A career in marketing is getting more and more popular with millennials and younger. It should be with the media showcasing the glamour, the excitement, the money. Don’t be fooled. Young padawan.
Like any other job industry, competition is fierce, high quality is always demanded, and the pressure is intense. Working in marketing definitely has its fun but at it’s core, you are there to add to the bottom line.
1 – Get your schooling in. And I don’t mean slide by with a GPA of 2.0. Don’t sign up for all of the “cake” classes either. You usually learn nothing valuable from these classes other than a spy-like ability to hide texting on your cell from your professor. Pour your heart and soul into those “mock” marketing projects, public relations pieces, and business plans. When you start applying for internships/jobs. Those will serve as your “portfolio”. So make sure they’re done well.
2 – Start Interning by your junior year. Multiple if you can. Don’t piss away your summers either. Put them to use. Yes, it sucks not getting paid or only getting school credit. You know what else sucks? Living with your parents when you’re 30. Pick your poison. Not only do these internships look great on your resume but that account coordinator/account executive/marketing admin will leave his/her job one day. There’s where you, mr/ms “I’ve-already-interned-here”, has a better opportunity of sliding in. The who-you-know game is important at entry level and management level. Speaking of who-you-know…
3 – Build that social network. Clubs, groups, physical or online. Commit to some of them if you can. Is your linkedin profile built? Perhaps an online resume? Your potential employer may or may not be googling you. Let’s make those results as impressive as possible. Personal tip- Start getting comfortable with digital media and applications. It’s where the world is going.
4 – Have an idea of where you want to go. In-house or Agency? Depth or Breadth? You delve deeper with an in-house marketing position. Understanding every last detail of what your company represents. It may be harder to transition to work in marketing for another industry when you’ve been so focused on one, but that means you’re viewed as more of an expert if you decide to stick with that field. With agencies, you will wears lots of hats, becoming knowledgeable of a variety of industries. Granted, you don’t get as deep with In-house work, but you’ll never get bored.
5 – Don’t pursue a career in marketing because you think it’s “easy”. Try again. Most successful marketing managers works 60-90 hours a week…salaried. If the company or clients don’t make money, guess who’s first on the chopping block? Answer: the marketing department. Companies/brands will always believe that their product is a great product. Usually their mindset is “If no sales are being made, then it must be marketing’s fault.” There is no flexibility. Be successful or get your ass chewed out. Because guess what? There will always be another marketing guru/expert/ninja/specialist that is gunning for your job. Always.