I wanted to create Marketing Career Path as a place that helped explain all the available options to anyone who wants a career in marketing.
In addition to information about the various paths I felt it was important to demonstrate the types of challenges many have faced in starting their own careers, and most importantly, how they overcame them. I hope you find the case studies useful!
What attracted you to a career in Marketing?
I have indirectly wanted to be a marketer all my life! When you’re in school you don’t really know what marketing is, you are aware of advertising but marketing isn’t widely taught on the curriculum unless you take a business GCSE.
I had always been fascinated by the power of branding and and advertising, what makes someone pick one over another. By the age of 15 I was running a little enterprise buying and selling sports memorabilia and vintage trainers on eBay, this gave me my first taste of marketing. I soon realised my stuff was selling for a higher price than many identical products because of the quality of the advert and the timing of the sale. Its the process behind the sale that fascinates me and as I got older and learnt about marketing through further study I realised that was the career path I wanted to take.
Tell us about your route in Marketing?
I went onto university to study Business and Marketing which seemed like a logical next step rather than something I actually wanted, once I started however, I realised it wasn’t really for me and dropped out within a few months. I was at a bit of a loss for a while trying to figure out how I could get on the fast track to a proper career.
I had been trawling town for months looking for a real career opportunity and was just about ready to give up and get any job I could when I saw an advert for a Management Apprenticeship in the marketing department of a Skills Council, it was a real eureka moment! I applied straight away and got it within a matter of weeks.
Doing the apprenticeship was a real game-changer for me, it literally landed me smack bang in the middle of what I had been wanting – a career. I got to take part in all sorts of marketing projects, including assisting with the development of a careers website. Whilst public sector wasn’t where I wanted to be long-term it was an invaluable experience, that gave me everything I needed to take my career in marketing to the next level and I had no problem progressing in to my next role as a Marketing Assistant in a B2B engineering software firm.
Briefly talk us through a typical day as in your current job
My current job consists of working full time as a marketing manager at Rothera Dowson Solicitors and then In the evenings I work on MCP, so I am always pretty busy and I have to manage my time carefully to get everything done.
My day job as Marketing Manager is a typical 9-5.30 day. I plan my days and weeks by tasks that are most important throughout the month such as our company newsletters, communications and developing the website.
I fit everything else around the mandatory tasks of the month and my schedule at the moment is centred around developing additional resources and content for our website as well as implementing an SEO strategy. I also have a number of brochures to re-develop and some events coming up to prepare for.
On top of that I will meet with individual departments to identify their marketing requirements. Law is a really diverse profession and each area requires a different approach, which keeps it interesting and me busy!
I head home around 6pm and work on MCP for a few hours, everything up to this point has just been about getting the website up and running so at times it has felt like there’s been a ton of work to do. Now its live I should be able to focus more on improving the quality of the resources, developing new stuff and most importantly actually marketing the website so people are aware of it!
What are the biggest challenges you have faced throughout your marketing career and how have you overcome them?
My biggest challenges are my personal battles with impatience and ambition! The older I have got the more I find there is a fine balance to strike between being patient and ambitious because even though I have been extremely eager push on in my career and move from one level to the next quickly, I now know I have to put the time and effort in to ‘earn my stripes’ before being able to progress to the next stage. I have learnt the hard way that there is no cutting corners in this business or any, if you really want something then you will get it if you persevere and sometimes that means being patient and absorbing as much experience as you can.
Some people think the key to a great career is having a ton of credentials and knowing all the right people but I think the main ingredient to success is hard work, everything else is just periphery. You must enjoy it to, if you don’t enjoy it then what’s the point!?
What would you describe as your biggest personal strengths and assets that have ensured success in your career?
Persistence – no matter how big the challenge or far away the end result I constantly keep my goal in my head so I know exactly why I am doing what I am doing it. Breaking goals down into something manageable is mandatory for me. I used to look too far ahead to the end point which would make it seem impossible or too far out of my reach, by splitting a goal up into smaller achievable steps its keeps you motivated as each small thing you achieve you know is getting you one step closer and its important to celebrate each small milestone!
Resilience – developing a thick skin happened through a series of failures that I wouldn’t change for the world (it was a different story at the time but you get over it!), Now I find if something doesn’t work out it doesn’t mean its a failure because its usually what leads to the next door opening. Taking time to reflect over situations in your career – good or bad – is an exercise you should practise regularly.
Drive – I have always been extremely self-motivated and am relentless when it comes to my goals, that’s not to say I achieve them quickly but I wait it out and keep moving towards them. I network a lot and I find other peoples career stories extremely inspiring and motivating. I have also embraced as much work as possible to ensure my experience is varied. With every employer I ask myself “could they do without me?” and if the answer is yes then I have more work to do, my aim is to become indispensable.
If you could give a single piece of advice to someone looking to get into their own marketing career what would it be?
Do your research, use as many resources available as possible to figure out what you want to do as a career, everyone has options open to them and it all starts with research.
Find a mentor, its so much easier if you have a go-to person you can express your career woes to. Utilise as many ways possible to meet and speak to established marketing professionals: social media, networking events, training courses. Don’t be afraid of asking them for advice, its a massive compliment to have someone ask you for advice.
Use Marketing Career Path and give us your feedback on the content and resources, if you need something and it isn’t here then just get in touch because we are here to help!