. If the team is terrible, the job may become so, be prepared to move to a great team.
- Most of the day (Monday to Friday at least) is spent at work. If the environment is poor, it’s going to have an impact upon than more than your home life. The job touches much of what you do, so endeavour to do what you love.
- It’s rare people collect gold watches or decanters for decades of service. Be open to different choices and changes. Just endeavour to ensure they’re good ones.
- If you have a thick skin, make sure you can add a few more layers on top. If you don’t, develop one. It can be a hell out there and the longer you’re in it, the more demons you’ll meet. Resilience and perseverance are important. Above all, don’t lose sight of who you are. People you meet along the way may change for the worse (and rarely better), but you don’t have to.
Liam Solomon, Digital Marketing Lead
Every 10 mins you give yourself to learn something new at the beginning of your career will pay off 1000 times over in 5 years time.
I always come across holes within my skill set, whether it is to do with PPC, SEO or social marketing, where I wish I put more time into learning things when I had less responsibility.
When you are an intern or junior, you should be soaking up as much information through experiences, books and online blogs, as possible as this will pay off multiple times over when you are striving for bigger things later on in your career.